Sept. 3, 2006
SAN DIEGO - Senior forward Chandi Bickford scored one goal and assisted on second and junior goalkeeper Katie Wright had 12 saves, including nine in the second half, to lead visiting UC Santa Barbara past No. 29 San Diego State on Sunday.
The win was the first of the season for the Gauchos (1-1-1) while the loss was the second straight for the Aztecs (2-2-0).
Bickford notched UCSB's first goal at 16:59 when she scored from 40 yards out off of a long pass from sophomore Rachael Ritchey. For Bickford, the goal was her first since the 2004 season. In 2005, the native of Maui suffered a knee injury, played in just seven matches and had one assist.
The Gauchos led 1-0 at the half. In the second half, the Aztecs were relentless, peppering Wright with 14 shots, including nine on goal, but the transfer from Nebraska was up to the task as she stopped all nine shots that were on frame, including a diving save in the 57th minute of a shot from 25 yards out by SDSU's Erika Sutton. For the game, the Aztecs outshot UCSB 18-11, including 14-4 in the second half. Wright, however was spectacular as she logged a career-high 12 saves in posting her second shutout of a ranked team this season. In the Gauchos' Aug. 25 season-opener at 17th-ranked USC, Wright had eight saves in a 0-0 tie.
On the other side of the field, SDSU goalkeeper Cat Burson, who played at UCSB as a freshman in 2004, was also outstanding with eight saves, including a diving save of her own of a shot by Gaucho midfielder Darci Gwartz.
Late in the match, as they tried to score the equalizer, the Aztecs went to a three defender set and UCSB took advantage as Bickford fed a trough-ball to sophomore forward Genelle Ives near midfield. Ives sprinted on a breakaway and beat Burson from about 12 yards out. The goal was Ives' first of the season. Last year, she led the Gauchos with six.
The two goals scored by UCSB were its first two of the season. Last weekend, in addition to their 0-0 overtime tie against USC, the Gauchos were blanked at San Diego, 2-0. Defensively, they have been solid, allowing just two goals in their first three matches, a total of 290 minutes. Wright, who played two seasons at Nebraska, has 21 saves and just two goals allowed through the first three contests.
The Gauchos remain on the road for one more match before coming home. On Tuesday, Sept. 5, UCSB will play a 5:00 p.m. match at Loyola Marymount. The Gauchos will play their first home match of the season on Friday, Sept. 8, when they host Wisconsin at 5:00 p.m. The game against the Badgers will be the first of doubleheader at UCSB's Harder Stadium. The Gaucho men's team will host Illinois-Chicago as the second part of the twinbill.