Oct. 8, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Allie Kueny scored her first goal of the season in the fourth minute and Chandi Bickford found the net twice within a span of seven minutes in the second half as the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team easily defeated UC Irvine 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Harder Stadium. The Gauchos turned in a superb performance defensively as well, limiting the Anteaters to just three shots.
With the win, UCSB improves to 3-6-4 overall and 1-1-0 in Big West play, while UCI heads home with a 3-9-0 overall record and a 0-3-0 mark in conference.
After scoring just two goals over the course of their past five matches, the Gaucho offense was due for a big game. Santa Barbara jumped on Irvine early and never looked back Sunday.
UCSB took a 1-0 lead after midfielder Darci Gwartz dribbled up field and found Sami Svrcek out on the right wing. A UCI defender came out on the play and the ball was deflected directly to Kueny in the box. The senior forward beat one defender going to her left and sent the ball past Anteater starting goalkeeper Erin Henry to the left post at the 3:05 mark. The eventual game-winner was the first for the season for the Brea, Calif. native and 13th of her career.
The Gauchos struck again in the 62nd minute, increasing their advantage to 2-0. After Gwartz was fouled, junior defender Kandice Mclaughlin lined up for the free kick from about 30 yards out. She sent a bending shot up over the Anteater defensive wall and into the upper left corner of the goal past keeper Gina Mehanna, who came on to replace Henry at the start of the second half. The goal was the first for McLaughlin in her career wearing the blue and gold.
Less than five minutes later, Bickford scored the first of her two goals in the game when she cleared the ball up to sophomore forward Genelle Ives on the right wing. Ives dribbled into the box and, one on one with the keeper, deferred to a streaking Bickford who then placed it in the top left corner over the keeper's head at 66:03 for the 3-0 lead.
In a similar sequence, sophomore midfielder Michelle Russell connected with Bickford in the 73rd minute and the Haiku Maui, Hawaii native walked the ball in with the keeper out of position, giving UCSB its final 4-0 advantage. Bickford leads the team with six goals this season.
UCSB took 13 shots in the match, with nine of those coming on frame. The four goals was a season-high and most since they defeated Cal State Northridge 4-2 in the 2004 Big West Conference Tournament.
As great as the Gauchos were offensively Sunday, their defensive was just as impressive. Santa Barbara did not allow a shot in the opening half and the Anteater's first look at the goal did not come until the 65th minute of play. All three of Irvine shots were on frame, but UCSB goalkeeper Katie Wright made three incredible saves to preserve the shutout, including a huge stop on Kathleen Lemieux's penalty kick with roughly 12 minutes to play.
Big West play continues for UCSB next week with road matches at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. The Gauchos will battle the Titans Friday at 7:00 p.m. and then square off with the Highlanders Sunday in a 1:00 p.m. match up.