SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 13 UCSB survived No. 21 UC San Diego and soundly beat No. 20 Wagner to conclude the Winter Invitational on Sunday. The Gauchos completed their first weekend of the 2016 season with a 3-2 record with all of their wins coming against ranked opponents.
Taylor Shore finished the day as the Gauchos' leading scorer with five goals, connecting on all five of her shots. Behind her was Miranda Schrader who registered a brace in both of UCSB's games. Bryn Hudson paced the Gauchos in the assist category with four total, while Lauren Martin drew six ejections total, three in each contest.
On defense, Martin finished with a combined three steals, as the Gauchos picked up 15 total. Sarah Kreiser and Sophie Trabucco also registered a pair of field blocks. In the cage, Mackenzie Brokaw finished with 24 saves, including a season-high 15 against Wagner.
UC SAN DIEGO
In their first game of the day, the Gauchos spoiled UC San Diego's bid for a perfect weekend in a tight 10-9 victory.
The Tritons registered the first goal of the game at the 5:26 mark, but UCSB would later tie the score with a quick goal in transition. Working on a counter, Sophie Trabucco found Bryn Hudson on the outlet pass who then dished the ball to Murphy to finish the scoring play.
After a slow opening quarter, both offenses got going in the second quarter with UCSB managing a 5-4 lead by the halftime break.
The Gauchos netted the first two goals of the period, completing a 3-0 run to get a two-goal lead. Taylor Shore delivered both scores with the first coming in transition and the second capitalizing on a power play. That second score was setup by Martin who drew the exclusion and went on to find Shore for the pointblank shot.
Attacking from a tight angle on the right side, Miranda Schrader moved UCSB on top 5-3 after rifling her shot off the left post at the 1:20 mark, but the Tritons would keep the deficit to one-goal after scoring on the following possession.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Gauchos were holding on to a tight 7-6 lead, as they snapped a tie score with 45 seconds left in the third. On the play, Murphy's initial lob shot missed but stayed in play, as Martin came in to finish the effort with a quick shot through the arms of goalkeeper Courtney Miller.
In an exciting fourth quarter, the Tritons battled and tied the game on three separate occasions with the help of two penalty shots from Alexia Wieseler. Her second penalty score came with 1:30 left in the game and tied the game at 9-9. On the Gauchos' ensuing possession, Shore drew an exclusion foul and Schrader cashed in on the power play with a game-winner she roped from the outside. From there, UCSB shutdown the Tritons in the final 41 seconds, sealing the gritty win.
Taylor Shore's hat trick led the Gauchos to a 10-6 win over Wagner in the Winter Invitational finale, as the team completed their home tournament with a 3-2 record.
UCSB wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard, as Murphy hooked up with Martin for an inside shot in the Gauchos' first possession. And on the next time they got the ball, Bryn Hudson tacked on another score with a long-range shot, putting the Gauchos ahead 2-0 after the first 1:18 of the game.
For the Gauchos' third goal of the period, Hudson was the playmaker in finding Taylor Shore on a cross-cage pass for the quick shot goal at the 2:09 mark. While UCSB's offense was rolling, the team's defense was also impressive in shutting out Wagner through the end of the first.
UCSB would increase its lead to four goals at 5-1 thanks to the strong play of Thomas on both ends of the pool. First, she picked up a steal in transition and scored on her shot from the corner on the ensuing Gaucho possession.
Santa Barbara's largest lead of the afternoon was five points when the score read 7-2 early in the third quarter. In making that seventh UCSB goal, Shore found Schrader for the outside skip shot after drawing in the Wagner defense with her drive toward the goal.
For the rest of the game, the Gauchos never allowed the Seahawks to get closer than three points, while reaching double figures in the scoring column for the third time this weekend.
UCSB will continue its season on the road next weekend in Ann Arbor for the Michigan Invitational.