No. 9 UCSB Defeats No. 24 CSUN on Senior Day

From left to right: Sierra Peltcher, Lauren Martin, Bryn Hudson, Samantha Murphy, Mackenzie Brokaw, Serela Kay (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
From left to right: Sierra Peltcher, Lauren Martin, Bryn Hudson, Samantha Murphy, Mackenzie Brokaw, Serela Kay (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After dominating the second half, No. 9 UCSB (15-11, 3-1) defeated No. 24 CSUN (10-19, 0-5) 6-4 at Campus Pool and has now extended its winning streak to three games.

With it being the Gauchos' Senior Day, it was fitting that senior Bryn Hudson co-led the Gauchos with two goals, as she went a perfect 2-2 on her shot attempts. Joining Hudson with a brace performance was Taylor Shore who had the most productive game of any Gaucho with three assists, three earned ejections, and two steals.

Defensively, Mackenzie Brokaw put up her fourth consecutive double figure saves performance with 13 blocks against the Matadors. The senior also added two steals.  Not to be overlooked, Camila Schafer came up with big defensive plays for the Gauchos in the second half, as she finished the game with a team-high three steals and a field block.

The teams opened the game in a defensive struggle, as CSUN was the first to score thanks to a penalty shot at the 4:48 mark. Before that point, the Matadors had only gotten off two shots.

Less than a minute later, UCSB got on the board with Shore's first goal of the game. The junior drew an ordinary foul three meters away from the goal and went on to score herself, as she caught the CSUN defense sleeping.

The Matadors regained the lead with 53 seconds left in the period on a power play and had a chance to go up by two with yet another 6-on-5 advantage. However, Brokaw came up with a clutch save to nullify the power play just as the quarter ended.

Facing a one-goal deficit, the Gauchos didn't wait long to tie the game, as shore drew an ejection on the team's first possession of the quarter. This set up Hudson's first goal of the game, which she catapulted into the upper right corner of the cage, tying the score at 2-2. 

Later at the 3:40 mark, UCSB claimed its first lead of the day with a skip shot from Shore, which was set up by Schafer who drew an ordinary foul at midpool and found the junior on a pass near the right wing.

CSUN, though, notched the equalizer just 32 seconds later with a deep take from Miranda Coleman.

After a contentious battle in the first half, the Gauchos took control of the game's momentum in the third quarter and never looked back, as they outscored CSUN 3-1 in the final 16 minutes. 

First, UCSB's offense went to work and regained the lead with Hudson delivering a high-arching lob shot over Matador keeper Niki Van Vugt. 

The Gauchos were able to preserve that narrow one-goal edge thanks to some tenacious defense through the rest of the quarter. Brokaw came up with two big saves, including one denying Madeleine Sanchez's penalty shot. Schafer also denied a point-blank shot for CSUN with her field block at the 2:47 mark, while senior Lauren Martin made a key steal in front of the goal.

Just like in the third quarter, the Gaucho offense was quick to score in the fourth with Shore drawing an ejection to set up a power play that was finished off with senior Samantha Murphy's scorching shot from straight on to get the 5-3 lead.

For good measure, UCSB found the back of the cage one more time with Shore feeding Miranda Schrader the ball at the right wing, stretching the team's lead out to 6-3.

CSUN's final goal was too little, too late, as the Gauchos controlled the clock the rest of the way to seal the 6-4 victory.

UCSB will conclude the regular season at Long Beach State next Saturday before the team returns to Campus Pool to host the Big West Tournament starting on Friday, April 29.