Gauchos Fall to No. 5 Arizona State in Final Day of ASU Tournament

Brenna Thomas (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Brenna Thomas (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

TEMPE, Ariz. - Playing the tournament host Sun Devils on day two of the Arizona State Tournament, No. 8 UCSB (5-3) was outscored 5-1 in the second half en route to an 8-4 loss, its first road loss of the young season. Senior defender Sophie Trabucco led the way with two goals and an assist, while freshmen Natalie Selin and Kate Coski added one score apiece, but it was not enough to stop a No. 5 Arizona State (3-0) team that enjoyed an undefeated opening weekend of play.

The Sun Devils struck first in a low-scoring first half, as Peggy-Jean Allin found teammate Alkistis Benekou to open the scoring at the 5:02 mark of the opening period. Just 17 seconds later, the Gauchos were able to find an equalizer, as Selin notched her second goal of the weekend off an assist from senior Taylor Shore.

UCSB took its only lead of the game midway through the second, when Coski put away her fourth score of the season, making it 2-1. Back-to-back goals from ASU's Lena Mihailovic restored the Sun Devils' advantage before Trabucco scored with :29 left in the first half, sending the teams into the halftime break tied at 3-3.

Arizona State would come out strong in the second half, taking complete control of the game with a 4-0 outburst in the third quarter. It wasn't until 5:02 remaining in the final period before Trabucco was able to tally her second goal of the day, but it was too little too late. Mihailovic would go on to earn a hat trick for the Sun Devils, scoring with just three seconds on the clock to give the home side the 8-4 victory.

Just as she has been all season, Shore was among the leaders in each category for the Gauchos, picking up team-highs in steals (2), assists (1) and drawn exclusions (1). Sophomore Sarah Kreiser added an assist and a steal.

Defensively, the Gauchos were able to hold Arizona State to eight goals, its lowest scoring output of the season. The Sun Devils had scored 13 in each of their first two games to open the season.

After a week off, UCSB will look forward to its next action at the Triton Invitational (Feb. 11-12). The Gauchos' net home game won't be until Mar. 5, when they host CSU Bakersfield.