Gauchos Win Two at UCSB Invite

March 27, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara (13-8) stretched its current winning streak to four games on Saturday as the Gauchos defeated Big West foes Pacific (17-7) and UC Irvine (8-11) by way of 8-5 and 7-5 scores, respectively, in non-conference games on the first day of the UCSB Invitational being played at Campus Pool.

In the first game of the day, UCSB struck first when Lizzie Rouleau notched the first of her two goals just 1:12 into the contest. Pacific countered back with a six-on-five goal from Siobhan Larsen with 4:07 to go in the period. The Gauchos regained the lead just over two minutes later as Kathryn Nelson converted a power play goal of her own, but the Tigers closed out the period with Larsen's second score of the game to tie things up at two-all after eight minutes of play.

The Gaucho offense surged in the second quarter as UCSB scored on three of its four six-on-five opportunities. A pair of goals from Buchanan and one each from Kepner and Rouleau put the Gauchos ahead, 6-2, at halftime.

The Tigers rallied back in the third, scoring the lone goal of the quarter, an even-strength point from Bridget Geck with 3:29 on the clock.

In the fourth, Pacific continued to climb back into the game as Geck and Jasmine Larsen capitalized on a pair of power plays to put the Tigers within one with 4:54 to play in the game. UCSB was able to shut down Pacific the rest of the way and closed the door with a goal from Nelson and a buzzer-beater by Kepner that brought the final score to 8-5.

The second contest, against UC Irvine, was a hard fought battle from the beginning. The Anteaters got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Caitlin Haskell with 3:06 to go in the first quarter. UCSB fired back during the next possession and knotted the game with a score by Rachel Nelson. With less than a minute left in the period, UCSB regained the lead when Buchanan found the back of the net.

In the second, each team drew a pair of ejections before Irvine was able to capitalize on its third six-on-five of the quarter. Cortney Collyer scored with one second on the clock to tie the game at two apiece heading into halftime.

The seesaw battle continued in the third quarter. Christie Clark scored on a five-meter penalty shot just 1:02 into the period to give UCSB a 3-2 lead. The goal was the 100th of her career.

Irvine did not trail for long, and posted consecutive goals from Erin Kiene and Jessy Cardey in a span of just 31 seconds to regain the lead at 4-3. With just 1:59 to go in the third, UCSB tied the game again with a goal from Kathryn Nelson.

The Anteaters struck first in the final quarter when Kiene got a wide open look from seven meters out as the clock wound down on the initial possession of the period. The goal would be the last for Irvine though. A second five-meter penalty goal from Clark tied the game just 15 seconds later and the Gauchos took the lead with 3:15 to go when Kepner scored from just outside the Irvine goal's right post. Kathryn Nelson's second goal of the game, with 31 seconds left on the clock, gave UCSB the final score of 7-5.

Nelson led the Gauchos with four goals on the day while Buchanan and Kepner each had three. Clark is now tied for seventh all-time in the UCSB record book with her 102 career goals, matching the career output of Katy Kunkel (2002-05) and Keri Santos (1996-97).

UCSB will be back in action on Sunday with a pair of exhibition games against the USA 18 and under Junior National Teams at 11 am and 3:30 pm at Campus Pool.

The Gauchos will open Big West play on Friday, April 2 when they host Long Beach State at 12 pm at Campus Pool.

UCSB 8, Pacific 5

1 2 3 4 Final
Pacific 2 0 1 2 5
UCSB 2 4 0 2 8

Pacific Goals: Bridget Geck 2, Siobhan Larsen 2, Jasmine Myles 1
Pacific Saves: Brooke Millar 7

UCSB Goals: Katie Kepner 2, Claire Buchanan 2, Lizzie Rouleau 2, Kathryn Nelson 2
UCSB Saves: Ruth Milne 12

UCSB 7, UC Irvine 5

1 2 3 4 Final
UCI 1 1 2 1 5
UCSB 2 0 2 3 7

UC Irvine Goals: Erin Kiene 2, Jessy Cardey 1, Cortney Collyer 1, Caitlin Haskell 1
UC Irvine Saves: Lauren Davis 7

UCSB Goals: Kathryn Nelson 2, Christie Clark 2, Katie Kepner 1, Claire Buchanan 1, Rachel Nelson 1
UCSB Saves: Ruth Milne 9