April 2, 2011-
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On an overcast day at Campus Pool, No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (18-8, 1-0) defeated No. 18 Pacific (16-7, 0-1), 9-5, in a conference game.
The Gauchos seized the early momentum with a goal from senior Kathryn Nelson. K. Nelson was one of six seniors on the team who were being celebrated as student-athletes. Being the second to last home game of the season, it was beneficial that they took the victory and it was appropriate that the seniors were the ones to earn the victory.
For K. Nelson, this was the first of two goals on the day, but she would be outdone by senior standout, Claire Buchanan. Buchanan scored a game-best three goals and earned four ejections.
Even after K. Nelson helped the Gauchos to the early lead, the Tigers just barely missed the opportunities they needed to take the lead. Twice in the first period, a Tiger was open for a shot and both times Goalkeeper Ruth Milne made a fingertip-save. This and the aggressive defensive play was enough to hold the Tigers to only one goal in the first period.
The Tigers earned a penalty-shot with 4:03 left in the first half and Dara Tawarahara scored the first goal of the game for Pacific, tying the score at one.
A few minutes later, Pacific earned an ejection and had a solid opportunity to convert the man-up goal. But Milne made another good save and shifted the momentum back in favor of UCSB.
UCSB would then score three consecutive goals to end the first period. The first was a five meter shot by Buchanan with 3:02 left in the period. The second was a skip-shot goal by Kacey Creek. The third was also by Buchanan and she scored with a backhanded shot from around three meters out. All three goals came in a minute and a half of game-time.
In the second period, UCSB buckled down on defense. Coach Wolf Wigo called for press, man-to-man defense which held the Tigers scoreless in the entire second quarter. The lone goal for the Gauchos in the period was recorded by K. Nelson.
The second half was much closer than the first and started off with a Pacific goal by Bethany Quertermous. The Gauchos answered with three goals of their own from Buchanan, Rachel Nelson and Molly Hafferkamp. The third period ended with UCSB leading by five, 8-3.
The game was getting rough as multiple ejections were called for both teams and both coaches were issued yellow cards for arguing referee calls. Yet this didn't stop the Tigers from starting the quarter strong. They scored two goals to bring the UCSB lead to only three, 8-5, but it wasn't enough for a full comeback as Creek sealed the victory for the Gauchos with her second goal of the game.
With the win, the Gauchos improve to 18-8 overall and 1-0 in the Big West. The victory will be short lived because UCSB will be back in action tomorrow, April 2, as they take on No. 15 UC Davis (16-8, 0-1) at noon at Campus Pool.
Pacific Goals: Dara Tawarahara -2, Bethany Quertermous - 2, Chelsea Weir -1
UCSB Saves: Ruth Milne -12
Pacific Saves: Michele Relton -10