UCSB’s women’s soccer team entered Sunday night’s regular season Big West Conference finale against UC Irvine needing a win to secure second place and a home game in the first round of the conference tournament. The Gauchos didn’t leave anything for chance as they scored three first-half goals and finished with an easy 4-0 win. As a result, UCSB will host third-place Cal Poly at 7 p.m. Thursday at Harder Stadium.

UCSB (12-6-1 overall, 5-2-1 in Big West play) took at 1-0 lead on UCI (8-9-2, 2-4-2) at 22:59 when sophomore Kylie McDonald drove the ball to the left end line and rifled a pass across the box, in front of the goal, where sophomore Jacqui Simon one-timed a shot past Anteaters goalkeeper Erin Henry. The score gave was Simon’s sixth of the season and it gave the Gauchos a 1-0 lead.

About 15 minutes later, at 37:29, freshman mifielder Katy Roby scored her second goal of the season. She blasted a shot from the top right side of the penalty box, about 20 yards out. Roby’s goal was assisted by Genelle Ives and Nicole Romanowski.

Less than four minutes after Roby’s goal, UCSB scored again. McDonald made a tremendous individual effort. She took a pass on the left side, maneuvered through three defenders, danced for a moment, and then crushed a shot that went past Henry, into the right side of the goal to give the Gauchos a 3-0 edge. The score was unassisted.

UCSB scored its final goal at 57:05. Sophomore Kaily Kugler took a pass from Simon in front of the Irvine goal. Kugler right-footed a shot at Henry, but it was blocked. Kugler followed-up her shot with a rebound shot that eluded the Anteaters’ goalkeeper and gave the Gauchos their final 4-0 lead.

Click here for tickets to Thursday’s game against Cal Poly, visit the Athletics Ticket Office in the ICA Building or call 805.893.8272.

Bill Mahoney is UCSB’s assistant athletics director.