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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 1:40 am | Fair 50º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

UCSB Blanks USF for Third Straight Victory

In its first two games of the 2016 season, the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team needed overtime to go start with a 2-0 record. On Sunday, the Gauchos improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2010, and there wasn't cause for nail-biting as they defeated the University of San Francisco 2-0.

UCSB took a 1-0 lead over USF (2-2-0) at the 12:28 mark as Sydney Magnin took a Dakota Griggs corner kick at the far side of the box and hit a perfect centering pass to Hannah Dearborn who headed it past Dons' goalkeeper Makayla Presgrave. The goal was Dearborn's first of the season.

"They (USF) started out in a 4-3-3 and tried to play soccer with us," said head coach Paul Stumpf. "After that first goal, I think, they realized that wasn't going to work so they switched to a 3-5-2 to create more pressure and play more direct."

The Gauchos gave themselves some breathing room less than seven minutes into the second half.

Freshman Hailey Barrett was shoved down from behind in the penalty box and UCSB was awarded a penalty kick. Mallory Hromatko, who led the team in goals as a freshman in 2015 with nine, converted the PK to give her team a 2-0 lead.

"Those last 15 or 20 minutes were a lot more comfortable with a 2-0 lead than they would have been at 1-0," Stumpf said.

The shutout was the second in a row for sophomore Brittney Rogers. She had five saves, including a big one midway through the second half when Sonja Giraud got behind the Gaucho defense only to be snuffed from point blank range  by Rogers.

"There has been a very good competition in goal between Jacq (Caginia) and Brittney," Stumpf said. "Brittney is playing very well, particularly with her feet. We are very comfortable getting the ball back to her, which is obvious from how often we've done it. Today she had the one great save, but she also handled a couple of crosses that really alleviated some pressure."

The Gauchos will remain at home for the next four games. They host Pittsburgh at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2 in the first game of a doubleheader with the UCSB men's team.

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