The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Soccer team earned a 1-0 win over CSUN Thursday night inside Harder Stadium.
With the win and help around the league the Gauchos now hold the final spot in the 2023 Big West Championships.
“Looking at the stats we took two shots in the first half and nine in the second. We made a little adjustment to counter the system they were playing, our first two systems weren’t that effective,” UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf said. “Once we switched to our third system at halftime I feel like the game completely changed and we took over after that.
“I am happy with the performance and obviously plenty to work on, but we will take the three points and get to work and prepare for Sunday.”
An evenly played first half say the Gauchos and Matadors take a total of seven shots with none testing either keeper. Both sides were unable to record a shot on the net.
As the teams came out of halftime the pace of play picked up. UC Santa Barbara controlled a large part of the second half including most of the first 20 minutes coming out of the break.
The Gauchos ripped seven shots with one being on net. In the 49th minute, Manuri Alwis had a deflected ball land at her feet, she dribbled around and shot from just outside the six-yard box but sent the shot wide left unable to capitalize off the CSUN turnover.
As the match grew into the final 15 minutes the intensity of the game picked up. A hard tackle by Gia Cimring just outside the penalty area gave the Matadors a chance to break the scoreless game.
The CSUN shot would be saved and the Gauchos quickly turned the defense into offense.
Less than three minutes later a foul was called on CSUN in the penalty area giving UC Santa Barbara a penalty kick opportunity. Meg Burling stepped up and netted the go-ahead goal on a shot that froze the goalkeeper.
The goal would stand and the Gauchos took home another victory. With the win and help with scores around The Big West, UC Santa Barbara now holds the sixth and final spot in The Big West Championships.
The Gauchos will be back in action on Sunday, Oct. 15 as they welcome Cal State Bakersfield to Harder Stadium.
Prior to the match UC Santa Barbara will honor 10 seniors on the women’s soccer team. The match is set to kick off at 1 p.m. For those unable to attend the match will be streamed through ESPN+ with live stats available through ucsbgauchos.com