The 2nd ranked Gauchos hosted top ranked Santa Clara and lost by a goal in a tight 12-11 contest. Both goalies had 16 saves apiece but the Broncos outshot UCSB 32-29 to get the win. Santa Clara fueled their efforts by winning the draw control battle 17-8.
The Broncos scored the first goal of the game when senior Krista Shaw (Denver, CO) assisted freshman Maggie Burke (Lake Forest, IL) at 4:22 into the match. UCSB answered that when senior Sam Lutz (San Diego, CA) fed sophomore Maegan Cruse (San Diego, CA) at 5:55 to tie it 1-1. The Gauchos went up 3-1 on unassisted goals by Cruse and freshman Katie Mitchell (Lafayette, CA) but Bronco freshman Juliana Onieal (New York, NY) found junior Gracie Binder (Seattle, WA) open in front of the UCSB goal and it was 3-2. That’s pretty much how it went all game with one team scoring one or two and the other team scoring one or two. The Gauchos did lead by 2 goals twice more in the first half but could not put any distance between themselves and Santa Clara.
The exception for the two teams trading scoring in 1’s or 2’s came in the last minute of the first half and the first two minutes of the second half. UCSB scored on a Mitchell assist to junior Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) with 1:19 left in the first half to put UCSB up 6-4. Santa Clara then won the next draw control before successfully running their offense to score with 15 seconds left. A Binder to Burke connection pulled the Broncos to within one at 6-5 before intermission.
The Broncos won two draw controls and scored two goals to start the second half, getting up 7-6 on a Kayla Ushman (Menlo Park, CA) free position shot only 2:17 into the second half. That was a three goal run by the Broncos and while UCSB came back to tie it at 10-10 with 15 minutes remaining Santa Clara responded to that surge by the Gauchos with 2 more goals to go up 12-10 with 4:55 to go in the game.