Two first half goals was enough for the UCSB women’s soccer team to stave off crosstown rival Westmont in their annual exhibition match, on Saturday night at Harder Stadium
UCSB senior forward Shaelan Murison was a matchup nightmare for Westmont as she carved out space for eight shots and put six on frame.
“She is technical and she is smart and she is fit,” said UCSB women’s soccer head coach Paul Stumpf of Murison. “She causes people so many problems with her movement and then with her skill set.”
Murison scored the first goal of the game in the 26th minute. Lauren Hess sent a long ball into the UCSB attacking third where Murison was able to maneuver past Westmont goalkeeper Gabi Haw in the box and shoot into an open net.
Haw had already made several saves up to that point in the match, three of which came on Murison shots before finally surrendering the goal.
“As happy as she is for getting one goal I’ll bet you she’ll be the first one who is probably thinking to herself, ‘dang I probably should have had three,’” said Stumpf of Murison. “That’s a scorers mentality. She let’s the two that she missed go and bangs in the third.”
The Gauchos added to their lead in the 36th minute when Jessia Wright flipped a pass in the box to the left foot of Angelica Ortega, who displayed a beautiful finishing touch, to send it into the back of the net, increasing the UCSB lead to 2-0.
In the second half, Westmont settled defensively and made tactical adjustments to limit the Gauchos’ goal-scoring opportunities.
“I think we kind of figured out what they were doing, what was working for them and figured out a strategy that would force them to try and play something different and keep everything in front of us,” said Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard. “I’m really pleased with my team’s ability to change tactics.”
Westmont’s two best chances of the match came in the final five minutes. Brooke Porter put a shot on frame in the 86th minute and Reese Davidson missed just wide of goal in the 88th minute.
Westmont will travel to Marymount for its next match on Wednesday at 4 p.m. UCSB will host Minnesota on Thursday at 7 p.m.