No. 6 UCSB Falls in Tight Match to No. 3 USC

Mitch Hamilton (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Mitch Hamilton (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In their second match against USC this season, game tensions were high as the Gauchos looked for redemption, but ultimately fell to the Trojans, 6-5.

Each goal was crucial in this point-for-point game that ultimately left the Gauchos with a critical 6-on-5 in the final possession of the game.

"We had a great game and created a lot of opportunities for ourselves, we just came up short," said Coach Wolf Wigo.

The Gauchos led 2-1 after successful 6-on-5 goals from Boris Jovanovic and Derek Shoemaker in the first quarter.

The second quarter featured two goals from USC to put them on top at the half. The Gauchos earned several ejections, but were unable to convert them to goals.

A penalty shot in the third quarter, scored by Shane Hauschild, would tie up the game, 3-3. With three minutes to go in the quarter a USC counter goal would put them back on top going in to the fourth.

Two goals in the fourth quarter from the Trojans created a dismal outlook on the game, but Jovanovic turned it around with a much-needed goal at the two-minute mark in the quarter, followed by a goal from Mitch Hamilton on a drive to close the gap to a one-point Trojan lead.

With just 45 seconds to go in the game, the Gauchos had the ball with a 6-on-5 offense, but a missed scoring opportunity would leave the match 6-5, Trojans.

Chris Whitelegge recorded seven saves and two steals for the game.

"I'm glad we were able to rise to the occasion and play to the level of USC," said Wigo.

The Gauchos will be traveling north next weekend to face San Jose State (Friday, Oct. 23) and Stanford (Saturday, Oct. 24). Their next home match will be on October 31 against UC Irvine.