OGDEN, Utah – The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos women's soccer team (6-2) made things interesting late in the second half but were ultimately defeated 3-2 by the Weber State Wildcats (2-2-3), led by a brace from forward Morgan Quarnberg, at Wildcat Soccer Field on Friday night.
The home side scored a pair of goals in the first half, opening the scoring in the 15th minute after a through ball from midfielder Olivia Barton connected with Quarnberg's on the left side at the top of the box, putting the forward in a one-on-one situation with UCSB's junior goalkeeper Hanna DeWeese. Quarnberg took her chance, curling the ball into the right side of goal to put Weber State ahead.
The Wildcats doubled the early lead in the 29th minute after midfielder Chansi Crompton recovered a turnover in the Gauchos' defensive half and set up forward Kinsley Napoli to score from the left side of the penalty area.
In the second half, things began to turn around for the Gauchos. The visitors earned a free kick 22 yards out from goal in the 64th minute, leaving it for junior forward Shaelan Murison to take. Murison set herself up several yards behind the ball and blasted the ball into the top right corner of the net to cut the Wildcat advantage in half.
Then, senior midfielder Madeline Gibson came through once again for the Gauchos with the equalizer in the 78th minute. Murison set up Gibson at the top of the box on the right side, which she took in a fashion reminiscent of her game-winning double overtime goal at Cal just two weeks ago, delivering a powerful shot that landed in the left side of the Weber State goal.
However, the Gauchos had their hopes of a third straight successful comeback dashed by Quarnberg, as Weber State strung together passes from midfielders Mylee Broad and Barton on the counter attack up to the opening goalscorer in a wide-open position in the Gaucho half, leaving her in another one-on-one scenario to complete her brace in the 84th minute.
The Gauchos close out their five-game road trip with a matchup on Sunday morning at Utah State. The game begins at 11:00 a.m.