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UCSB Tops Westmont 1-0 in Season Opening Exhibition

Meg Burling (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Meg Burling (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team opened up the 2022 season Saturday night with a 1-0 win in its annual Community Shield Game against crosstown rival Westmont College. After 80 minutes of scoreless play, sophomore forward Meg Burling scored the sole goal of the match on a header to give the Gauchos the exhibition victory.

How it Happened

First Half

  • UCSB came out on the attack getting two shots on goal in the first 18 minutes from Lauren Helwig and Samantha Christie, but Warriors' keeper Kailey Meyer was there on both accounts picking up a pair of key saves.
  • The Gauchos kept the pressure on their neighbors to the south throughout the half firing off six shots, four of which were on goal, while keeping Westmont from getting a single shot off.
  • A great chance came at the end of the half for the home team as a beautiful ball was played into the attacking third, but once again the Warrior defense held strong, breaking up the play to preserve the nil-nil tie.

Second Half

  • The Gauchos lived inside of the Warrior's 18-yard box in the first minutes of the second period getting several opportunities to get on the board but just could not convert as the visitors' back line refused to break. Westmont's new keeper Maya Pablos kept a clean sheet through that period with the help of a couple blocked shots by her teammates.
  • UCSB finally broke through in the 81st minute as Christie made a highlight defensive play, taking the ball away from the Warriors, spinning and playing it forward to Avery Nicholas. Nicholas then dribbled deep into the right side of the box and sent a cross to Burling who punched in a header to take the lead.
  • UCSB continued to hold possession in the final 10 minutes as the clock ran out on the Warriors.

On the Stat Sheet

  • A number of Gauchos got the chance to take the pitch in the exhibition including two keepers in Taylor Little and Hinz. Hinz had the sole save of the match for UCSB and it was an absolute highlight to keep the game scoreless in the second half. She picked up the win logging 65 minutes between the posts.
  • The Gauchos outshot the Warriors 14 to one, landing seven on goal compared to just one for Westmont.
  • 10 different Gauchos got off shots led by Christie who had four.

Next Up
The Gauchos now look to their first true match of the season next Thursday as Colorado College comes to town.