IRVINE, Calif. - A five-goal first quarter gave the Gauchos the lead they needed on a rainy day in UC Irvine, as No. 9 UCSB (10-6) earned an 8-5 win over No. 16 UCSD (5-8) to take an 11th-place finish at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational. Sophomore Kate Pipkin led the way with her first hat trick of the season, while redshirt senior Miranda Schrader tallied a team-high three assists.
The Gauchos jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than four minutes into the game, with sophomore Sarah Kreiser, Pipkin and senior Sophie Trabucco all chipping in in the early going. Following the Tritons' opening goal at the 3:01 mark of the opening quarter, Santa Barbara quickly extended its lead to 5-1 with two more goals from Pipkin and freshman Natalie Selin.
Senior Brenna Thomas would give the Gauchos' their largest lead of the game, 6-1, with a goal early in the second. Senior Taylor Shore soon added her only score of the game to make it 7-2 heading into halftime.
In an attempt to close the gap following the break, UCSD decided to keep one player on offense while pressuring the Gauchos defensively for much of the second half. Not taking the bait, UCSB smartly responded by playing keep away and managing the clock, holding the Tritons to just three second half goals.
Pipkin added a third goal midway through the fourth quarter, clinching her first hat trick as a Gaucho, to extend UCSB's lead back to five at 8-3 before it eventually won 8-5.
Freshman goalkeeper Kenzi Snyder finished with seven saves and a steal in the cage. The five goals were tied for the second-fewest of any UCSB opponent this season.
Shore and freshman Abbey Grosse both recorded two steals to lead UCSB.
The Gauchos will play two games at the Claremont Convergence next Saturday before hosting No. 24 CSU Bakersfield for a quick one-game homestand on Mar. 5.