Defending Big West Champs Defeated by No. 12 LBSU in Another Overtime Match

Kate Pipkin (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Kate Pipkin (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

DAVIS, Calif. - No. 17 UC Santa Barbara was defeated in overtime by No. 12 Long Beach State, 8-7, in the first round of the Big West Tournament Friday afternoon. It was the second time in three weekends that the 49ers (17-11, 3-2) needed extra time to escape with a narrow one-goal win over the Gauchos (15-12, 0-5).

UCSB – which will end the season against No. 20-T CSUN in tomorrow morning's fifth-place match –  was led by sophomore Kate Pipkin's two goals. Sophomore Sarah Kreiser and seniors Taylor Shore, Brenna Thomas and Miranda Schrader all added one score apiece.

Less than three minutes into the match, Pipkin got the Gauchos on the board with a goal off an assist by senior Sophie Trabucco. Under a minute later, Long Beach junior Virgina Smith would find an equalizer, sending it into the second period tied 1-1.

The Gauchos would come out hot in the second, notching two goals to take a 3-1 lead in just 60 seconds. Pipkin scored her second of the day with a shot from five meters out, before Thomas doubled the Gauchos lead with a goal at the 7:00 mark.

Santa Barbara had shut out the 49ers for nearly ten minutes before a Long Beach goal with 2:30 to go in the half made it 3-2. Schrader would score on the Gauchos' next possession to push the lead back up to two goals, but the 49ers would have yet another answer before halftime, cutting the lead to 4-3 at the break.

After both teams went scoreless through the first half of the third quarter, Kreiser got on the board with a goal at the 3:02 mark, putting UCSB up 5-3. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the 49ers would answer with a 2-0 run over the final three minutes, tying things up at 5-5 heading into the final frame.

A goal by senior defender Christina Kotsia gave Long Beach its first lead of the game with 7:10 left in the fourth. Needing a goal to extend the game, UCSB would turn to its captain, Taylor Shore, who scored for the 45th time this season less than a minute later.

That would prove to be the final goal of regulation, as the Gauchos and 49ers headed into overtime tied 6-6 for the second time this month. UCSB had entered Friday with a 1-1 record in overtime games, its only loss coming to the 49ers in a match that took six overtime periods to decide.

This time, it would take five extra periods, before Long Beach's Annabelle Harman put away her second of the day with 1:44 remaining on the clock, giving the 49ers the 7-6 victory.

The loss ends a run of four consecutive Big West Tournament wins for UCSB, which now has a 4-2 record under head coach Serela Kay in the conference playoffs. The Gauchos will take on No. 5 seed CSUN tomorrow at 11 a.m. in both teams' final game of the season.

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