"We had a solid overall performance and many of the younger players continue to show improvement," stated head coach Becky Hogan. "I was disappointed in our team defending and feel like we have some work to do in this area. Luckily our players are hard nosed competitors and will adapt quickly to any demands we place on them."
The home team took the first lead of the afternoon after freshman midfielder Amanda Ball took a pass from teammate Indiana Mead in the 12th minute and found the back of the net. The score remained 1-0 heading into halftime.
The Gauchos continued the attack in the second period and added a second goal following an assist from Dakota Griggs to Savannah Francis in the 51st minute.
SUU appeared to have a chance to get on the board in the 72 minute when Logan Harker broke away for a one-on-one scoring opportunity, but she was taken down from behind by Miranda Cornejo just outside the 18-yd box. The play drew a red card for the UCSB defender and Katie Jone’s ensuing free kick went wide left of the goal.
"This game showcased some very bright glimpses of our players' brilliance. Some of our combination play and small ball skills absolutely took my breath away," commented Hogan. "We have some incredibly gifted players in this team and it is exciting.
Southern Utah went without a corner kick in the match while UCSB took 12 tries. The Gauchos also held a 20-5 shooting advantage and allowed the T-Birds just one shot on goal. SUU goalkeeper Tessa Christensen recorded five saves on the day while Beth Ritter turned in her second clean sheet in as many games.
"This was a vastly improved UCSB team from the group we played in Cedar last year and was an excellent test for our team. We'll face similar calibers of teams in Bakersfield and UTEP and need to improve," explained Hogan.
SUU returns to Cedar City next Sunday, Aug. 31 for its final home match before embarking on a four game road trip. The T-Birds will take on the Roadrunners of CSU Bakersfield at 1:00 p.m. (MT). Live stats and video will be available at www.suutbirds.com.