Gauchos fall behind early, fall to Stanford

Stanford jump on second-ranked UCSB for five unanswered goals to start the game and then held off the Gauchos 9-7 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener on Saturday at Campus Pool.

The teams had split their first two meetings in tournaments.

The fifth-ranked Cardinal (7-3, 1-1 MPSF) got three goals from freshman driver Bret Bonanni, and goalie Scott Platshon made 10 saves to frustrate UCSB (4-4, 0-1).

Taking advantage of a 6-on-5 opportunity, Nick Hoversten and BJ Churnside scored 51 seconds apart early in the first period to give the Cardinal a quick 2-0 lead. The Cardinal offense pressured early, forcing two UCSB ejections by the 5:48 mark, with Hoversten scoring on the second ejection at 5:47. After a defensive stop, Churnside scored in an even-strength situation at 4:56 to double the advantage.

Stanford forced five more ejections before the end of the frame, making the Gauchos pay on two of those power plays. Bonanni scored his first of the game on the 6-on-5 at 2:23, while Alex Avery found the back of the cage at 1:01, just 11 seconds into another man-up situation for the Cardinal.

Halfway through the second quarter, UCSB’s Evan Dellinger turned the Gaucho momentum around, scoring his first of two goals on the day to put UCSB on the board. Junior Dylan Baliani contributed to UCSB’s offensive effort, firing a bullet into the inside bar of the cage at 1:05, bringing the score to 6-2.

Returning from halftime, UCSB’s Nick Tomasello and Bryce Miller scored a goal each, allowing the Gauchos to outscore Stanford 2-1 in the third quarter, bringing the gap to an 7-4 Stanford advantage.

Tomasello, Miller, and Dellinger tallied three more goals to bring the UCSB total to seven.

While a relentless offense and tough defense allowed UCSB to outscore Stanford, 5-2, in the second half, the Cardinal’s early offensive advantage proved to be enough to hand the Gauchos their first home loss of the season.

Stanford…4 3 1 1 = 9
UCSB… 0 2 2 3 = 7

Stanford Goal Scorers – Bonanni 3, Watkins 2, Avery, Bowen, Churnside, Hoversten
UCSB Goal Scorers – Dellinger 2, B. Miller 2, Tomasello 2, Baliani
Goalie Saves – Platshon 10 (S); Christian 7 (UCSB)