MWP: Gauchos come up short against Cal

Coming off its first conference win of the season, No. 6 UC Santa Barbara traveled back home to take on No. 5 California for its first home contest of the year. Despite solid play for much of the game, Santa Barbara dropped its first conference match of the year by the score of 12-9.

The opening period was filled with defensive plays as neither team could net a score. The Gauchos (14-5, 1-1) struck first as Matt Gronow scored his first of four goals with the 4:29 score. Cal (12-4, 1-1) evened the score up with two seconds remaining in the opening period, making the score 1-1.

The second period is where the Golden Bears gained solid momentum as the team scored three straight goals to increase its lead to 5-2 with 1:11 remaining in the first half. The bright spot for the Gauchos was Gronow as he scored his second and third goals of the match; making the score 5-3 at the half.

The third period was filled with back and forth action. Facing a three-goal deficit at various points of the period, the Gauchos showed their resilience and toughness, shedding the deficit to only one goal by the scores of Gronow, Eric Van de Mortel and Matthew Hamilton. But Cal answered back and increased its lead to 10-7 at the end of the third period.

The defense of Cal stifled UCSB in the final period, only allowing goals from Hamilton and Van de Mortel.

Gronow led the offense as he tallied four goals. Hamilton netted a total of three scores and Van de Mortel scored a pair of goals for the Gauchos.

Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Whitelegge accumulated a total of seven saves.

UCSB will continue its MPSF Conference action next weekend at No. 7 Long Beach State on Saturday, Oct. 26. Following the clash with the 49ers, the Gauchos will return home to host No. 1 USC on Sunday, Oct. 27 at noon