WWP: Gauchos win finale in double OT

No. 14 UCSB (14-16, 3-4) ended their 2015 campaign in dramatic fashion with a 10-9 double overtime victory over No. 13 Long Beach State (16-15, 1-6) in the fifth place match at the Big West Tournament.

Elizabeth Hendrix’s hat trick paced the Gauchos in their eighth double digit scoring effort of the season, while Jade Wentz Fitzgerald added two. Bryn Hudson delivered the game-winner in the second over time period with 1:53 left to play.

On defense, Samantha Murphy picked up three steals, while Mackenzie Brokaw recorded two swipes to go along with her six saves.

The first half saw the team trade off goals until they were tied at three at the halftime break. Hendrix netted UCSB’s first goal to equalize the score at 1-1 with 2:26 left in the period. That goal sparked a 3-0 run for the Gauchos, as they took a 3-1 advantage in the second quarter behind two more scores from Miranda Schrader and Camila Schafer.

In facing a two-goal deficit, the 49ers rebounded quickly in scoring twice in the final two minutes of the first half to knot the score at 3-3. Long Beach State carried its momentum through to the third quarter in scoring taking a 5-3 lead. To keep the Gauchos in striking distance, Schrader found the back of net with just 49 seconds left in the third.

The 49ers reclaimed their two-goal advantage with an early strike from Virginia Smith, but it would be short lived with Hendrix eliminating the lead with back-to-back goals. In the span of 41 seconds, Hendrix completed her hat trick and tied the contest at 6-6 with 5:08 remaining in regulation.

Jade Wentz Fitzgerald registered UCSB’s seventh goal to put her team ahead at the 3:09 mark, but it was not enough as 49er defender Christina Kotsia forced overtime with her third score of the match.

Wentz Fitzgerald came up in the clutch again in the first extra period as she tied the game at 8-8, while Jenna Solberg lifted UCSB to a 9-8 lead. However, Smith scored as time expired to push the contest to double overtime.

The marathon of a match ended with Hudson registering the final goal three minutes into the period. From there, the Gauchos held the 49ers scoreless and clinched hard fought 10-9 victory.

The win gave UCSB a 2-0 season sweep over Long Beach State and also handed the 49ers their fifth straight lose to end the season.