DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis took six of its eight shots for the match in the second half, but could not overcome an early score by visiting UC Santa Barbara, as the Gauchos scored the lone goal of the contest just eight minutes in en route to a, 1-0, victory over the Aggies on Thursday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field.
The ninth one-goal loss of the season was the first in Big West Conference play for UC Davis, which had its four-match unbeaten streak come to an end in falling to 4-10-1 overall and 3-1-1 in league play. UCSB improved to 6-7-4 overall and 2-3-1 in conference with the victory.
"Our second-half performance was really good," Head Coach Twila Kaufman said. "We were getting numbers forward and peppering them with shots. I kept telling the team throughout the end that 'we've done this before' and 'it's going to come,' and I'm really pleased that we're fighting all the way through."
Christine Maurer's sixth goal of the year, a header to the left post off a cross into the box from near the end line by teammate Mallory Hromatko, at the 7:41 mark put the Gauchos in the lead for good as UC Santa Barbara withstood a strong second-half push by the Aggies to hang on for the win.
An attempt by freshman Lauren Bouvia in the 58th minute was gobbled up by goalkeeper Maddie Julian, and the UC Santa Barbara back line got into the action by stopping another attempt by Crystal Crump in the 67th minute as a loose ball in the middle of the box got lost in traffic and caught Julian off her line, but Chace Schornstein was there to clear Crump's ball and keep UC Davis off the board.
The Aggies also had a golden chance in the final minute as a ball was cleared out to a waiting Monet Kunz at the top of the box, but her rocket through traffic from about 25 yards out scooted just wide to the right just before time expired in regulation as the Gauchos breathed a sigh of relief.
"I really thought that last shot was going to be a goal," Kaufman said. "However, I really think this all comes down to crossing 'T's' and dotting 'I's.' It sounds simple, but I don't think there was necessarily a single moment that lost that game for us. It's comes down to a lot of tiny moments that tip you one way or another in a game and we dropped too many of those moments in the first half."
UC Davis, which held a 10-4 advantage in corner kicks on the day, caught a break on two more UCSB attempts in the first half as a goal off a corner by Colby Parker was waved off after a foul knocked Aggie keeper Alexis Smith to the ground in the 16th minute and a shot by Jessica Parque just before the break clanged off the crossbar from the right side to keep it a one-goal contest.
"I thought we executed our set pieces really well today," Kaufman said. "We were short two or three of our bigger playmakers so, the fact that we executed so well on those plays and had so many different looks in those situations is a great thing for this program."
Smith finished with a pair of saves to give her 192 for her career, placing her just 13 back of Kelly Parker (1997-00) for fourth on the career chart, and 71 for the season, matching her single-season career high set last season.
Sunday (Oct. 22) marks the final home appearance for UC Davis this season, as the Aggies host CSUN at 1 p.m. Prior to kick-off, the women's soccer program will honor its three-woman senior class as part of "Senior Day" festivities at approximately 12:45 p.m.
NCAA Soccer Game Summary (Final)
UC Santa Barbara (6-7-4, 2-3-1 BWC) vs. UC Davis (4-10-1, 3-1-1 BWC)
Date: Oct 19, 2017 Attendance: 283
Weather: low 70s, mostly cloudy, wind: 15 mph SW
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UC Santa Barbara........ 1 0 - 1
UC Davis.................... 0 0 - 0
1. 7:41 UCSB MAURER, Christine (6) (HROMATKO, Mallory) - cross from near touchline, header to left post
Shots: UC Santa Barbara 9, UC Davis 8
Saves: UC Santa Barbara 3 (JULIAN, Maddie 2; TEAM 1), UC Davis 2 (Smith, Alexis 2)