The Gauchos played their first game of the SLC playoffs this past weekend against the University of Arizona Wildcats. UCSB defeated the Wildcats earlier in the season with a 10 to 5 victory, yet this game was nothing like the last. Whoever won this game would move on to play Grand Canyon in the SLC semifinals.
It was a back and forth battle between the two teams for most of the game. Casey Mix, got on the board first for the Gauchos, yet every time UCSB scored, Arizona would answer back. The first half ended 6 to 4 Gauchos, with five different goal scorers in the first half.
Kai Welsh scored the first goal of the second half which completed a hat trick on the day. The Gauchos would continue to fight and were beginning to go on a run with an 8 to 4 lead, but the Arizona was not giving up. Yet again U of A inched their way back into the game, tying it up at 9 to 9.
Elliot Stanger came in to score two 4th quarter goals, including what would prove to be the game winner. The Wildcats would respond once more with a goal to make it 11 to 10 Gauchos. With only seconds left in the game, Arizona got an open opportunity on crease, but Goalie Peter Brydon made a miraculous save to come away with the win.
It was a nerve racking game, but the Gauchos will take the win and keep their playoff hopes alive! They have an amazing opportunity this Friday to play the #1 team in the nation, Grand Canyon University. It will be their most difficult test of the season, and what better time than the SLC semifinals! The game will start Friday April 28th at 4:30pm, at La Costa Canyon High School in San Diego. Make Sure to stay tuned, and cheer on your Gauchos in this awesome matchup! The game will be streaming live on the SLC YouTube channel.