February 22, 2013

WCLA Notebook: UCSB 'Beat Up,' But Ramsey Expects Team to Rebound

by J. Jude Hazard | LaxMagazine.com


Sophomore attacker Lindsay Alex and the Gauchos look to snap a three-game losing streak this weekend with games at UCLA and against Arizona State.

© Cecil Copeland

The 25th-annual Santa Barbara Shootout kicked the US Lacrosse Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) season into high gear, perfect timing for LaxMagazine.com's J. Jude Hazard to return to the scene. Check back to LaxMagazine.com/WCLA each Friday for the latest from the college women's club ranks.

 Youth ruled last weekend for a pair of high-profile WCLA Division I programs at the 25th-annual Santa Barbara Shootout. A total of 31 Division I programs competed in the tournament that sets the stage for early-season rankings. (Complete tournament results appear below.)

Host UC Santa Barbara had a tough weekend. After starting the season 3-0, the Gauchos went just 1-3 in the weekend tournament. But their three losses — to Colorado State, Florida and Michigan — were by a combined four goals.

Gauchos coach Paul Ramsey cited youth as his team's double-edged sword.

"We are seven freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors and five seniors, after graduating seven senior starters," Ramsey said in an email. "Our youth is our strength and it is also our weakness early in the season in tough games, but by April we won't be playing like we're young."

UCSB historically does very well in its flagship tournament, but this year's slate of top opponents proved to be a difficult early test for the relatively young program. The Gauchos' opponents were a combined 13-3 in the tournament.

"We're still evaluating how we could have played better despite the rigors of hosting. In retrospect, we've always done well at hosting and playing with upper-class-laden teams, although we never put any previous team through a No. 1, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 8 [ranked opponents] schedule at this event in the past," Ramsey said. "This will be more motivation once we recover mentally. It did beat us up a little bit, myself included, considering our expectations here."

UCSB started the season averaging more than 17 goals per game in wins over USC Club, Arizona, Cal Club and BYU. But the offense withered in those three losses, in whic the Gauchos managed just 25 goals total. They will look to get back on track this weekend with games at UCLA and against Arizona State.

Top-ranked Colorado State (6-0 overall, 4-0 in Santa Barbara), meanwhile, bucked expectations in a good way this year. Lacrosse Magazine's WCLA Division I Preseason Player of Year Hayley Bernstein said the Santa Barbara Shootout in the past served as a wake-up call for the Rams, whose trend has been to start seasons slow and finish strong.

Colorado State won WCLA championships in 2010 and 2011 and lost narrowly to UC Davis in the 2012 championship game. But this is the first time in Bernstein's career that the Rams are at the top of the rankings this early in the season.

"There are teams that start out slow in Santa Barbara. It's normally us," Bernstein said. "We have to keep working hard so we can continue to win throughout the rest of the season. We had some great games in Santa Barbara, but I don't think we peaked at all."

Other teams feeling great after the weekend in Santa Barbara include 5-0 USC Club, 4-0 Georgia and 4-0 Minnesota. Westminster went 3-1 last weekend, with its only loss coming to Minnesota.

30 Teams: How They Fared

The Santa Barbara Shootout, which for 25 years has served as the springboard for WCLA contenders, had no shortage of interesting results. Here's a team-by-team breakdown:

School Overall Record (SB) Skinny
USC Club 6-1 (5-0) 3-0 against WCLA Division I, 2-0 against WCLA Division II opponents.
Colorado State 5-0 (4-0) Ran past Florida 21-9. Also beat UCSB, Arizona and Cal Poly. 
Georgia 6-0 (4-0)  Bulldogs are a perfect 6-0 early in the season. 
Minnesota 4-0 (4-0)  Wins against Westminister, Oregon State, San Diego and Santa Clara.
BYU  3-2 (3-1)  Also played against UCSB on Feb. 14, a 14-12 loss.
Florida Club 6-1 (3-1)  Avenged loss to Colorado State with a 15-5 win over Oregon State.
Michigan Club 3-1 (3-1)  The Santa Barbara Shootout kicked off Michigan's season.
Oregon Club 3-1 (3-1) The Ducks beat Northeastern in a 10-9 overtime thriller.
San Diego 5-1 (3-1) Won its last three games in Santa Barbara after an 18-8 loss to Minnesota.
Westminster 3-1 (3-1)  Only loss was to 4-0 Minnesota.
Virginia Club 3-2 (3-2)  The Cavaliers were the only team to play five games against D-I foes at the Shootout.
Arizona 3-4 (2-1)  Sole loss was to top-ranked Colorado State.
Arizona State 3-2 (2-2)  Lost two on Saturday, won two on Sunday at the Santa Barbara Shootout.
Chico State 3-3 (2-2)  Wins were against 1-3 UC San Diego and WCLA Division II UNLV.
Colorado Club 2-2 (2-2) 43 goals for, 45 goals against in the Santa Barbara Shootout. 
Michigan State 2-2 (2-2) Spartans were the only team to beat Oregon Club in Santa Barbara.
Pittsburgh 2-2 (2-2)  Gary Neft's Panthers' two losses were by a total of three goals.
San Diego State Club 2-2 (2-2)  Wins against 0-3 Sonoma State and WCLA Division II San Jose State.
Santa Clara 3-2 (2-2)  Opponents were combined 10-6 in Santa Barbara.
Texas 4-2 (2-2) Longhorns' loses were to Georgia and Colorado.
Texas A&M 5-3 (2-2)  Aggies averaged over 12 goals per game in Santa Barbara. 
UCLA 1-3 (1-2)  Doubled up by Georgia 14-7 last Saturday.
Northeastern 1-3 (1-3) Two losses by one goal each, including one that went to overtime.
Oregon State 3-3 (1-3)  Six goals per game in three losses; 14 goals in blowout win over Sonoma State.
UC San Diego 2-5 (1-3)  Tritons will have played eight games by March 1.
UC Santa Barbara 
4-3 (1-3)
Three losses came by a combined five goals.
Sonoma State 1-4 (0-3) Averaged just four goals and allowed 15.33 per game in Santa Barbara. 
Cal Poly 1-4 (0-4) Averaged 5.5 goals scored vs. 10.25 goals against.
Washington 0-5 (0-4) Huskies have allowed more than 14 goals in every game this season.
Western Washington 1-4 (0-4) Lost by at least seven goals in all four games in Santa Barbara.

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