UCSB in this tournament was a model of efficiency in the women’s championship division.
UCSB played tough, efficient soccer all tournament. They advanced to pool play with a 2-0 win over Florida State and a 0-0 draw versus Illinois. They won their opening bracket play games against Gonzaga 1-0 and Texas A&M 2-0. They then faced defending national champion Michigan State in the semifinals. They played to a competitive 0-0 draw, with UCSB advancing after winning 4-2 after kicks from the mark.
In the final they faced a team in North Carolina that had scored 13 goals coming in to the final, better than 2 goals a match. They seemed to be on a roll and ready to obtain their first title. But they say that defense wins championships. If you’ve noticed above, UCSB had given up 0 goals up to this point. It was their solid back line and goalkeeping that powered them to the final. When UCSB scored in the 35th minute, it was all they needed. Not even the powerful attack from North Carolina could break through the concrete UCSB defense. UCSB had reached the pinnacle again with another title.
UCSB has a rich history with 5 straight titles from 2007-2011 and a final appearance in 2012. This class had not had that opportunity to win or play in a final. The 2016 team wanted to claim a place in their team’s rich history. They now have a title of their own.
Congratulations to the 2016 women’s national champion, UCSB!