Oct. 24, 2010
FULLERTON, CA - UC Santa Barbara's Kailyn Kugler finished with a goal and assist while teammate Jacqui Simon also found the back of the net on Sunday night, helping lift the visiting Gauchos to a 2-0 shutout victory over host Cal State Fullerton in front of a season-high 628 fans at Titan Stadium.
The Titans missed their chance to move into a three-way tie for third place in the Big West Conference, falling to 6-11 overall and 3-3 in league play. UCSB, which had lost its previous three conference matches, evened its mark at 8-8-2 overall and moved to 3-4 in conference play.
Kugler helped put her side up midway through the first period as she dropped off a pass to Simon at the top of the box, who found herself unmarked. Her wide-open shot to the upper left found its way to the back of the net for her second score of the season and a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute.
The Gauchos, who outshot the Titans by a 6-1 count in the first half, then found themselves on their heels after the break as Fullerton turned up the offensive pressure. The Titans nearly netted the equalizer with 37 minutes to play as a corner by Caitlin Mellano was tight to the back post where freshman Kaitlyn Mendoza tried to rocket one through a crowd.
The ball, however, deflected off teammate Casey Volk, but not yet out of the scrum as freshman Nikki McCants had another shot to put it through the crowd, but could not get a solid foot on the rebound.
UC Santa Barbara then made the most of its only shot in the second half as a give-and-go between Kugler and Kylie McDonald netted the Gauchos a 2-0 lead. McDonald started the run down the far left side and placed a perfect pass across the box to Kugler, who put it home to the left post to cap the scoring.
The goal was Kugler's seventh of the year while McDonald netted her fourth assist.
Fullerton outshot UCSB, 9-7, including an 8-1 margin in the second half as Christina Murillo and Lauren Kelly each had two shots to pace the Titans. The Gauchos were led by Kugler and McDonald, who finished with two apiece for UCSB.
The race for a Big West Tournament berth will conclude on the road next weekend as Cal State Fullerton will play its final two regular season matches on hostile soil. The Titans travel to Cal State Northridge on Thursday (Oct. 28) for a 7 p.m. kick-off before heading to league-leading UC Irvine on Halloween for a 1 p.m. contest.