Women’s soccer advances to the Big West Final in 1-0 win over UCSB

UCSB%27s+midfielder+Dylan+Lewis+%283%29+and+CSUN%27s+midfielder+Cindy+Arteaga+%2810%29+chase+after+the+ball+during+the+second+half+of+the+playoff+game+on+Nov.+7+against+Cal+State+Fullerton+at+the+Titan+Stadium.+Photo+credit%3A+Charity+Wang
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Women’s soccer advances to the Big West Final in 1-0 win over UCSB

UCSB's midfielder Dylan Lewis (3) and CSUN's midfielder Cindy Arteaga (10) chase after the ball during the second half of the playoff game on Nov. 7 against Cal State Fullerton at the Titan Stadium. Photo credit: Charity Wang

UCSB's midfielder Dylan Lewis (3) and CSUN's midfielder Cindy Arteaga (10) chase after the ball during the second half of the playoff game on Nov. 7 against Cal State Fullerton at the Titan Stadium. Photo credit: Charity Wang

UCSB's midfielder Dylan Lewis (3) and CSUN's midfielder Cindy Arteaga (10) chase after the ball during the second half of the playoff game on Nov. 7 against Cal State Fullerton at the Titan Stadium. Photo credit: Charity Wang

UCSB's midfielder Dylan Lewis (3) and CSUN's midfielder Cindy Arteaga (10) chase after the ball during the second half of the playoff game on Nov. 7 against Cal State Fullerton at the Titan Stadium. Photo credit: Charity Wang

Karma Singh

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The women’s soccer team (12-6-3) came away with an overtime victory against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 1-0 in a Big West Tournament semifinal match on Nov. 8, clinching their berth in the Big West Tournament final at Titan Stadium.

The second seed Matadors were matched up against the third seed Gauchos in a four team tournament, with the first seed Cal State Fullerton Titans as the hosts playing against the fourth seed Hawaii Rainbow Wahine.

The Matadors were outshot by the Gauchos 18-11 during the match and both teams finished with eight shots on goal. The Gauchos also held the advantage in the corner kicks department 6-1 while the Matadors led the way in the possession category 52% to 48% over the Gauchos.

Junior forward Bethany Fitzsimmons led the way for CSUN with a total of three shots and two shots on goal, with sophomore forward Alexis White contributing with a total of two shots with both being on goal. The game-winning goal came in the 100th minute of play for the Matadors with a shot from outside the 18-yard box by White on an assist by freshman midfielder Amya LawsonKitchen who found White open for the shot.

“It is just about demanding for the ball, I have been working on that shot and I had a chance to take it, and it worked out,” White said on what led to her game-winning goal. “We were just trying to break their defense down and we were able to get by them in the second half.”

White recorded her sixth goal of the season and is now tied with Fitzsimmons with the team lead of six goals each. LawsonKitchen recorded her second assist of the season for the Matadors.

Sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Delgado recorded eight saves for the Matadors for her eighth shutout of the season. Delgado continues to build on a strong season with a total of 71 saves, 15 goals allowed, eight shutouts and a 9-6-3 record in her 18 matches in goal. Delgado was also honored with a selection into the Big West All-Conference Second Team this season.

“My defense and backline were selling out and throwing their bodies in front of the goal and I have to give them all the credit,” Delgado said. “How can I not give my best when they are out here sacrificing everything to block those shots?”

Head coach Keith West believes that Delgado’s performances have been important all season for the Matadors and not only in the matchup against the Gauchos.

“How important has her performance been all year that is the better question,” Coach West said. “She kept us in the game period. She came up big in big time moments and that is what great goalkeepers do.”

The Matadors seemed to have a new life in the second half with a slight advantage in shots over the Gauchos 7-6 and were able to make some halftime adjustments in their game plan.

“I think they switched formation on us and I don’t think we were 100% prepared for it, and we just had to weather the storm and get through the first half so we can make the changes necessary,” West said. “I felt that we did an unbelievable job and that is why you play 20 game seasons so when you get in these moments, you are prepared for a lot of things. I think their experiences throughout the year carried them through this game.”

With this win in a close overtime matchup over the Gauchos, the Matadors are now one win away from a Big West Conference championship in a matchup against the Cal State Fullerton Titans. The Titans won their semifinal matchup over the Rainbow Wahines 3-0 and will host the final against the Matadors.

“I thought we showed a lot of resiliency and a lot of grit,” West said. “We stuck together as a group, I can’t say enough about this group as a whole and how much they believe in each other.”

The Matadors will have a chance to win the conference tournament title for the third time in school history and their second time in three years against the number one seed Cal State Fullerton Titans. The matchup will be a rematch of the 2017 Big West Conference title game where the Titans won in a penalty shootout (1-1,4-3). The championship game will be held at Titan Stadium on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.