Lindsey Saves the Day

Nick Vu | Staff Photographer

The No. 5 Anteaters defeated the No. 7 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 7-6, on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Anteater Pool. Although it was a close match until the very last minute, UC Irvine came out on top, improving to 16-6 overall and 4-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

“It was a close game from start to finish. UCSB is a talented team [and] I was not expecting to go into this game and run away with it,” Head Coach Marc Hunt said. “The great positive is that this team stuck with the game plan all the way through [and] overall I thought it was a great performance.”

The game stayed scoreless until the last minute of the first quarter when junior Max Parrague scored a goal, giving the Anteaters a 1-0 advantage. UCSB kept UCI’s senior goalkeeper Matt Johnson busy as he saved six attempted shots in the first quarter alone.

In the second quarter, UCI’s defensive unit kept their line strong as they quickly maneuvered the ball to senior Kyle Baxter, who slammed it into the back of the net, increasing the lead to  2-0 with six minutes to go. Unfortunately, UCSB scored 20 seconds later, cutting the deficit to 2-1. With two minutes remaining in the first half, UCI received a penalty shot and senior Brandon Johnson scored the 41st goal of his UCI career, giving the Anteaters a 3-2 lead.

Once the second half begun, UCI hung onto the lead by a thread, until Johnson scored his second goal of the game with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, increasing the ’Eaters’ lead to 4-2. Four minutes later, UCSB scored three unanswered goals, taking a 5-4 late lead in the third quarter.

“We got both of our starting two meter guards in foul trouble early, which forced us to go to our bench early and our bench responded,” Hunt said.

Trailing 5-4 and with five minutes left to go in the game, Mitch Wise scored the equalizing goal. With three minutes left in the game, senior Doug Lindsey scored as well, giving the Anteaters a one-goal advantage. The Gauchos countered  with a goal of their own 20 seconds later. Lindsey put his team and a crowd of 200 spectators at ease when he scored the clutch winning goal with one minute remaining, giving UCI a 7-6 lead.

“I felt like it was a really close game and we came out and executed what we wanted to do defensively,” Lindsey said. “We shut down their strong half set and we came out a little sluggish but we finished hard [and] everyone played really well.”
On Nov. 20, UCI will host No. 2 USC at the Anteater Pool and will go on to play in the MPSF Championship the weekend of Nov. 26-28 at Stanford University.