A rivalry as intense as UCSB and Cal Poly’s Blue-Green clash was made even worse on Sunday due in large part to missed calls and controversial calls which led to a very chippy contest throughout, especially in the second half.
By the time the match was over, it ended in a 2-2 tie but the end result did not come without its fair share of mishaps for both UCSB (6-4-4, 2-1-1) and Cal Poly (4-9-2, 1-2-1).
When UCSB coach Paul Stumpf was told that it sounded like he was displeased with the officiating after answering a question about a controversial call, he responded: “Were you here at the game? Did you hear both benches displeasure? Then I think your comment is very accurate. And I can’t comment other than that and say we were not happy with it.”
The most controversial call of the contest came in the 71st minute. With the match tied at 1-1, senior goalkeeper Hannah DeWeese came out to make a save on a shot by Jessica Johnson who was just five yards away from the net.
During the save, DeWeese made contact with Johnson, who was injured on the play, as it looked like her knee hit the Mustang player. She said she was just protecting herself and that the contact was incidental. The referees disagreed, whistling DeWeese for a foul in the box, awarding Cal Poly a penalty kick.
“They’ve always taught me in my goalie training that you have to protect yourself because I think that’s one of the most important things all-around in soccer… but I mean, there’s nothing we can really do about it when the center referee makes up his mind,” DeWeese said.
“Well it’s a tough one because I think had it been our player contacted like that by a goalkeeper I think we would have argued for a PK,” Stumpf said.
“But we have arguments for two penalty kicks that were not called… so I think there should have been three PKs called but unfortunately, there was only one.”
Before that call, the game was played very physically but after, the tempers really started to flare on the pitch.
Cal Poly’s Jordan Patane stepped up and made the penalty kick to give her team the lead again at 2-1.
In the 75th minute, after another penalty went against the Gauchos about 35 yards away from the net, DeWeese was given a yellow card after she kept yelling at the referee.
“I mean, the frustration was kind of building the entire game especially once I got the yellow card. The tensions wore off in the next 10 minutes… but I was so upset because I am so passionate about it,” DeWeese said.
Right before Cal Poly took the kick, Patane and Sophia Dertorossian got into an altercation with both girls getting in each others face and having to be separated. Both women were given yellow cards.
Overall, there were five yellow cards give out on Sunday and 27 total fouls. UCSB had 15 fouls called on them in the game and 11 of those came in the second half alone.
“If anybody has anybody to blame, it’s the referee for letting it get to this point,” Stumpf said.
“I thought it (the game) could have been handled better on both sides. Honestly, it got way out of hand from both teams but that’s the refs job and I guess they did the best they could,” senior forward Shaelan Murison said.
Despite all the chippy play, there were still some notable performances on Sunday, including Murison’s.
The senior netted two goals against Cal Poly bringing her season total to 12, which leads the Big West conference.
Her first goal came in the 59th minute as UCSB was down 1-0 after Cal Poly claimed the lead in the 25th minute when Brooke Rubinstein hit a cross from right-to-left that found Nikki Trucco right in front of the goal.
She faked out a pair of defenders, dribbled the ball into the box and then finessed a shot into the lower right corner of the goal just beyond the reach of Mustang goalkeeper Sophia Brown.
“I just saw an open corner and I went for it. Honestly, I didn’t want to hit it on the ground but it went and it worked out well,” Murison said.
Her second goal came after the Gauchos found themselves down 2-1. In the 78th minute, Murison controlled a rebound off a missed shot from Angelica Ortega which hit the top of the crossbar. Murison chested the ball, then tapped it in with her right foot just a couple yards from the net, leveling the competition at 2-2.
“Well, she had a pretty gutsy performance day, especially considering she’s not completely healthy right now. I mean, she absolutely muddled through a tough situation and came up big showing senior leadership,” Stumpf said.
After Murison’s goal, both teams had good looks but could not get a shot past either keeper. In the second overtime, Cal Poly had great positioning and played a ball inside the box. DeWeese made a clean stab at the ball to knock it away and keep UCSB in the match.
The Gauchos best — and final — chance came in the 110th minute. A pass somehow found Murison who got behind the Mustang defense. She ran the ball into the box and shot, but it went completely wide.
As she shot, she was clearly contacted and brought down from behind. This was one of the missed calls that had coach Stumpf upset postgame.
UCSB somehow got one final corner with the time winding down, but the kick went straight to a Cal Poly player who cleared it with ease and sent both teams home with a tie.
With the tie, UCSB is still sitting at fourth in the conference standings, but the team certainly missed an opportunity to better its positioning, especially considering the Gauchos have two tough tests next week, at first-place Cal State Fullerton and at second-place Hawai’i.
“We really wanted to win today and get the full three points, but we got one which is not bad, it’s not a loss. But that means we just need to work harder in the next couple of games to ensure we get more points there,” Murison said.
UCSB faces CSUF at 7 p.m. on Thursday.