Gauchos Explode for Six Goals, Defeat Westmont

Head coach Tim Vom Steeg touted the depth of his 2011 squad when he previewed the season earlier this week. When the Gauchos stepped on the field Saturday for their season-opening exhibition against cross town foe Westmont, they backed the talk up with a 6-1 blowout at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

In front of a crowd of 3,074 fans, six different Gauchos scored as UCSB cruised to the Bryant and Sons Cup victory, their 11th consecutive win over Westmont.
 
Fittingly, UCSB's leading scorer from the 2010 campaign ­– junior Sam Garza – picked up where he left off and buried the first goal of the game. Senior Luis Silva set up the strike when he stole the ball and then crossed it on the ground to Garza on the left. Garza cut the ball to the right and hit a low shot that beat Westmont goalkeeper Matthew McNabb from 16 yards out in the 12th minute.
 
The Gauchos stretched their lead to 2-0 with just under three minutes to go in the first half when senior Peter McGlynn sent a cross to the near post where sophomore David Opoku connected with it and sent it into the back of the net.
 
UCSB continued its quick-paced attack in the second half. Junior Christian Vazquez scored in the 64th minute off of a short through pass from Silva to give the Gauchos a three-goal advantage.

Santa Barbara squeezed in its remaining three goals in the last 10:30 of the game. Junior Michael Nonni helped Waid Ibrahim get in on the action when he raced past a pair of defenders and then crossed the ball into the box where the senior headed it in.

 After assisting two goals, Silva finally notched on one of his own off of a free kick. After a quick tap from Ibrahim, Silva sent a shot into the back of the net from 20 yards out.
 
The Warriors were able to avoid the shutout in the last two minutes when Daniel Johnsen scored on Isaac Thompkins' rebounded shot.
 
With just 42 seconds to go, Nonni decided he had one more run in him as he capped the game off with a breakaway goal.
 
The Gauchos out-shot the visiting Warriors, 21-4, and 11-1 in the first half.
 
UCSB will officially open the 2011 season next Saturday, Aug. 26 when it hosts Seattle University at 7 pm at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. 

To ensure you don't miss a minute of the 2011 soccer season, purchase your season tickets now by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or by clicking here.