No. 12 Gauchos Cruise Past Fullerton, 6-0

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 12 UC Santa Barbara scored six times on Tuesday night as the Gauchos defeated visiting Cal State Fullerton, 6-0, at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Senior Luis Silva and sophomore David Opoku each scored twice to lead UCSB to its third-straight victory.

With the win, UCSB improves to 9-3-1 on the season and 2-2 in Big West play. The Titans, meanwhile, fall to 6-4-2 and 0-3 in league games.
 
Junior Sam Garza got the ball rolling for the Gauchos when he scored his second goal in as many games in the 16th minute. Silva started the play by feeding the ball over the top of Dom Sarle, who tapped the ball to Garza from the 18-yard line. Garza quickly shot the ball to the lower left corner of the Titan goal.
 
Garza and Sarle nearly combined for a second goal in the 33rd minute when Sarle fed the ball to Garza on a breakaway. The junior beat his defender and shot the right side, but goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon made the stop to keep Garza's goal count at one.
 
Just six minutes later, UCSB got its second goal. Silva took a free kick on the right side of the field from 40 yards out. He fired the ball towards the goal and it was deflected by a Titan defender before finding the back of the goal to put the Gauchos up, 2-0.
 
It turned out that the first half was just a warm-up for UCSB.
 
Junior Josue Madueno ­– who made several good runs to open the period – scored his first goal of the season in the 62nd minute. James Kiffe sent a beautiful cross from the left side to Madueno on the right post. The junior tapped the ball in, stretching the Gaucho lead to three goals.
 
Less than three minutes later, Silva beat his defender on the left side, cut into the box and crossed the ball to Opoku, who deflected it in for his first of two goals.

The Gaucho onslaught continued with Silva's second strike in the 74th minute. Fifi Baiden passed the ball from behind the midfield line to Silva, who was 25-yards out from the goal. The midfielder chipped the ball over Whiddon – who was off his line – and into the Titan goal.

The hits just kept coming for Fullerton, which was called for a handball in the box when a Titan defender blocked a cross by Gaby Okito in the 81st minute. Opoku lined up to take the shot and sent the ball towards the high right corner, but fortunately for Fullerton Whiddon made an impressive save and tipped the ball out of bounds.
 
Opoku would not be denied his second goal though. In the 87th minute, he received a pass on the ground from Kiffe and once again shot to the high right corner of the goal to put UCSB up, 6-0.
 
This marked the second time this season that the Gauchos have scored six goals in a game; they had a half dozen in their season-opening exhibition against Westmont. The last time UCSB tallied six goals in a regular season game was against Northwestern on Sept. 9, 2005.
 
Silva – who paired two goals with two assists – led all players with five shots. Oscar Aguero led the Titan offensive effort with four shots and one of the team's three shots on-goal.

Goalkeeper André Grandt made three saves on his way to his sixth shutout of the season. Whiddon made four saves for Fullerton.

UCSB will continue Big West action at Cal Poly on Friday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. If you can't make the trek to the game, tune into KZSB 1290 AM for all of the action or listen online by clicking here.

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