UCSB Unable to Overcome UC Riverside

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – There is a first time for everything and on Saturday night at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium, UC Riverside won its first match in Santa Barbara. The Highlanders defeated No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 3-2, to snap their 10-game losing skid on the Gauchos' pitch.

With the loss, UCSB fell to 9-5-1 on the season and 2-4 in the Big West. This marks the first time the Gauchos have lost four conference games since the 2000 season when they were still members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. During that season, Tim Vom Steeg's second at the helm of the program, UCSB went 2-4-1 in league play.

Riverside improves to 8-5-2 and 3-3-1 in league games.

The Highlanders got on the scoreboard first in the 27th minute. Azeez Atanda passed the ball off to Richie Osborne who streaked down the right side of the field, beat his defender and sent a high arching shot to the top left corner of the Gaucho goal.
 
UCSB did not trail for long though. Sam Garza took a shot in the 30th minute and a handball was called on a Highlander defender in the box. Luis Silva took the penalty kick and buried the ball in the upper right side of the Riverside goal, tying the game at 1-1.
 
Riverside was the first to score in the second half when Joseph O'Connor fed the ball to Jon-Paul Medina on a fast break. Medina shot the ball to the lower left corner of the goal to regain the lead for UCR.
The Gauchos once again had a quick response for the Highlanders. Silva sent the ball to Garza, who ran down the right side of the field before sending a shot to the top left corner of the UCR goal.
In the 72nd minute, the Highlanders got another fast break opportunity. Machael David was called for a foul at the top of the box and a penalty kick was awarded to Riverside. Cesar Pizarro went right with his shot while goalkeeper André Grandt went left and the Highlanders sealed up the 3-2 win.
 
UCSB led the shot count 20-7 in the loss with an 8-7 shots on-goal advantage and an 11-3 count in corner kicks. Silva and Garza led all players with five shots apiece. The latter had four shots on-goal. Goalkeeper Cody Suppe was solid in the goal for the Highlanders, making six stops.  
 
Already playing without starting defender Tim Pontius due to a red card violation at Cal Poly, the Gaucho defense suffered a pair of major blows on Saturday night. Mathew Glodack suffered a head injury in the 23rd minute and had to leave the game prematurely. Then, in the 78th minute, David had to be carried off the field with a leg injury.

UCSB will remain at home to host league-leader UC Davis on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in a 7 p.m. match-up at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. To purchase tickets, visit the Ticket Office in the ICA Building on campus, call (805) 893-UCSB or buy online by clicking here

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