FULLERTON, Calif. – Fueled by senior Luis Silva's two goals and two assists, No. 19 UC Santa Barbara defeated Cal State Fullerton, 4-3, at Titan Stadium on Saturday night.
With the win, UCSB improved to 11-5-1 on the season and evened out its Big West mark at 4-4. Fullerton falls to 7-6-4 overall and 1-5-2 in league games.
Silva's two goals bring his season total to 13 and his career count to 24, which puts him on the UCSB career top-10 list in a tie for ninth with Chris John (1985-88).
The midfielder's second goal gave UCSB a 3-0 lead five minutes into the second half and that awoke the Fullerton offense. Mark Vasquez scored just 25 seconds later on a shot from 16 feet out into the upper right corner of the goal. In the 69th minute, the Titans cut the Gaucho lead to one when Gerzon Blanco scored from the right side with a shot just inside the far post.
Fifi Baiden's first career goal scored from 22 yards out put UCSB back up, 4-2, in the 78th minute. Fullerton countered with a goal off of a free kick just outside the box by Oscar Aguero.
UCSB was able to hold onto the one-goal advantage through the final nine minutes to capture the 4-3 victory.
Silva's first goal came in the third minute when he took a cross from James Kiffe off of a corner kick to beat Fullerton goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon. Silva fed Josue Madueno on a 2-on-1 rush after a Titan turnover for a score that made it 2-0 exactly 22 minutes into the match.
André Grandt made six saves for the Gauchos in goal. The effort was one stop shy of his career high.
The Gauchos have moved into fourth place in the Big West standings with 12 points. UCSB trails UC Irvine (16 points), UC Davis (15 points) and UC Riverside (14 points). Cal State Northridge (11 points) and Cal Poly (10) are both still in the hunt for a spot in the four-team conference tournament, while Fullerton has now been mathematically eliminated.
UCSB will play its final regular season road game on Tuesday against Cal State Northridge. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff. To catch all of the action, tune into AM 1290 KZSB, the Santa Barbara News-Press radio station. Fans can also listen online by clicking here.
NOTE: Individual shots in box score not accurate due to computer failure. Goals and saves are accurate.