No. 16 Gauchos Hand Sacramento State its First Big West Loss, 2-0

Ema Boateng (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Ema Boateng (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - No. 16 UC Santa Barbara used a pair of goals scored within 12 seconds of each other to topple visiting Sacramento State – which was previously unbeaten in Big West Conference play – on Tuesday night at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

Freshman Ema Boateng scored just 7:22 into the match and senior Nic Ryan scored a mere 12 seconds after the clock restarted to give the Gauchos a 2-0 lead early on.

With the win, the Gauchos snap a two-game losing skid and concurrently snap the Hornets' streak of six-straight games without a loss. UCSB improves to 9-2-3 on the season and 3-2-1 in league games. Sacramento State, which remains in first place in the Big West standings, falls to 7-5-2 overall and 4-1-1 in conference play.  

While the Big West's North Division standings remain unchanged after tonight's games, both UCSB and Cal Poly have tightened the race with wins, bringing their point totals to 10 each. The Gauchos and Mustangs trail second-place UC Davis by just two points and first-place Sacramento State by three.

The Gauchos, who had been held scoreless through their previous two matches, did not wait long to bring their 180-minute scoring drought to an end.

In the eighth minute, senior Machael David passed the ball from midfield to Boateng on the right side. Boateng cut in and fired a rocket from about 30-yards out into the top left corner of the Hornets' goal to put UCSB up, 1-0.

The goal marked the Santa Barbara's first in the opening 45 minutes of a match since its Sept. 28 win at UC Riverside; that first half goal was also scored by Boateng. The eighth-minute goal is also the Gauchos' quickest goal of the season and the first scored in the opening 10 minutes of a match this year.

Before the Gaucho fans had even stopped applauding Boateng's fourth goal of the season, UCSB struck again. This time, senior Peter McGlynn dribbled the ball down the touchline on the right side before sending it towards Josue Madueno in the box. The ball was deflected by a Hornet defender and landed directly in front of Ryan, who was wide open at the top of the six-yard box. The senior left footed the ball into the left side of the goal for his team-leading seventh strike of the season.

UCSB was dominant throughout the remainder of the match and ended with a 23-8 advantage in shots and an 8-3 lead in shots on-goal. UCSB also had six corner kicks while the Hornets had none.

Goffin Boyoko led all players with five shots while Dion Acoff had a match-best three on-frame.

Defensively, UCSB limited the Hornets to just one shot in the first half. Goalkeeper Austin Mansker made three saves in his fifth shutout of the season. 

UCSB will continue Big West action on Friday, Oct. 19 when it hosts Cal Poly in a FOX Soccer televised contest at 8 p.m. at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m. in anticipation of a large crowd.

To ensure you don't miss out on the biggest rivalry game in college soccer, purchase your tickets by visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.