SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 25 UC Santa Barbara suffered its third consecutive overtime loss on Sunday afternoon, this time losing a 2-1 heartbreaker to visiting UC Davis at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.
With the loss, the Gauchos fall to 9-5-3 on the season and 3-4-1 in Big West play. The Aggies improve to 8-5-4 and 6-2 in league games, overtaking first place in the North Division.
Matt Sheldon – who scored both of UC Davis' goals – clinched the game for the Aggies in the 95th minute. The play began with a throw-in by Ryan Gross on the right side of the field. UCSB goalkeeper Austin Mansker leaped off his line to grab the ball and as he came down to the ground, he was unable to keep his grip on it, leaving the ball loose in the box. Sheldon fired a shot at the goal, which was being defended by Daniel Welsh and Peter McGlynn. Welsh blocked his first shot, but Sheldon got his foot on the deflected ball and poked it into the low right corner of the Gaucho goal to seal the victory.
UCSB had gotten the initial lead in the 28th minute with some artful ball movement. Josue Madueno got the play going when he passed the ball from the right touchline back to Nic Ryan at the top corner of the 18-yard box. Ryan served the ball to Ema Boateng, who was dead center in front of the goal. The freshman back kicked the ball to Achille Campion on the left post, who sent it into the low near corner of the Aggie goal.
The strike was the sixth of the season for Campion, who rejoined the Gauchos after a 10-game absence due to an ankle injury. He has scored in six of the seven games he has appeared in with UCSB.
Just when it looked as though the Gauchos would head into halftime with a one-goal advantage, UC Davis posted a game-tying goal with just three seconds remaining in the first. That play also began with a throw-in deep in UCSB territory by Ross.
Peter Schmetz headed his toss out of the box, but Ross crossed it back in and this time the Gauchos were unable to clear it out. Ramon Martin del Campo got his foot on the ball and quickly tapped it to Sheldon, who fired it into the near side of the Gaucho goal from the top left corner of the six-yard box.
The Gauchos out-shot the Aggies, 26-11, in the loss, marking a season-high in attempts. The shots on-goal margin was much tighter with UCSB leading, 7-6. The Gauchos led in corner kicks, 13-2.
Goffin Boyoko led all players with six shots in the match, while Sheldon had a game-high four shots on-frame.
In goal, Mansker made three saves for the Gauchos while UC Davis goalkeeper Omar Zeenni had six.
UCSB will wrap-up conference action this week with a pair of road contests. The Gauchos will travel to Sacramento State on Wednesday, Oct. 31 for a 3 p.m. match up with the Hornets. They will then close the regular season against Central Coast rival Cal Poly on Saturday, Nov. 3.