SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team snapped a three-match losing skid on Wednesday afternoon at Hornet Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Sacramento State.
The Gauchos improve to 10-5-3 on the season, which makes the 2012 season the 12th consecutive that UCSB has posted double digit wins. UCSB evens out to 4-4-1 in Big West play with one game remaining on its slate against Cal Poly on Saturday night. UCSB has been solid on the road this year and now carries a 6-1-1 away record into the match against the Mustangs.
UCSB seemingly got a break early in the match when Dion Acoff was pulled down in the box and the Gauchos were awarded a penalty kick in the 14th minute. Ema Boateng took the shot for the Gauchos, but Sacramento State goalkeeper Bryan Oliver dove to his right and was able to make the stop to keep the scoreless tie.
The Gauchos benefited once again from a Hornet misstep in the 20th minute as Matt Linenberger was awarded a red card, allowing UCSB to play the remainder of the match a man-up.
UCSB wasted no time as Cesar Castillo scored on the resulting free kick from 25 yards out on the right side of the field. The goal marked the first of the season for Castillo.
The Gauchos led until the 39th minute when Chimdum Mez got the ball on a Hornet breakaway. He went one-on-one with goalkeeper Austin Mansker and found the back of the net for the equalizer.
UCSB responded in the 54th minute when Nic Ryan played a long cross to the far post, where he found Charlie Miller. The freshman headed the ball in for his second of the year and his first career game-winner.
The Gauchos out-shot the Hornets, 16-12, in the match and the teams were deadlocked with six shots on-goal, four corner kicks, and 13 fouls apiece.
Castillo led all players with four shots in the match-up and Mansker had five saves. Oliver finished with four stops for the Hornets.
The win not only snapped the Gauchos' three-game skid, but also their three-game streak of overtime games. This also marked just the second time in the last seven contests that UCSB has scored multiple goals.
UCSB will play in its season finale at Cal Poly on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 pm in the second of two Blue-Green Rivalry matches between the teams this year. Gates to the Mustang's Alex G. Spanos Stadium will open at 5:30 pm and fans are advised to get there early as Cal Poly is expecting a sellout crowd.