SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A two-goal night from senior striker Achille Campion powered UC Santa Barbara to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Yale Bulldogs on Monday night at Harder Stadium, earning head coach Tim Vom Steeg his 200th career win at the Division I level.
Already the winningest coach in UCSB and Big West Conference history and and a two-time National Coach of the Year, Vom Steeg improved his all-time record to 200-80-30 with the victory.
"You don't thing about figures like this until they actually happen," said Vom Steeg. "But when it comes, you're happy, and I'm glad it happened here at Harder Stadium."
The Gauchos coach since 1999, Vom Steeg now has more than twice as many wins as the second winningest coach (Andy Kuenzli, 95 wins) in program history.
UCSB (4-2-0) established dominance early in the match, leading to the Gauchos first goal in just the 11th minute.
Already deep in Yale (1-4-0) territory, the Gauchos threw a number of crosses across the box, but ultimately gave up possession to the Bulldogs. Yale quickly tried to spring a counterattack, but senior midfielder Fifi Baiden made an excellent challenge to break up the possession and extend the UCSB attack.
Moving down the left wing, Drew Murphy played a one-two with fellow freshman Ismaila Jome to advance just feet away from the Yale goal. Murphy then sent a ground cross across the box, finding Achille Campion for his first goal.
In the 24th minute, Baiden made another spectacular defensive play when he made a point blank block of a Yale shot that was destined for goal.
UCSB continued to put pressure on in the first half, registering nine shots and earning four corner kicks in the period. One such corner led to UCSB's second goal, which came in the 36th minute.
Taking the corner, junior forward Reed McKenna picked out Sunday's hero Charlie Miller with a far post cross. Miller made contact with a solid header, but the ball clanged off the crossbar. The sophomore followed up his shot and beat the Yale defense to the rebound with a left footed finish that put the Gauchos up 2-0.
Just before the half, Yale was able to steal one back from UCSB. After a nice build up play that saw the Bulldogs get numbers into the Gauchos defensive third, forward Scott Armbrust played a through ball to striker Cody Wilkins, who shot on net. Gauchos keeper Josh McNeely got a piece of the ball, but not enough as the teams headed into the break with the score at 2-1.
Playing more of a possession game, UCSB was only able to generate two shots in the second half, but that was all they would need to cement the victory.
With 25 minutes left in the game, junior defender Kevin Garcia-Lopez made a run into space down the right touchline. Garcia-Lopez then unleashed a cross into the box, which Campion met with a highlight-reel scissor kick to the near post, putting the game on ice.
The Gauchos would finish the match with an 11-5 shot advantage and a 6-2 edge in corners. Campion and freshman midfielder Nick DePuy paced UCSB with three shots apiece, while Miller's two shots led all substitutes.
McNeely, who made one save on the night, improved his personal record to 3-1 with the victory.
With 3,073 fans on hand to witness history, UCSB now has three matches with an attendance of at least 3,000 so far in 2013. The Gauchos will face their toughest home test of the season so far on Monday night, when they welcome No. 14 New Mexico to Harder Stadium. For tickets to this pivotal matchup, call 805.893.UCSB, visit the ticket office at the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus, or buy here.