DAVIS, Calif. – After falling behind 2-1 to UC Davis on Saturday afternoon, senior forwards Achille Campion and Goffin Boyoko scored last minute goals to secure an exhilirating 3-2 win for No. 20 UC Santa Barbara, giving the Gauchos their third straight come-from-behind overtime win and sixth straight victory overall.
The Gauchos, now on their longest winning streak since 2010, improved to 10-4 on the year with a perfect 5-0 mark in Big West conference play. It is just the second time in program history that UCSB has won its first five league games, the other time being in 2009 when the Gauchos finished 8-1-1 in the Big West. This is the first time UCSB has won three straight matches in overtime since 2004.
UC Davis fell to 6-7-1, 2-3 following the loss. The Gauchos have now won six of their last eight matchups against the Aggies.
Despite eventually losing the game, UC Davis was primed to hand UCSB its first conference loss of the season after clawing back from a 1-0 deficit to a 2-1 lead behind goals from Matt Weisenfarth (56') and Alex Aguiar (78'). Similar to last weekend's win at Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos pressed the majority of their 10 outfield players up the pitch after those two quick strikes in an effort to grab the equalizing goal.
This gambit paid off in the 88th minute when this increased offensive pressure led to Campion finding space in the box with the ball at his feet. The French striker was taken down by an Aggies defender, leading to a penalty kick. After earning the spot kick, Campion stepped up and converted for his sixth goal of the season, knotting the score at 2-2 and sending the match to overtime.
It was the third straight match that the Gauchos were awarded a penalty kick. Campion has convered on both of his opportunities. UCSB has still yet to concede a penalty kick this season.
After the two teams combined for just two shots in the first overtime frame, it looked as if the Gauchos would pick up their first draw of the season. With one last chance to earn all three points, the Gauchos were awarded a corner kick in the 109th minute after pushing forward yet again.
Freshman midfielder Drew Murphy took the corner, and delivered a perfect service to the back post, where Boyoko was waiting to head past UCD keeper Armando Quezada. Boyoko's fifth goal of the season was also his fourth game-winner, which leads all players in the conference.
The assist on the game winning goal gave Murphy the second mult-point game of his career after he scored the opening tally for the Gauchos. Junior forward Reed McKenna created that goal by sending in a cross from the right wing that was deflected out to Murphy, who volleyed a perfect strike past Quezada.
The Palos Verdes native now has points in four of his last five games and leads the conference with seven assists.
The Gauchos return to Harder Stadium this Tuesday night with a chance to clinch a playoff spot. With a win or draw against visiting Sacramento State, UCSB will book a place in the Big West Tournament, which would put the Gauchos in the postseason for the 11th time in the past 12 years.
Tickets to that game, and all remaining regular season games this year, can be found here.