Aug. 19, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Freshman forward Bongomin Otii shined in his debut, scoring three goals and chipping in with an assist and senior midfielder Bryan Byrne found the back of the net twice as UC Santa Barbara defeated Westmont College handily 6-0 in the 44th Annual Bryant & Sons Cup Saturday night at Harder Stadium.
The Gauchos have dominated the Warriors lately, winning the last six contests by a combined score of 20-5 with three shutouts.
"We looked good tonight," head coach Tim Vom Steeg said. "Obviously we are very happy with what Bongomin was able to give us and we had a lot of guys playing well."
Otii wasted little time showing his talents up front, scoring the Gauchos' first goal of the evening in the 13th minute. After sophomore midfielder Eric Avila found Byrne in the middle of the box, Otti was there to put in what became the game-winner on the rebound off of Byrne's missed shot.
Less than a minute later, Byrne had another chance and made it count. The senior co-captain got the ball on the right wing, dribbled past his defender and sent a rocket past the Westmont keeper to the outside from 15 yards out.
UCSB took a 3-0 lead into the locker room at halftime after Otii found the net again in the 16th minute. In what looked almost identical to his previous scoring play, Byrne dribbled the ball out wide and sent a ball across the box towards the net. Otii, who was standing right in front of the keeper, promptly headed the rebound into the left side of the goal.
It was the same story in the second half as the Gauchos continued to attack, keeping the ball on the Warrior's side of the field. In the 54th minute, senior defender Jeff Murphy found Otti in the right side of the box. Otii again used a header to one-time the ball to a streaking Byrne, who slid around his defender and scored for the 4-0 advantage.
As if Otii had not been impressive enough to that point, the Denver, Colo. native scored again in the 73rd minute when he took the ball into the box on the left side, crossed and sent a ball towards the goal that went in off of a Westmont defender.
Sophomore forward Nick Perera put the final touches on the Gaucho victory with 19 seconds left to play. The only Gaucho besides Otii and Byrne to score, Perera snuck a ball around the out-stretched keeper for the final 6-0 margin.
Westmont did not record a shot until mid-way through the second half.
The Gauchos only game of the preseason, it proved to be a great warm-up before regular season play gets underway next weekend with the University of Virginia Soccer Classic. UCSB will square off with No. 9 Akron and the fourth-ranked Cavaliers during the tournament.
When asked if he thought his team was prepared for next week's competition, Vom Steeg said confidently, "This team is ready for anybody."