Sept. 5, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In a nationally-televised match, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team defeated previously unbeaten Kentucky, 1-0, on Friday night at Harder Stadium.
The No. 7 Gauchos won the game, part of the Loyola Marymount Invitational and broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel, on forward David Walker's header in the fifth minute of play as the two teams played to a stalemate the rest of the way. Walker knocked in Jon Curry's corner kick from about 10 yards out, beating goalkeeper Dan Williams. It was the first time the junior had allowed a goal in three games this season.
UCSB (2-0-0) outshot Kentucky 27-13 in the game, however the Gauchos had just five shots on goal while the Wildcats (2-1-0) tested Santa Barbara goalie Trond Helge Takset just twice.
Takset, though, made a gorgeous save on Tyler Burns' shot attempt at the 65-minute mark, knocking the ball with his left hand over the goal. The freshman from Norway was tested again, but didn't record a save as Marco dos Santos sent two shots toward UCSB's goal in a matter of seconds off of one of Kentucky's four corner kicks on the night. Dos Santos headed a ball into the left-side post at 52:17, then got his own rebound and shot again, although this time the kick was blocked.
Freshman Bryan Dominguez led the Gauchos in taking 10 shots while senior Chris Pontius took six and Walker and Curry each had three. UCSB controlled the ball for much of the first half, taking 18 shots in the first 45 minutes to the Wildcats' seven. However, Williams, who had posted shutouts over Central Arkansas and Detroit to open the season, had four saves in the first half.
Curry's corner kick, one of five UCSB had on the night, was beautifully placed into the goalie box and Walker squared it up perfectly, putting the ball under Williams' right arm for his first goal of the year at 4:52. It was Curry's first assist of the young season. Walker had just two goals last season. Pontius, who had both Gaucho goals in their win last week over Air Force, managed just one shot on goal.
In the second half, Kentucky took six shots and had two corner kicks, yet seemed to control the ball more. But the Gauchos played stout defense, limiting the Wildcats' opportunities. UCSB had nine shots in the second half, but many of them sailed high or wide.
The Gauchos will travel to Los Angeles to face LMU in a 4 p.m. game Sunday while Kentucky travels north to face Cal Poly.
Friday's game is the first of two televised games the Gauchos have this season with the other coming on October 17 in a Big West battle between UCSB and Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.