Sept. 9, 2005
Las Vegas, Nev. - 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara's offense broke out, and broke out big, as the Gauchos notched their first win of the season with a 6-1 dismantling of 15th-ranked Northwestern at the UNLV adidas Classic. The young UCSB squad is beginning to find its rhythm, but it was a pair of experienced attackers who set the tone for the rest of the season. Senior forward Jonathan Davis erupted to two goals in the in the first 16 minutes of the match, and sophomore Hermann Trophy candidate Tyler Rosenlund tallied two of his own in the second half.
The Gauchos broke their seal on the season in the 212th minute of the year. Freshman midfielder Eric Avila sent the ball in on a throw-in along the right sideline, 35 yards out from the touchline. Avila's throw was cleared out from the Wildcats' penalty, but sent right back to his feet. Avila beat his man into the right side of Northwestern's goal box just off the touchline. Just as Avila was entering the box, senior forward Jonathan Davis made a run towards the back post. Avila chipped a cross over NU goalkeeper Misha Rosenthal towards Davis. Davis elevated high over his man and slammed the ball back across the frame and into the side netting, past a stunned Rosenthal at 11:02 in the match.
Davis did not wait long to score his second goal of the season, just over eight minutes later on a very similar play. The Gauchos once again had a throw-in from the same spot on the field as Avila's, except this time it was senior defender Pat Scott on the throw. Throwing into 35 mph winds, Scott heaved the ball just outside the corner of the Wildcat goalbox. Davis trapped the ball with his chest, shoving it across his body and onto his left foot. He then quickly snapped a right-footed shot just inside the near post to put Santa Barbara up 2-0 in the 19th minute of the match.
Northwestern narrowed the gap to one in the 26th minute, thanks in large part the wind that reaked havoc on both teams all day. The Wildcats earned a corner kick on the Gauchos' left side. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Reynish fought his way through the crowd and managed to get a punch on the bowing and dipping cross. Wildcat forward Brad North was waiting just beyond the back post and lunged with his right foot to get on the back end of the loose ball. North's shot went across the frame and past the recovering Reynish into the side netting.
UCSB was delivered a blow in the match's 30th minute when Davis went down with an injury following contact. Sophomore midfielder Brennan Tennelle replaced him .
The Gauchos ended the first half of play outshooting the Wildcats 8-1 with the wind in their faces, Reynish finished with no saves compared to Rosenthal's two.
Santa Barbara started the second half much like the first, bombarding the Wildcat defense until it finally broke through in the 55th minute. Avila, along with junior midfielder Eric Frimpong, had a nice exchange of passes through the middle of the NU defense. Avila layed the ball off to senior forward Ivan Becerra as he was entering the top of the penalty box. Becerra collected the pass and promptly slipped a square pass behind the Wildcats back line to an onrushing Tyler Rosenlund from the left flank. Rosenlund corralled the pass on a full sprint and moved the ball to his right foot before side-footing a shot low and into the far-post past Rosenthal.
No more than ten minutes later Rosenlund matched his goal total from last season, with his second tally of the game. Senior midfielder Bryan Byrne carried the ball down the right side of the field before pulling it back and reversing his direction. Byrne then sent a cross to the left side and onto the foot of Frimpong. With a couple of touches to his right to draw the defense towards him, Frimpong touched a pass back to the middle of the field to the on-rushing Rosenlund. Rosenlund one-timed the pass and rifled a shot from 20 yards out into the top right corner to give Santa Barbara a 4-1 advantage at 60:57 in the match.
Senior midfielder Nate Boyden, who started in the back for UCSB today, made it 5-1 with an alert play on free kick from just outside the Northwestern penalty box. With Boyden, Avila, and Rosenlund hovering of the ball the referee blew the whistle to commence play. Boyden looked up and caught Rosenthal napping and from a stand still blasted a shot over the wall and past the bewildered Rosenthal in the 72nd minute.
The Gauchos finished their offensive onslaught in the 82nd minute off the foot of freshman midfielder Chris Pontius, once again coming off of a throw-in. About 25 yards up from the touch line along the right side sophomore defender Myles Davis sailed a throw into the Wildcat penalty box where it found the head of Frimpong. The 5-5 Frimpong flicked the throw back over his head and onto the back post where Pontius was waiting. Having just entered the match less than a minute before, Pontius poked the ball under NU back-up keeper Justin Pines, who subbed in at the same time as Pontius, for his first career collegiate goal.
UCSB wound up outshooting Northwestern 18-6 in the match, including an 11-3 advantage in shots on goal. Reynish finished the match with two saves, both in the second half. Davis and Rosenlund lead the way with two goals apiece, with Rosenlund posting a team match-high five shots. Frimpong finished with two assists in the match. Becerra finished with one assist, but it was his superb play posting-up up top that help opened the Gauchos offense. UCSB's six goals were the most scored in a match since they put up the same number against New Mexico in 2003.
The 15th-ranked Gauchos close-out their UNLV adidas Classic stay with a match against 23rd-ranked Portland on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.