Sept. 11, 2004
Storrs, Conn. -
Although senior Drew McAthy's third goal of the season in the 55th minute proved to be the difference, it was the defense of the 12th ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team that led it to a 1-0 victory over tournament host No. 30 Connecticut to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the season.
In goal senior Dan Kennedy extended his school record having not allowed a single goal through the first four games of the season. And having dropped No. 21 Seton Hall 2-0 last night to open the UConn adidas Classic, the Gauchos went 2-0 to claim the tournament crown.
After a scoreless first half with UCSB squanderring a couple early scoring opportunities, the Gauchos came out firing in the second stanza and at the 54:16 mark McAthy drilled a shot into the top left corner past UConn keeper Geoffrey Anatole for what wound up being the only score of the night. McAthy's third game-winning of the season was set up thanks to a spectular feed off the head of fellow senior frontman Neil Jones, giving Jones his first point of the season. And to be fitting of the night, the entire play began out of the back when senior defender Jon Apilado dashed up the right side of field and whipped in a cross into the box, setting up Jones. The assist was also Apilado's first of the season. And with three goals already this season, McAthy has bumped his career total to 38, leaving him needing only nine more to establish a new Gaucho record.
But as mentioned before it was the Santa Barbara defense that limited the Huskies to just 11 shots on the night and is yet to allow a single goal through the first four games of the season that led the Gauchos to the road victory at Morrone Stadium. Kennedy came up huge late in the match making a diving save on Bonginkosi Macala shot from just inside the box in the 63rd minute, and drove away two late Husky corner kicks with just under eight minutes remaining to prevent the match from going into overtime. He has now not giving up a regular season goal in his last 589:14 minutes played and has posted shutouts in seven of his last eight matches overall to bump his career complete game mark to 25. Kennedy needs just three more complete game shutouts to surpass UCSB's all-time record set by Steve Tipping.
Through the first four games of the season the Gauchos' defensive unit comprised of starters Tony Lochhead, Andy Iro, Apilado, Greg Curry, Myles Davis, and midfielders Nate Boyden and Corey Wood has limited its opponents to an average of just 12.0 shots per game while boasting a perfect 0.00 goals against average in 360 minutes of play.
The Gauchos have now won every single regular season tournment they have take part in in the past three seasons with a perfect 6-0 record. In 2002 UCSB downed Michigan and tournmant host Michigan State at the MSU Radisson Classic, and last season the Gauchos topped NC State and Duke at the Duke adidas Classic.
Santa Barbara now returns to California for a brief four days before taking its perfect 4-0 record to Albuquerque, New Mexico to face Top Ranked Indiana and Ivy League power Columbia in the UNM Lobo Invitational.