Sept. 11, 2005
Las Vegas, Nev. - 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara continued its roll with a 1-0 victory over No. 23 Portland to close out the UNLV Adidas Classic with a perfect 2-0 record. Freshman midfielder Chris Pontius netted his second goal in as many games for the game-winner to improve UCSB to 2-1-1 on the season. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Reynish made three saves for his second shutout of the season.
The first half of play was quite uneventful until the final few minutes of play, with the Gauchos ultimately outshooting the Pilots 4-3 in the first stanza. With less than one minute to play in the half, sophomore midfielder Tyler Rosenlund was fouled just outside the penalty box near the corner on UCSB's offensive right side. With the wind gusting and Portland attempting to delay the Gauchos' apparent shot on goal, senior forward Ivan Becerra quickly placed a square pass to his left and into the path of junior midfielder Eric Frimpong. Frimpong unleashed a wicked shot that got past Portland goalkeeper Luis Robles, but the gusting 35 mph wind pushed the ball out just enough to cause it to clank off the far post and back out into play.
UCSB opened up the second half with a flurry of chances in Portland's box through the first 15 minutes of a number of corner kicks and deep throw-ins. The Gauchos almost broke through in the 66th minute when Rosenlund dribbled his way into the Pilots' penalty box and dished of a pass that a trio of Santa Barbara players attempted to put in the net. Becerra, Frimpong, Pontius all connected on shots only to have them deflected away from close range.
Santa Barbara's fortunes changed seven minutes later when sophomore preseason All-American Andy Iro got the ball out wide on the left side, just beyond the midfield stripe. Iro carried the ball down the sideline before beating his man around the corner to the touchline. As he entered the side of the penalty box, Iro rifled a cross low through the box across the Portland goal to an awaiting Pontius. Pontius collected the pass and slammed low-liner towards the near post and into the back of the net for his second goal of the season, giving UCSB with eventual win, 1-0, in the 73rd minute.
Reynish preserved the Gaucho win with a pair of acrobatic saves in the waning minutes, first following a Pilot corner kick with three minutes remaining, and another with just under one minute left on a breakaway by Bryan Irwin. Santa Barbara wound up out-shooting the Pilots 15-6 thanks to the play of its defensive unit of Iro, seniors Nate Boyden and Pat Scott, and freshman Alfonso Motagalvan.
UCSB returns home and to action next Sunday, September 18th when it opens Big West play against UC Riverside at 6:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium.