Sept. 24, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
The tenth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team took its first step towards a third consecutive Big West Championship on Wednesday night with a 2-0 shutout victory over visiting Cal Poly. It was UCSB's sixth straight win this season and 16th consecutive at home dating to the 2001 campaign.
The Gauchos first goal of the match was not only the game-winner, but it also cost the Mustangs their head coach. In the 37th minute, Cal Poly goalkeeper Greg Blevens mistakenly picked-up a pass from one of his teammates, giving UCSB a direct free kick. Senior midfielder Memo Arzate took the free kick and slid a pass to junior defender Tony Lochhead who drilled a one-timer low and underneath Blevens' diving attempt at a save. Cal Poly head coach Wolfgang Gartner strongly argued the call and was ejected from the match.
Santa Barbara doubled its lead at the 55:02 mark, when senior forward Neil Jones dribbled down the right side of the Mustang penalty box and centered a pass to Arzate who was about ten yards out. Arzate took a shot and Blevens made the first save, but Arzate put home the rebound to make it 2-0 Gauchos.
UCSB goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was once again outstanding in goal. He posted his fourth shutout in seven contests and produced six saves. The Gauchos outshot the Mustangs by a count of 22-14. Cal Poly's Blevens was also solid in goal with five saves.
With the win, UCSB is now 1-0 in the Big West and 6-0-1 overall. The Gauchos have gone unbeaten in 11 straight league contests. Cal Poly drops to 0-1 and 2-3-1 overall. Santa Barbara returns to action on Sunday, September 28 when it travels to Sacramento State for a 2:30 p.m. non-conference match.