Sept. 30, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore Jon Curry took a free kick from sophomore Eric Avila and scored his first goal of the season in the 104th-minute to help UC Santa Barbara end a two-match losing streak with a 1-0 win over visiting Michigan Saturday night. The match was played in front of a season-high crowd of 3,577.
After a Wolverine foul, Avila lined-up the free kick from 25 yards out, above the right hand side of the box. Curry, positioned about five yards to Avila's left, took the kick and connected on a low shot that never left the ground. Somehow Curry's shot got through the defense. Michigan goalkeeper Patrick Sperry dove, fully outstretched, to his right and seemed to get the tips of his fingers on the ball, but it wasn't enough to prevent the goal as the shot went just inside the left post. The score ended a streak of just over 283 scoreless minutes for the Gauchos.
The match was exceptionally physical and by the time the game-winning goal was scored, UCSB was playing with just nine players and Michigan was down to 10. Gauchos Brennan Tennelle and Tony Chinakwe were both ejected in the first overtime, as was Wolverine Chase Tennant. In addition, there were nine yellow cards handed out. Each team was whistled for 23 fouls.
While the Gauchos outshot Michigan by an 18-11 margin, including 7-2 in shots on goal, the Wolverines had the shot advantage in the second half and overtime, 8-5. Santa Barbara had the edge in corner kicks, 7-5, but the Gauchos were also offsides eight times to none for their opponent. Sperry made six saves for Michigan and Kyle Reynish had a pair for UCSB.
With the victory, the Gauchos improve to 6-4 on the season. The Wolverines drop to 5-5-2. UCSB returns to action on Thursday Oct. 5, when it hosts UCLA in a match scheduled for 8:00 p.m. The Gaucho-Bruin contest will be televised by the Fox Soccer Channel.