Oct. 4, 2008
IRVINE, Calif. - After making it through a brutal part of their schedule, facing three former national champions, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team must have felt a sense of relief starting Big West play, even if their opener was against No. 18 UC Irvine.
And although UCI took a quick lead in the 11th minute, the No. 15 Gauchos rallied behind goals from seniors Alfonso Motagalvan and Nick Perera to open conference play with a 2-1 victory over the Anteaters on Saturday night at Anteater Stadium.
It was the Anteaters' first loss of the 2008 season as the Gauchos improved to 6-3-1 and 1-0-0 in Big West play.
After falling behind, the Gauchos tied the match 1-1 in the 28th minute as Perera capitalized on a misplayed ball by UC Irvine (7-1-3) and knocked it into the net. It was Perera's second goal this season.
Playing a man down for the second time in three matches didn't harbor the Gauchos, who defeated Indiana last Saturday having to play without David Walker for the final 16 minutes of the match and had to fight on without freshman Peter McGlynn for most of the entire second half after he received a pair of yellow cards in the first two minutes of the second half.
Motagalvan, a senior co-captain, put UCSB ahead to stay, though, when he found the back of the net in the 83rd minute, heading in a shot off of freshman Danny Barrera's corner kick.
Freshman goalkeeper Kristopher Minton, the conference Player of the Week after his stellar effort in the win over Indiana, made three saves.
UCSB totaled 16 shots, including 10 in the second half despite playing a man down. Ten of the Gauchos' shots were on goal as the team peppered Irvine goalie Andrew Fontein, who made eight saves. That tied the most an opposing player has made against UCSB all season.
The 10 shots on goal tied the team's high for the season, with the previous mark coming in the Gauchos' first game against Air Force.
The Gauchos return home next Wednesday to face Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or logging on to UCSBGauchos.com.