Nunez Goal Lifts Top-Ranked Gauchos Past Cal State Fullerton in Double-Overtime, 4-3
Oct. 6, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Sophomore midfielder Tino Nuñez collected his own rebound from the foot of a Cal State Fullerton defender and toe-poked the ball past Titan goalkeeper Sam Reynolds in the 108th minute to give top-ranked UC Santa Barbara a 4-3 double-overtime win in Big West play on Wednesday night.
The goal by Nuñez, his first, gave the Gauchos a 9-0-1 record, the longest unbeaten streak to open a season in school history. UCSB is also 2-0-0 in Big West play. Cal State Fullerton, which was playing a man down at the time, dropped to 0-6-2 on the year, 0-2-0 in league action.
UCSB, playing without starting defenders Tony Lochhead, Andy Iro, and Greg Curry, all of whom were serving suspensions for yellow card accumulations, got on the board first at the 10:47 mark when senior Drew McAthy took a one-touch pass from senior Matt Bly who had received a cross from senior Neil Jones, and drove the ball to the right of Reynolds. The goal was McAthy's ninth of the season.
McAthy and Jones were also involved in Santa Barbara's second goal. Jones beat three defenders down the left side, crossed a pass to the back post and a waiting McAthy. McAthy brilliantly headed the cross to the feet of junior forward Jonathan Davis. Davis spun his defender and fired one into the back of the net for his second goal of the season, giving the Gauchos a 2-0 lead.
Cal State Fullerton cut the lead in half at the 21:40 mark, when German Moreno was tripped in the penalty box and the Titans were awarded a penalty kick. Andrew Sam took the kick, and although Gaucho goalkeeper Dan Kennedy got a hand on the ball, it bounced into the back of the goal. Fullerton used another penalty kick to tie the score at 2-2 at 33:49. Sam was tripped in the penalty box by an on-rushing Kennedy, and took the penalty kick himself, blasting it into the right side of the net.
The Titans didn't waste time breaking the tie. At the 35:29 mark, Steve Moreno pounced on a loose rebound of an Andrew Sam shot, just in front of Kennedy and pounded it home to make it 3-2 at halftime.
The Gauchos tied the score in the 57th-minute. Nuñez drove down the left side of the box and crossed a pass to Jones who headed the ball into the upper right corner, past a backpedaling Reynolds.
The teams were scoreless the remainder of regulation. In the first overtime, neither team had a dangerous chance, but a key turn of events took place. Titan junior defender Jose Barragan received a pair of yellow cards, one at 96:43 for delay of game, and the second at 99:43 for unsportsmanlike behavior. Cal State Fullerton played the second overtime a man down and the Gauchos made them pay.
UCSB outshot Cal State Fullerton for the match, 22-9. Reynolds played an outstanding match for the Titans, producing nine saves. Kennedy had four saves for the Gauchos and the third goal he allowed was just the second non-penalty kick goal he has allowed in ten matches this season.
The Gauchos return to action on Saturday, October 9, when they travel to Cal Poly for a 7:00 p.m. match.