October 6, 2010

Gauchos Cruise Past Fullerton, 3-0

Oct. 6, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Just a week after the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team was stunned by a 1-0 overtime loss at Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos were able to exact revenge against the Titans with a 3-0 win at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium on Wednesday evening.

With the win, the Gauchos improve to 5-3-2 on the season and to 2-1-0 in Big West play while Fullerton falls to 2-6-2 and 1-2-0 in league games.

UCSB's opportunities came early and often in the win as the Gauchos recorded season-highs for shots (31) and shots on-frame (15). In the first 35 minutes alone, UCSB managed to fire off 15 shots, but Fullerton goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon was solid once again versus the Gauchos, compiling nine saves in the first half alone.

It was in the 37th minute that UCSB finally broke through the Titan defense. James Kiffe dribbled the ball to the top of the box where he made a diagonal pass to Michael Nonni. The sophomore made a square pass to Joe Eubanks who found the goal open and jammed the ball in.

The goal came just minutes after Eubanks subbed into the game for David Opoku. It marked his second goal of the season and second game-winner.

Less than a minute later, Sam Garza decided to get in on the action. He beat his defenders on a fast break straight down the middle of the field and his shot from 20 yards out hit the high left corner giving UCSB a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

UCSB did not let up in the second half and in the 64th minute, the Gauchos struck again. From the left side of the field, Danny Barrera passed the ball on the ground right in front of Kiffe, who split two defenders and scored on a low shot to the opposite side of the goal. The goal was the first of Kiffe's career at UCSB.

Luis Silva, Barrera, Kiffe and Garza led all players with five shots during the game and Kiffe had the team-lead with his four on-frame.

Defensively, UCSB limited the Titans to just six shots with just two on-frame. Freshman goalkeeper Eric Reyes made the two saves need from him to post his first career shutout and to improve to 2-0 on the season. Whiddon finished the game with 12 saves for the Titans.

After losing Sam Garza and Sam Hayden to red cards during the last pairing against the Titans, it seemed as if tempers hadn't simmered in the last week between the two teams. Gaucho defender Michael Boxall picked up a red card in the in the 59th minute, which will force him to sit out UCSB's next game. Fullerton's Nick Posthuma received a red card just minutes after Boxall and Ritchie Gonzalez was booted from the match in the 87th minute after a second yellow card.

The Gauchos will take a five-day hiatus before hosting Cal Poly on Tuesday, Oct. 12 in a Big West pairing at 7 p.m. at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

To purchase tickets please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.

UCSB is the proud host of the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup, which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. This marks the first time since the 2004 season that the Cup has been held on the West Coast. All-Session passes for the College Cup can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.