Oct. 25, 2003
Fullerton, Calif. -
It was bad from the start for the seventh-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team, as they had their 14 game conference unbeaten streak snapped with a 4-1 loss at Cal State Fullerton. The loss dropped the Gauchos to 11-2-1 on the year and 4-1-0 in the Big West. Remarkably, it was the Titans at home who handed UCSB its last Big West loss in 2001 before tonight.
After arriving at the stadium just 30 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time due to travel delays, the Gauchos stepped off the bus and into a smoke and ash filled stadium due to the nearby brush fires. Fullerton took a 1-0 lead into halftime when Ignacio Cid headed in Hector Orellana's corner kick in the 15th minute. Junior goalkeeper Dan Kennedy managed to get a hand on the looping free kick, causing it to deflect off the top of the cross bar, but it was not enough and Cid redirected the loose ball into the back of the net.
Down 1-0, the Gauchos controlled most of the play in the final ten minutes of the first half, genarating some momentum to start the second. It appeared UCSB was back in the match in the 50th minute when junior forward Drew McAthy fed senior midfielder David McGill, who was streaking up on his right side, to set up an open Memo Arzate. McGill slipped a pass past his defender and onto the foot of the the senior playmaker, Arzate took the ball in stride and headed toward the Titans' near post before being taken down inside the penalty box. Arzate then buried his fourth PK in as many tries to knot the score at 1-1.
That would be as close at the Gauchos would get as Cal State Fullerton netted two more goals in the next seven-and-a-half minutes, completly deflating first-place UCSB. The Titan scoring would not finsih until the 73rd minute when Brent Whitfield netted his fifth goal of season, giving the game its final 4-1 score.
Santa Barbara will look to correct its problems and return to form this Wednesday, October 29th when it hosts conference foe UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium.