Nov. 6, 2002
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
In one of hte most emotionally contested Big West soccer matches of the season, 15th-ranked and first-place UC Santa Barbara scored two goals in the final 15 minutes to defeat second-place Cal State Northridge 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Junior midfielder Memo Arzate scored at the 75:04 mark to snap a 2-2 tie. Arzate's goal, which was assisted by Drew McAthy and David McGill, came from about 15 yards out and to the right of Matador goalkeeper Joe Barton.
Sophomore forward Matt Bly gave the Gauchos some breathing room at the 89:02 mark when he took a feed from Jon Apilado and struck one from 10 yards out. The goal, which gave UCSB its final 4-2 advantage, came with Northridge playing a man down. Matador defender Peabo Woodson was given a red card with just over nine minutes to play when he took out UCSB's Arzate with a hard tackle. For Woodson, is the the final in a series of questionable plays and it forced Arzate, the Gauchos' top playmaker, to leave the match limping.
In addition to his game-winning goal, Arzate assisted on UCSB's first score. Junior Matt Kubota drilled one that deflected off of a defender's head. In addition to Arzate's assist, which was his league-leading 15th of the season, Apilado also contributed an assist. The goal came at the 10:05 mark in the first half.
The Matadors tied the score in the 26th-minute when Edwin Miranda took a perfect feed from Charles Mitchell and broke past the Gaucho defense, nudging a shot beyond the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Danny Kennedy.
UCSB made it 2-1 with just under four minutes remaining in the first half when Gene Deering redirected an Apilado shot for his eighth goal of the season. For Apilado, it was one of his three assists on the night, a career-high.
The Gaucho lead lasted until the 57:30 mark when Northridge's Jeff Overman scored on a header off of a corner kick by Yossi Raz. Overman leaped high and pounded the shot in with his skull, making the score 2-2 and setting the stage for Arzate's game-winner in the 76th-minute.
In addition to the emotional and physical play, there were 39 fouls in the match, the contest was delayed about 25 minutes when a transformer blew out on the UCSB campus, blowing-out all but the emergency lights at Harder Stadium. Ultimately, the power was restored to that portion of campus and the match was resumed with 5:50 remaining and the Gauchos leading 3-2.
Woodson was not the only individual red carded in the match. UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg was whistled for a yellow card and then a red card at the 38:47 mark of the first half for objecting to the officiating.
Santa Barbara outshot the Matadors 18-7. Rob Friend, who was held without a goal for the second straight match, did manage four shots as did Kubota. Neither goalkeeper piled-up many saves. UCSB's Danny Kennedy finished with a pair and Northridge's Barton had just one.
With the victory the Gauchos improve to 14-2-1 overall, 6-0-1 in the Big West and 8-0-0 at home. Northridge, which tied UCSB 0-0 on October 19, drops to 11-4-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the Big West. The Gauchos will travel to UC Riverside on Saturday, November 9 for a 1:00 p.m. match. A win against the Highlanders would clinch the Big West championship for the second straight year for the Gauchos.