Oct. 11, 1999
It's the Numbers
MPSF foes Cal State Fullerton and UCLA showed UCSB why they were ranked 23rd and 6th in the nation, respectively, in the latest NSCAA/adidas Top 25 poll. The Titans squeaked by the Gauchos Friday night with a penalty kick in the 37th minute. The shutout was just the second blanking UCSB has suffered this season. Sunday, the Bruins answered the Gauchos' goal in the fourth minute with three of their own (not in the fourth minute), to overwhelm UCSB 3-1. Jaime Ambriz put away a rebound from a Sean Herrity shot for the early score. The opponents were a combined 16-3-0 entering UCSB's first two conference matches. UCSB dropped to 7-5-0 overall and 0-2-0 in MPSF play.
There's More Where That Came From
With the Gauchos' leading scorer Thiago Martins not having found the back of the net since UCSB's September 19 triumph at St. Mary's, the team is glad to have Jaime Ambriz around. Ambriz, a sophomore forward from Santa Barbara City College, has scored in four out of the last five games in which the Gauchos have recorded a goal. He is also the only Gaucho to have connected in UCSB's last four contests, knocking in a rebound after a Sean Herrity shot at #6 UCLA yesterday and scoring the only goal in UCSB's big 1-0 triumph vs. San Jose State. Ambriz has season totals of five goals and one assist (11 points), good for second on the team in scoring. * In his City College days, Ambriz piled up 24 goals and 11 assists (59 points) for head coach Tim Vom Steeg's 1997 Final Four team. Ambriz sat out 1998 with a knee injury. He prepped at nearby Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard.
Early and Often
The motto for fraudulent elections and winning soccer teams around the world is a good one. However, the Gauchos have been unable to capitalize on the tidy formula in their last three contests vs. UCLA. In each of the last three years, UCSB has jumped ahead 1-0 early in MPSF games against the rival Bruins, but Santa Barbara has not been able to finish off its UC brethren. In 1997, UCSB went up 1-0 in Los Angeles before being buried 4-1 in its season finale. Last year, again in late season conference action, the Gauchos held a 1-0 advantage and were later deadlocked 2-2 with the Bruins on the ThunderPitch at Harder Stadium before being edged 3-2 in probably the most thrilling football match played in the Western Hemisphere last year, complete with a UCLA goal scored off a kickoff (ball kicked from midfield directly into goal). It was more of the same Sunday, as Tim Vom Steeg's Gauchos were unable to make their goal in the fourth minute stand up.
The Horror! Part II
As predicted in this space last week, UCSB's Joseph Conrad road weekend was no cakewalk, as the Gauchos were bested by two top-25 conference opponents. Next weekend doesn't figure to be a breeze either, as UCSB will play at San Diego State Friday and at UC Irvine Sunday. SDSU beat UCSB 2-1 in both teams' season opener in Santa Barbara last season, behind freshman (and now UCSB sophomore) Mike Bradbury's goal and assist. UC Irvine was able to top the emotionally spent (after a 1-0 win at Westmont) Gauchos September 26 at Harder Stadium by a 1-0 score.
The Bottom Line: Gaucho Scoring and Goalkeeping Leaders
Points: Thiago Martins 14 (6, 2), Jaime Ambriz 11 (5, 1), Sean Herrity 7 (3, 1), Lucas Dalgleish 5 (2, 1), Steven Sosa 4 (0, 4). Goalkeeping: Stewart Sanders 1.09 GAA, 4 ShO, 44 saves.