Gauchos Upended by Late Penalty Kick at UCR

Sahid Conteh (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Sahid Conteh (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The road has not been kind to the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team and Wednesday night was no different as UC Riverside took advantage of a late penalty kick in the 76th minute to upend the Gauchos 1-0 at UCR Soccer Stadium.

UCSB (7-6-0, 1-2-0) has now lost four straight matches on the road, all of them by the score of 1-0. Overall this season, the Gauchos are just 1-6 away from Harder Stadium, where they have gone a perfect 6-0. The Highlanders (4-8-1, 2-1-0), meanwhile, have been hitting their stride with all four of their wins coming in their past five games.

The Gauchos created a few chances early with a pair of corner kicks in the fourth minute of the match, but a wide shot from Rodney Michael in the 7th minute would be UCSB's only shot in the first half.

The Highlanders eventually took over control, outshooting the Gauchos 6-1 in the first 45 minutes and 13-5 for the game.

In a match that saw 10 cards, including a red card on Axel Mendez in the final minute, the game-deciding play came on a controversial penalty called against UCSB in the 76th minute. Daniel Aguirre stepped up and converted the chance for his fifth goal of the season.

Michael tallied a shot on target in the 89th minute but UCSB was unable to find an answer. Ben Roach finished with four saves on the night for the Gauchos, who were held to just five shots while tying for a season-low two on target. Michael finished with three shots to lead the team.

UCSB continues conference play on the road against first-place UC Irvine (9-4-1, 3-0-0) this Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m.