DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore Dominick Sarle's golden goal in the 99th minute propelled No. 8 UC Santa Barbara to a 3-2 victory over No. 22 Duke on Friday evening in the Gauchos' opening match of the Duke/Nike Classic, which is being held at the Blue Devil's Koskinen Stadium.
With the win, UCSB improves to 2-0 on the season while the Blue Devils fall to 1-2. The Gauchos now hold a 4-0 all-time series record against Duke.
Duke wasted no time after the opening whistle, scoring just 48 seconds into the game. Christopher Tweed-Kent collected the ball after the kickoff and sliced his way down the left side of the field. He weaved through a few defenders and slotted the ball across the face of the goal where he found Nick Palodichuk waiting. Palodichuk put the ball away to give Duke the early lead.
The Gauchos did not trail long, though. In the seventh minute, junior Sam Garza got loose on the offensive third of the field and was able to create just enough of an opening to fire a left-footed strike past the Duke goalie and into the top shelf from 12 yards out.
UCSB out-shot the Blue Devils, 10-4, in the first half, but the score remained deadlocked heading into the locker rooms.
Duke came out of the break on fire and led the shot count, 13-4, during the second half. Junior goalkeeper André Grandt helped keep the Blue Devils at bay for most of the half as he made six of his seven saves during the second stanza.
The Gauchos were able to gain their first lead of the game in the 80th minute when Luis Silva converted a penalty kick.
Trailing 2-1 with just over three minutes to go, Duke took advantage of a free kick about 40 yards from the goal. The Blue Devils crowded into the box as Andrew Morales served the ball into the fray. Nat Eggleston got a touch on it before the ball fell near Andrew Wenger's feet. Wenger put it away to even the score.
Sophomore David Opoku led the Gauchos with five shots, including three on goal. Garza had three shots, with two on-frame.
UCSB will continue action at the Duke/Nike Classic on Sunday when it faces NC State at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.
GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics available to kids in eighth grade or younger. Members receive the official 2011-12 GKids t-shirt, Olé's Coloring Book and Guide for Being a Gaucho, entry into every regular season soccer, basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball game, and much more! To sign up today, click here.