SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 15 seed UC Santa Barbara (15-7-1) opened the 2011 NCAA Tournament with a 3-2 victory over visiting Providence (11-8-1) in a Second Round game at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium on a soggy Sunday night.
The Gauchos advance to the tournament's Third Round for the sixth time in program history and will face No. 2 seed Creighton – which defeated Northern Illinois, 3-0 – in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, Nov. 27.
UCSB wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Luis Silva tallied his 17th goal of the season in the sixth minute. Josue Madueno crossed the ball from the right side of the field to Silva, who ripped a left-footed shot from 12 yards out into the left side of the Providence goal.
The Gauchos were able to stretch their lead to 2-0 heading into halftime when Dom Sarle chipped the ball to Madueno, who beat a defender before sending the ball to low left corner of the goal from 12 yards out.
Providence was able to cut its deficit in half in the 68th minute when Anthony Baumann played the ball to the back post off of a corner kick, finding Brandon Adler's head. The header looked like it may have been cleared off the line, but the referee ruled it a goal.
In the 72nd minute, Silva played a through ball to Sarle on the left side. Sarle beat his defender around the corner, faked a cut to the near post and slipped the ball past the goalkeeper to put the Gauchos up, 3-1.
It would not be a proper Gaucho game, though, without some late-game dramatics. In the 83rd minute, Marcos Ugarte was tripped inside the 18-yard box, earning the Friars a penalty kick. Marc Cintron went left with his shot as André Grandt went in the opposite direction, to cut the UCSB lead back to one goal.
The Gauchos were able to hold off the Friars in the final minutes and secured their 3-2 victory.
With the win, UCSB improves to 11-1 in NCAA Tournament games played at Harder Stadium.
UCSB out-shot Providence, 16-6, and had a 10-4 advantage in shots on-goal. Silva led all players with four shots and three on-frame. Madueno, Sarle and Silva proved to be a dangerous trio as each posted a goal and an assist in the win.
Grandt made two saves in goal for the Gauchos while Jhojan Obando had a solid effort for Providence with seven stops.
Details and ticket information about next Sunday's Third Round game will be posted to UCSBgauchos.com as soon as it is made available.
The match will be broadcast by KZSB 1290 AM and can be listened to online here.