Evanston, Ill. – Despite a start delayed due to heavy rain and a thunderstorm, the No. 13 Gauchos wasted no time in opening the offensive floodgates in their season opener while dispatching defending Big 10 champs and nineteenth-ranked Northwestern by a score of 3-1 on Friday night at Lakeside Field.
It was the first time that UC Santa Barbara and Northwestern matched up since the 2006 NCAA Tournament, when the Gauchos beat the Wildcats 3-2 at Harder Stadium to advance to the College Cup.
Senior attacker Goffin Boyoko was the star for UCSB on Friday, equaling his entire 2012 goal tally of two with a first half brace.
The France native's first goal was eerily similar to UCSB's first goal against Westmont last Saturday. Taking a free kick to the goalie's right from about 25 yards out in the 15th minute, freshman midfielder Drew Murphy crossed to Boyoko, who finished with a header past goalie Tyler Miller.
Boyoko has shown a penchant for season-opening goals, as he scored the first goal of the 2012 season against Westmont.
Just 12 minutes later, Boyoko got on the board again. Moving down the right side, senior forward Achille Campion picked out his countryman with a perfectly timed ball that kept the assistant referee's flag down. Boyoko executed a perfect first touch, then beat Miller with a shot between the keeper's legs.
Off the restart, the Gauchos took advantage of a reeling Wildcats defense, as Campion capped off the UCSB scoresheet with a 30th minute header off a beautiful cross from senior defender Matt Glodack.
Campion has now scored seven goals and 16 points in eight regular season games for the Gauchos.
Northwestern was able to get a goal back before half off a Mike Roberge header, but the Gauchos still headed into the break with a 3-1 advantage.
In the second half, UCSB played a more defensively minded game, mustering just two shots. However, strong play from the Gauchos back line and keeper Austin Mansker prevented the Wildcats from getting another goal. Northwestern were particularly frustrated at the end of the game, when UCSB put the clamps down and didn't allow a shot against for the final fifteen minutes of the match.
Northwestern, a program with a noted defensive style of play, allowed three goals just two times in 2012. It was the third straight year that UCSB scored three goals in its season opener.
In addition, the Gauchos are now 9-0-1 in out-of-state regular season games since 2009, a trend they hope to continue on Sunday when they finish off their Illinois trip with a clash against the University of Illinois, Chicago at 11 a.m. Pacific time. UCSBgauchos.com will have a live broadcast of the game, accessible here.
The Gauchos will return to Harder Stadium next Friday, Sep. 6 for their home opener against Gonzaga. Tickets for that match, and all matches this season, can be found here.