SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara received goals from a trio of unexpected sources on Friday night, handly defeating visiting Cal State Fullerton 3-0 in the opening Big West Conference match for both teams.
Defenders Matt Glodack, Peter Schmetz, and holding midfielder Fifi Baiden – a group of seniors who entered the game with a combined career total of three goals – all notched goals for the Gauchos. It was the first tally of the season for both Glodack and Baiden, and Schmetz's second after he found the back of the net against Stanford last Friday.
With a four-save performance, freshman keeper Josh McNeely recorded his second consecutive shutout for the Gauchos. He has now gone exactly 120:00 minutes without allowing a score.
UCSB, winners of two straight, improved to 6-4 with the win, while Cal State Fullerton snapped a two match winning streak while falling to 3-6 overall.
"I thought we played very well tonight," said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "That's four games in a row that we've put forth a good effort and all three goals were good goals that we've been working on. We're excited about this win."
For the second consecutive match, UCSB recorded a new season-high figure in team shots. The vast majority of those chances came in a 13-shot first frame for the Gauchos. Glodack was able to open the scoring in just the 26th minute.
After winning a corner kick, UCSB unleashed a flurry of shots towards Titans keeper Robbie Hannon. After a few shots were blocked, the ball found its way to senior striker Achille Campion on the right side of the box, and the skilled forward fired a shot to the near post. Hannon was able to stop the shot, but couldn't control the rebound, which was promptly banged in by Glodack for his first goal as a Gaucho in his 42nd appearance.
Less than 90 seconds later, UCSB got right back to work. Awarded a corner kick yet again, Schmetz got his head on the Drew Murphy cross and sent it to the near post for a 28th minute goal. After accruing just one goal in his first two years as a Gaucho, Schmetz now has two in the span of a week.
UCSB headed into the locker room with a 13-4 shot advantage and a two-goal lead, and thus focused more on maintaining possession in the second half. Still, the Gauchos were able to go ahead 3-0 in the 70th minute when Murphy received a ball from Ismaila Jome down the left touchline before crossing to Baiden, who headed over Hannon.
Jome was once again a standout in the offensive half, registering a team-high four shots and beating a number of defenders on the left flank. Sophomore Marshall Cazares, a defender who has been operating in more of an attacking role as of late, had a strong 80-minute performance as well, taking three shots.
Both of Baiden's career goals at UCSB have come against Cal State Fullerton. His first goal was a game-winner against the Titans on Oct. 29, 2011.
With two assists, Murphy recorded the first multi-point game of his career. Jome extended his team-leading assist total to five.
It was the first time that the Gauchos recorded back-to-back shutout wins since Sep. 23-25, 2011, when they accomplished the feat against San Diego and Sacramento State.
UCSB will wrap up its season-long seven match homestand on Sunday evening when they host UC Riverside at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for that match are available here.