SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A rowdy crowd of nearly 2,000 was on hand to witness the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team's 4-0 defeat of the UMBC Retrievers on Sunday night, including a plethora of students who were exposed to UCSB soccer for the first time on move-in weekend.
French attacking midfielder Thibault Candia's hat trick, the program's first since Luis Silva's trifecta against San Diego three years ago, as well as a goal from senior striker Will Baynham, served as the Class of 2023's introduction to Harder Stadium.
Candia scored the game's opening goal in the 21st minute, after his cross was deflected into the net by a UMBC defender immediately after the Temple transfer attempted to play the ball inside.
Just over three minutes later, a Rodney Michael shot was spilled by UMBC's goalkeeper into the path of Baynham, who finished his short-range chance to put the Gauchos up 2-0.
Candia scored a penalty kick in the 62nd minute and he completed the rout in the 74th, after the midfielder dribbled through two defenders and shot just outside the 18 yard box, scoring after it went through the hands of the UMBC goalkeeper.
Goalkeeper Ben Roach completed his second-straight shutout and third in the past four games. The sophomore netminder wasn't asked to do much throughout the match, with none of the visitors' seven shots ending up finding the target.
UCSB achieved its fourth win in a row, after having started the season with just a single win in its first three games.
The Gauchos take to the road on Wednesday to take on the Pacific Tigers in Stockton. An audio stream of the match will be available on UCSBgauchos.com, with coverage set to start at 6:45 p.m. A video stream, produced by Pacific and the West Coast Conference, will also be available.