2006: The Gauchos Title Run

  • The Gauchos started the season really slowly at 7-6-0, but UC Santa Barbara went 10-1-1 in its next 12 matches and ultimately finished with a record of 17-7-1.

• The Gauchos defeated UC Riverside in the final game of the regular season to clinch their 4th Big West Championship.

• UCSB beat San Diego State in 1st round to face Southern Methodist University in the second round of the tournament and took a 3-1 win over the top seeded #1 Mustangs. Sophomore forward Nick Perera got the scoring going, freshman midfielder David Walker netted the game-winner, and sophomore midfielder Eric Avila added the final touch.

• The Gauchos had to get past Old Dominion in the third round, in order to make it to the quarterfinals.

• UCSB handled the Monarchs this time, winning a 2-1 decision to advance to the quarterfinals. Forward Nick Perera scored in the seventh minute and midfielder Eric Avila netted the game-winner at the 60:48 mark.

• The Gauchos had to face Northwestern in the quarterfinals in order to advance to their second College Cup appearance in the last three seasons. The Wildcats were the No. 5 seed and spent much of the season as the top team in the nation.

• Rosenlund, whose return to health has been one of the key factors in UCSB's turnaround, scored his first goal of the match and second of the season at 9:20 in the first half.

• Senior forward Bryan Byrne intercepted a pass on the right wing and drove up the field, taking his defender with him. He turned cut into the box and slid a perfect pass that eluded a pair of defenders to Rosenlund who carried the ball in for the early 1-0 lead.

• Jon Curry beat his defender and crossed a perfect pass to Rosenlund who one-timed it past goalkeeper Justin Pines for his second goal of the match and third of the season.

• Just over 15 minutes later, at 62:22, it was Rosenlund again as he took a feed from midfielder Eric Avila at the top left corner of the box and drilled a perfect shot into the upper right corner of the goal, beyond a leaping Pines. UCSB beat Northwestern, 3-2.

• The victory was Santa Barbara's ninth in its last ten matches and fourth in a row in the NCAA Tournament. With the win, the Gauchos advanced to their second College Cup in the last three seasons.

• UCSB faced Wakeforest in the College Cup for a chance to play for the national title and UCSB would defeat the Demon Deacons, 4-3. Sophomore midfielder Eric Avila, who struggled to get it going in regulation and overtime, took the Gauchos' fifth and final shot and gave Santa Barbara a 4-3 lead, shooting past Edwards in the top right corner.

• In the NCAA title game, unseeded UCSB faced UCLA. Throughout the years, UCSB had virtually no success against the Bruins, although that was about to change.

• The Gauchos held an 8-3 shot advantage at halftime and clearly out-played the heavily favored Bruins in the first 45 minutes of play.

• Even with the 2-0 lead Vom Steeg refused to sit on the ball. With a makeshift backline of juniors Andy Iro and Greg Curry, along with sophomore Alfonso Motagalvan - who started for just the seventh time this season in place of banged up Brennan Tennelle - playing well all day, the Gauchos continued to push offensively.

• Playing in its second College Cup Championship in the last three years, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team won its first NCAA National Championship, the second in any sport in the school's NCAA Division I history, with a 2-1 victory over UCLA on Sunday in snowy St. Louis, MO.

• Back in sunny Santa Barbara, the UCSB students and Gaucho Locos celebrated the national championship by carrying the soccer goals from Harder Stadium through the streets of Isla Vista and throwing the goals into the Pacific Ocean


Tournament Recaps

Finals: UCLA 2-1

Semis: Wake Forest 0-0 (4-3 PK)

Quarters: Northwestern 3-2

Sweet 16: Old Dominion 2-1

2nd Round: SMU 3-1

1st Round: San Diego St. 2-1