Aug. 21, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - He spent time at the University of Denver, but forward Sam Garza was a mile high in Santa Barbara Saturday night as he registered a goal and an assist for the UCSB men's soccer team in a convincing 3-1 exhibition victory over crosstown foe Westmont at Harder Stadium.
The 3,103 in attendance watched the sixth-ranked Gauchos dominate the season-opening match, out-shooting the Warriors 29-4 on the newly-laid grass of Meredith Field. UCSB has now won the last 10 meetings against Westmont and retained its ownership of the Bryant and Sons Cup, the longest-running soccer rivalry on the West Coast, now in its 48th year.
The Gauchos struck twice in the opening half. Garza, the 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year while at DU, chased down a ball that looked to be heading out of bounds near the left corner flag. After shaking and baking his way around two defenders, he bee-lined a near perfect centering pass to junior midfielder Luis Silva. Silva settled the ball and put a low shot past Warrior keeper Matthew McNab from about 15 yards out at the 10:16 mark.
Garza pocketed the eventual game-winning goal at 22:30 on a tough, low-angle shot from the left side of the area that found its way inside the far post. Junior mid Danny Barrera picked up the assist as he fed Garza from the left sideline to put the Gauchos up 2-0.
Though the Gauchos kept the ball on the offensive side of the pitch most of the night, Westmont would score an impressive goal in the 65th minute to get within one. Freshman midfielder Rick McCarthy fired a bomb from the top-middle of the box that sailed under the crossbar and out of reach of UCSB freshman keeper Eric Reyes, who started the second half in place of Sam Hayden. Senior Anthony Niboli assisted on the goal.
Splitting the match in goal, Hayden, a senior, made three saves while Reyes had none.
About 10 minutes after Westmont got on the board, the Gauchos added an insurance goal at 75:42. Sophomore Michael Nonni got around a defender at the top-right of the area and stuck a low shot inside the far left post past a diving McNab. Junior forward Waid Ibrahim was credited with an assist.
Barrera (six), Garza (five) and Nonni (4) accounted for 15 of UCSB's 29 shots. A total of 24 Gauchos played in the game.
McNab kept the score respectable as he made seven saves in the cage.
Garza nearly had a second goal as he hit the near post in the 52nd minute.
UCSB has out-scored Westmont 32-7 since 2001. The 2009 match-up ended with the same score as this year's game.
The Gauchos will have one more tune up before opening the regular season as it hosts the Mexican U-20 squad in an exhibition match on Friday, Aug. 27. Last year's game against the Mexican U-17s drew 8,425 fans to Harder Stadium.
Season tickets for the 2010 soccer season are now available. All season ticket packages include tickets for the 2010 Men's College Cup, which is being hosted by UCSB on Dec. 10-12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Individual season tickets start at just $75 and include one ticket to all home men and women's regular season games and one 2010 Men's College Cup all-session ticket. UCSB staff and faculty can purchase their season tickets for a reduced rate of $50. If you buy prior to the Sept. 7 match against Creighton, you'll get an exclusive Soccer Heaven scarf.
To purchase your tickets or for more information, please call 805.893.UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.
- UCSBgauchos.com -