Sept. 19, 2004
Fresh off of a 1-0 overtime victory over No. 1 Indiana, the 3rd-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team downed Columbia 4-1 to claim the UNM adidas/Crescent Solutions Invitational. The Gauchos finished the tournament with a 2-0 record and won the tourney title based upon their five overall goals in favor, edging host New Mexico, who also finished 2-0, by one goal. The win kept the Gauchos' record perfect and improved them to 6-0-0 on the season with three wins over ranked opponents.
Senior all-tournament honoree Drew McAthy led the Santa Barbara attack against the Lions, netting two goals, including the game-winner, and tallying one assist. In the Gauchos' six games this season McAthy has netted the winner in four.
Senior midfielder Matt Bly got UCSB on the board early with his first goal of the season at the 5:20 mark. With the ball in the left corner circle junior Nate Boyden sent the set piece to the near post and found Bly's body to put the Gauchos up 1-0.
Just over 13 minutes later senior forward Neil Jones got the ball just inside the box on the left side and played it inside to McAthy in the middle for his fourth goal of the season, and what proved to be the game-winner at 18:54 in the match. The assist was Jones' second of the season.
And then just under 13 minutes after his first of the night, McAthy nailed a shot from over 50-yards out over the head of the CU keeper from dead on for number two. Junior midfielder Efren Mata touched the ball out to sophomore forward Tino Nunez along the left sideline nearring midfield and Nunez played a quick pass into McAthy, resulting in their first assists as Gauchos.
Up 3-0 entering the second half, McAthy slotted a pass through the Lion defense and onto the feat of freshman midfielder Tyler Rosenlund in the middle of the field just outside the penalty box. Rosenlund dribbled past the defender and fired a shot into the top right corner at exactly the 50:00 mark for what proved to be the tournament-winning goal. The goal was the freshmen's second in as many weeks for the Gauchos.
Unfortunately for UCSB the scoring did not stop there. It was bound to happen sooner or later, after opening the season with five straight shutouts, including the double-overtime win over defending National Champion Indiana the night prior, the Gauchos gave up their first goal of the season. With 54:36 elapsed on the clock Columbia's Einar Benediktsson lofted a ball into the windy air across the box from right to left and found a streaking Ajene Green who dislodged from his defender on the back post, resulting in CU's lone goal. The goal ended senior Dan Kennedy's scoreless streak to start the year at a career-best 519:02 minutes and putting to an end his regular season shutout streak at seven games. Kennedy, was also awarded all-tournament honors, had not given up a regular season goal in 758:16 minutes.
Joining McAthy and Kennedy on the all-tournament squad were defenders Tony Lochhead and Andy Iro. Lochhead anchored the UCSB defense in its shutout victory over top-ranked Indiana before being set off with a red card just over a minute into overtime. And in addition to playing alongside Lochhead on defense, Iro netted the game-winning goal against the Hoosiers before leading the Gaucho defense on Sunday against the Lions.
With their sixth-consecutive regular season tournament title in hand, 12-0-0 in the last four years, Santa Barbara returns home for its Big West Conference opener on Thursday, September 23rd against a UC Riverside team that is playing its best soccer in recent history. Gametime for the match is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium.