Sept. 23, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
In 2003, forward Neil Jones scored 13 goals for UC Santa Barbara, ranking second on the team, but through six matches in 2004, Jones, now a senior, had yet to score a goal. Once again, in Thursday night's Big West Conference opener against UC Riverside, Jones didn't score a goal. He scored three goals, leading top-ranked UCSB past the Highlanders, 3-0.
Jones first put the Gauchos on the board at the 25:27 mark when he re-directed senior Drew McAthy's lofted pass and put it into the right hand side of the goal. The play started when freshman Tyler Rosenlund slid a pass from near the top of the box to McAthy, who was on the left side.
Jones made it 2-0 UCSB in the 62nd minute when Tino Nuñez slipped him a pass in the center of the field. He got past the defenders and chipped a shot over UCR goalkeeper Charles Alamo from about 40 yards out. Jones completed his hat trick at the 77:17 mark when he took another pass from Nuñez and one-touched to the left of a diving Alamo. The play started when junior Bryan Byrne dribbled into the box on the left side and crossed the ball to Nuñez.
UCR's Alamo kept his team in the game with seven saves, several from point-blank range. He also weathered 13 UCSB corner kicks. The Highlanders had just one corner kick, none in the first half.
Gaucho goalkeeper Dan Kennedy needed just one save to record his sixth shutout of the season and the 27th of his career, tying a UCSB record. Santa Barbara outshot Riverside 18-3.
UCSB, playing its first match as the top-ranked team in the nation (Soccer America), improved to 7-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in Big West play. The Gauchos have allowed just one goal on the season and they have outscored their opponents 14-1. Riverside drops to 4-2-0 overall and 1-1-0 in league action.
UCSB returns to Harder Stadium on Sunday afternoon when it hosts UNLV in a non-conference match beginning at 2:00 p.m.