Sept. 25, 2005
Los Angeles, Calif. - The 10th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team had it's five game unbeaten streak snapped at five when a last second goal is waived off in 2-1 loss to Loyola Marymount. The Gauchos are now 4-2-1 re-entering Big West play next week.
UCSB broke it four-year scoreless streak against the Lions in the 8th minute of the match on Bryan Byrne's second game-opening goal in as many games and of the season. Senior forward Ivan Becerra picked up a loose ball in the center and took a couple of touches forward and wide to his left. Becerra looked up and saw a streaking Byrne down the right flank and chipped a perfect ball over LMU's backline and into Byrne's path just outside penalty area. Loyola Marymount keeper Robert Flores came off his line to meet Byrne but is was the Gauchos' Irishman who won the battle and directed the ball into the Lions net for the 1-0 lead.
LMU even the match five minutes later on a Diego Barrera strike that finished off Bobby Burling rebound. The Lions counter-attacked following a UCSB corner kick and clipped off a flurry of shots. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Reynish made a number of saves but the Santa Barbara defense was unable to clear the rebound. . Loyola Marymount took the lead in the 17th minute of the match with a great individual effort by Barrera near the Santa Barbara touchline. Burling beat his man one-on-one and slipped a pass to a wide open Burling in front of the net where he one-timed a shot past Reynish for the 2-1 lead.
The first half had a brief delay in the 26th minute when freshman Alfonso Motagalvan went down after his face was stepped on by Burling following a tackle outside of the penalty area. Motagalvan had to leave the match but later returned in the second half
The end of the hotly contested first half ended 2-1 Loyola Marymount with 33 total fouls being called, three yellow cards issued, and six combined trips by both athletic trainers onto the field.
The intensity of the first half carried over into the second with both teams combining for 58 fouls in the match, 30 for UCSB and 28 for LMU, but the scoring didn't. The Gauchos had a multitude of chances in the second half of play but could not find the back of the net, which proved to come back and bite them. Each team also had an additional yellow card issued against it in the second half, ending the match with five total combined between the two.
In the final 30 seconds of play, senior defender through the ball in deep in UCSB's defensive zone. The Gauchos carried the ball up the field and earned another throw-in with ten seconds remaining, even with the penalty box on their offensive-right side. Sophomore Hermann Trophy candidate Tyler Rosenlund took the throw and sailed it into the box to an awaiting Byrne who quickly hit a bicycle-kick cross to the front of the net. With just under four seconds remaining freshman Nick Perera, in his first match of the season, flicked Byrne cross to the back post. Freshman Chris Pontius leaped up to reach the ball and slammed it home in the final second of the match, beating Robles and sending the ball over the goal line before the automatic horn sounded.
The Gauchos' joy and hopes of an overtime period ended quickly the referee waived the goal off saying that time expired before the goal was scored, however after videotape review the ball was clearly across the line before clock's automatic horn sounded.
The loss continued UCSB's streak of controversial matches at Loyola Marymount, having now lost the last seven meetings with the Lions. The last time the Gauchos visited Sullivan Field, in 2002, the lost a 1-0 overtime affair after former All-American Memo Arzate was given a red card for a phantom punch midway through the second half, call that was reviewed on tape at a later time and deemed to be incorrect. Arzate finished his collegiate career with just one yellow and one red card.
Reynish came up big for Santa Barbara finishing the match with a game-high six saves in the losing effort. Becerra recorded a team and match-high six shots.
With the 2-1 result UCSB's four-game win streak and five-game unbeaten streak was ended heading back into Big West play next week at Cal Poly. Santa Barbara travels to San Luis Obispo to take on the Mustangs on Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m.