Sept. 28, 2005
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - The 19th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team increased it's lead in the Big West Conference, improving to 2-0 in league play and 5-2-1 overall with a 3-1 win at Cal Poly. Senior Ivan Becerra netted two goals, including the game-winner, for the third time in the last four matches to lead the Gauchos to the win.
Freshman midfielder Eric Avila scored his first career collegiate goal in the 12th minute of the match to get UCSB up on the board first. Sophomore Hermann Trophy candidate Tyler Rosenlund slipped Avila through the backline with a perfectly placed pass and Avila beat Mustang goalkeeper Jeremy Coupe one-on-one for an open-net goal. The assist was Rosenlund's team-leading third of the season.
Cal Poly tied things up just-under three minutes later when midfielder Moses Venegas unleashed a wicked shot off of spot kick past a sprawling Kyle Reynish. Reynish made one save on the night in picking up the win. The Gauchos out-shot the Mustangs 18-12 in the match, including a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal.
Becerra put UCSB back ahead in the 67th minute of the match with his first of two goals on the night. Senior Nate Boyden, who made the move back to his natural defensive midfield position, lobbed a free kick into the open space in the Cal Poly penalty box. Becerra turned on his man and met the pass in the space before ripping a shot across the frame and into the top right-hand corner for what proved to be the game-winner.
Boyden and Becerra connected again less than a minute later in similar fashion. Once again standing over a Gaucho free kick, Boyden slid a pass through and behind the Mustang's backline and into path of an onrushing Becerra who beat his man. With Coupe charging, Becerra touched the ball around him and tucked a low shot into the back post for his team-leading sixth goal, all in the last four matches. Boyden's two assists were his first of the season, tying him with Rosenlund for the team's single-game high thus far in 2005.
Santa Barbara will now take a week of before resuming Big West play next Wednesday, October 5, on the road at Cal State Fullerton. Following the match with the Titans, UCSB will host conference rival Cal State Northridge in a nationally televised match on Saturday, October 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium. The key Big West showdown will be aired on tape-delay on Sunday, October 9th at 7:00 p.m. PST.