Oct. 11, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's men's soccer team suffered its first Big West defeat in almost a year and were shut out for the first time in over a year in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to No. 13 UC Davis.
The Gauchos (6-4-2 overall, 1-1-1 in the Big West) came into the game ranked as high as 13th in the nation and carried the country's longest goal-scoring streak at 31 consecutive games, but that ended despite the team taking 14 shots. UCSB outshot UC Davis (11-1-1 overall, 3-0-1 in the Big West) 14-10 but the Aggies made the most of theirs.
Led by the conference's leading goal scorer Quincy Amarikwa, who scored both UC Davis goals, the Aggies handed UCSB its first defeat in Big West play since a 2-1 loss to Cal Poly last Oct. 17.
Amarikwa scored his 11th goal this season at 17:03 into the game when he took a centering pass from Paul Marcoux, dribbled in and easily beat goalie Kristopher Minton for a 1-0 lead.
The Gauchos tried to get something going, but managed just four first-period shots against a stout UC Davis defense and goalie Ryan McCowan, who eventually posted his sixth shutout this season.
Yet, UCSB mixed things up in the second half to try and get things going and took 10 shots in the second half, but McCowan had five saves and the Gauchos couldn't muster enough offense as UC Davis packed their players in to prevent any sort of Gaucho attack. UCSB entered the game averaging an impressive 2.09 goals per game average.
In a show of how aggressive the Gauchos tried to be, they were whistled for offsides eight times in the game, oftentimes killing what could have been a potential counter-attack. Senior forward Chris Pontius took seven shots, including two on goal, but couldn't score. Bongomin Otii also had two shots on goal, both of which were saved.
Amarikwa scored his 12th goal of the season on a highlight-reel play that even the 4,007 in attendance had to applaud. After passing the ball to Ian Conklin, Amarikwa received the ball back on a lob pass, jumped up and nailed a perfect bicycle kick past Minton. That shot stunned the crowd and seemed to deflate the Gauchos at 47:38 as the team couldn't recover.
The game was, as expected, very physical with a total of 28 fouls called between the teams. However, UCSB was also given six total yellow cards, one each to Jon Curry, David Walker, Michael Boxall, Martin Hedevag, Luis Silva and Michael Tetteh. For Tetteh, it marks his fifth of the season meaning he will be forced to miss next Tuesday's match vs. UC Riverside.
That game finishes off a three-game homestand and features a giveaway of free flags for the first 500 fans. As always, students are free. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by logging on to UCSBgauchos.com.