Oct. 12, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior midfielder Luis Silva scored with just 53 seconds remaining in regulation time to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 2-1 win over visiting Cal Poly on Tuesday evening at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium in the first of two Blue-Green Rivalry games between the teams this season.
With the win, UCSB improves to 6-3-2 on the season and 3-1 in Big West play. Meanwhile, Cal Poly falls to 4-5-2 overall and 1-2-1 in league games.
Machael David initiated the game-winning play when he played the ball right over Silva, who split a pair of defenders directly in front of the goal and shot to the low left side for his first strike of the 2010 season.
UCSB had initially gotten on the scoreboard just over five minutes into the second half when Sam Garza got the ball in the midfield, carried it down the left side of the field and then hit the high right corner of the Cal Poly goal from the left side of the box for the unassisted goal.
Ten minutes later the Mustangs had two opportunities to equalize the game on a pair of headers by David Zamora, but the first hit the left post and deflected out and the second went just over the cross bar, preserving the Gaucho lead.
As time began to run low for Cal Poly, the Gauchos continued to pound away offensively, though it appeared that their one goal would be enough to take the win. That was until the 77th minute when Tim White sent a diagonal pass backwards to Cameron Walters at the top of the box. From the right side, Walters sent a shot to the left side of the Gaucho goal, tying the game up at one-all and forcing the Gauchos to find some late-game heroics.
As has been the case all season, UCSB led Cal Poly for shots, 18-11, and had a 13-3 shots on-goal advantage. To his credit, Cal Poly goalkeeper Patrick McLain did a phenomenal job for the Mustangs, recording 11 saves.
In the waning minutes of the half, Silva had a beautiful shot from 25 yards out that was deflected by McLain. James Kiffe was able to get his foot on the rebound after it bounced around a bit, but McLain made another impressive save diving toward the left post to prevent the goal.
With less than two minutes left in the half, David Opoku carried the ball straight up the middle of the box and fired it to the low left hand side of the goal. McLain dove towards his right and got a hand on the ball to deflect it out in one of his most impressive plays of the night. For the Gauchos, freshman goalkeeper Eric Reyes kept his record perfect at 3-0. He made two saves in the win.
The victory improves UCSB's home unbeaten streak against the Mustangs to 11 games. UCSB has gone 10-0-1 against Cal Poly at Harder Stadium since the 1999 season. The win also gives UCSB a 2-0 advantage in the Blue-Green Rivalry series. As the Gauchos and Mustangs battle it out on the field, diamond, court and in the pool, the Big West rivals will seek to make fans and students aware of their campuses' recycling and sustainability efforts. The eco-slant to the rivalry fits both the colors of sustainability and each school's colors (blue for UCSB and green for Cal Poly). The rivalry is based on the 16 sports the two campuses compete in throughout the year. UCSB won the inaugural series, 12-10, and women's volleyball got the Gauchos out to a good start with a win over the Mustangs last Saturday.
UCSB is the proud host of the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. This marks the first time since the 2004 season that the Cup has been held on the West Coast. All-Session passes for the College Cup can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.