Byrne, Frimpong Score as Gauchos Tie UC Irvine, 2-2
Oct. 14, 2005
Irvine, Calif. - In what has become the norm for this particular Big West Conference match, the 15th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team played through two overtime periods to tie host UC Irvine 2-2. Junior Eric Frimpong netted the game-tying goal midway through the second half to send the match to the eventual overtime periods, marking the third straight year that the two schools battled it out in a double-overtime affair in Irvine. The Gauchos are now 6-2-3 on the season and remain in first in the Big West with a 3-0-2 conference mark.
After a scoreless first 40 minutes to the match, Anteater Brad Evans hit the board in the 42nd minute to give the hosts a short-lived 1-0 lead when they were gifted a penalty kick following a hand-ball in the box.
The UCI lead was short-lived because senior midfielder Bryan Byrne netted his fourth goal of the season under a minute-and-a-half later, collecting a rebound of an Eric Avila shot to knot the match at 1-1. Avila's shot came on the back end of a Jeff Murphy cross.
Entering the second half with the score still tied at one all, UCSB had a couple of chances early to take the lead, however UCI goalkeeper Ryan Mathy thwarted the Santa Barbara attempts to open the door once again for Evans.
In the match's 48th minute Evans found himself on the run one-on-one with Reynish following a Mathy clear that careened towards the Santa Barbara goal off Andy Iro's head. Evans was able to slide his shot past the diving Kyle Reynish who came off his line but just missed stopping Evan's go-ahead goal.
Reynish finished the night with two saves in preserving the tie, including one late stop to send the match into overtime.
As the minutes continued to click off, the Gauchos continued to pound the Anteater net, ultimately outshooting Irvine 20-9 in the match, and their persistence paid off with Frimpong's game-tying goal in the 55th minute, his second of the season. Murphy once again played the role of Santa Barbara's set-up man, firing off the initial shot that Mathy saved to open the net for Frimpong.
Having tied its last two matches, UCSB will look to put another tallying the win column when it takes a break from conference play to host future Big West member UC Davis tomorrow night in Harder Stadium. Kickoff of tomorrow night's match is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.