Oct. 21, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior midfielder Tyler Rosenlund scored for the first time this season at the 37:15 mark and the defense took care of the rest, as the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team defeated Cal State Fullerton 1-0 in a Big West Conference match Saturday night at Harder Stadium. The victory extended the Gauchos winning streak to a season-high three games and moved them back into first place in the conference standings.
UCSB swept the season series with CSUF after a 2-1 double overtime win September 21 in Fullerton. With the win, the Gauchos improved to 10-6 overall and 5-2-0 in Big West play, while the Titans dropped to 5-9-1 and 1-5-0, respectively. Santa Barbara has won the last seven meetings.
UCSB moved back into the top spot in the Big West conference standings with 15 points. Santa Barbra is two points ahead of UC Irvine who tied Cal Poly 0-0 in double overtime Saturday.
The Gauchos got the better of the Titans in what proved to be an extremely physical contest. A total of 29 fouls were called, including nine cautions. Santa Barbara was whistled for four yellow and one red card, while Fullerton was issued three yellow cards.
UCSB came out looking to strike quickly offensively and recorded six shots in the opening ten minutes. Rosenlund had a great look in the box early, but Titan starting goalkeeper Kevin Puder was there to make the save. Freshman David Walker had another chance in the tenth minute after a Titan foul in the box, but his free kick was blocked by the Fullerton defensive wall.
The Titans had a few of their best scoring opportunities early on as well, but senior keeper Kyle Reynish and the Gaucho defense stood their ground. Fullerton's first two shots of the game were on frame, with Reynish saving offerings from forward Eugene Brooks and defender Yaron Shlomi.
After several unsuccessful attempts, UCSB finally broke the scoreless tie in the 38th minute. Sophomore forward Nick Perera dribbled the ball up field and found junior striker Andrew Proctor on the left wing. Proctor spun around, eluding a defender, and dished to Rosenlund just as he was entering the box. The Port Coquitlam, British Colombia native shot up over his defender and the ball hit the crossbar, bounced straight down and in past keeper Brent Douglas, who had replaced an injured Puder three minutes earlier.
The eventual game-winner was the first goal of the season for Rosenlund and sixth of his career.
The Titans would not go quietly and worked to tie the match in the second half. After a Santa Barbara breakdown defensively, Brooks had another good shot at the equalizer when he was one-on-one in the box, but Reynish made a remarkable save from the ground. Fullerton's next opportunity came 15 minutes later, but midfielder Matt Sanders sailed his shot high.
Reynish finished with five saves, leading the Gaucho defense to its third consecutive shutout and fourth in the last five games. UCSB has now held its opponent's scoreless a total of nine time in 2006. Douglas and Puder had a combined eight saves for the Titans.
The Gauchos out-shot the visitors 20-10 for the match, including a 12-4 advantage in the second half. Nine of Santa Barbara's shots were on frame to only five for Fullerton.
"Obviously, we needed to win tonight to keep pace in the conference standings," head coach Tim Vom Steeg said. "We got the goal from Tyler and then the defense took over like it has done so many times for us this season. With Northridge coming in here next week, I like the way we're playing defensively."
UCSB will take on Cal State Northridge in its only game next week, Wednesday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. The Gauchos and Matadors will square off in a CSTV-televised match at Harder Stadium for the second consecutive year.