Oct. 23, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore Sam Garza scored the first Gaucho hat trick in three seasons on Saturday night as No. 18 UC Santa Barbara defeated visiting Cal State Northridge, 4-0, at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.
The win improves the Gauchos to 10-3-2 on the season and 6-1 in the Big West. UCSB remains at the top of the conference leaderboard with 18 points. Cal State Northridge falls to 2-11-2 and 1-5-1 in league play.
UCSB scored its first three goals in the first 13 minutes of the match. The game-winning strike came in just the fifth minute when junior Luis Silva crossed the ball into the box to freshman David Opoku, who one-touched the ball to the left side of the goal for his fourth goal of the season and second game-winner.
The Gaucho onslaught continued when Garza got the ball on the right side of the field and then made a cut to the middle and sent the ball to the left side of the goal for an unassisted strike in the 12th minute.
Just 42 seconds later, junior Peter McGlynn bent a cross that Garza flicked in towards the far post for his second goal of the match.
Leading 3-0, UCSB did not let up in the second half and in the 58th minute, Garza completed his hat trick. Junior Danny Barrera got the ball and when Matador goalkeeper Michael Abalos came out towards him, he passed the ball to Garza on his left, who was able to sink it in from 25 yards out.
Garza is the first Gaucho to score three goals in a game since Chris Pontius did so in a 4-0 win over UC Irvine on Oct. 3, 2007. His hat trick is the 24th in program history. His trio of goals came on just three shot attempts.
For the match, UCSB out-shot the Matadors 13-7 and had a 10-4 advantage for shots-on-goal.
In goal, senior Sam Hayden made four stops on his way to his 22nd career shutout, which ties him fourth all-time on the UCSB career shutouts list with Ryan Sparre (1988-91). He needs two more to tie third-ranked Kyle Reynish (2003-06).
Speaking of records, Barrera's assist on Garza's third goal was his sixth of the season, bringing his career count to 20. He is now tied ninth all-time in the UCSB annuls with Michael Zawianski for career helpers.
Saturday's win brings the Gauchos' current win streak to seven games and they have won 10 of their last 11. The last time UCSB put together seven-consecutive victories was during the 2004 season when it posted an eight and then 10-game win streak.
UCSB will continue Big West action on the road next Wednesday as the Gauchos travel to Cal Poly to play the Mustangs in a Fox Soccer Channel game at 8 pm.
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.