Oct. 28, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara avenged its lone Big West loss of the season on Wednesday evening as it rolled to a 2-0 victory over visiting Cal State Northridge at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium just 10 days after being shutout, 1-0, by the Matadors.
UCSB improves to 12-3-1 overall on the season and is now 6-1-0 in the Big West. The Matadors fall to 7-7-2 overall and 2-4-1 in conference play.
CSUN had the first scoring opportunity of the game when Cameron Sims fired a shot that went high in the fourth minute, but it was the Gauchos' first shot that proved to be golden.
Sixteen minutes into the game, UCSB got on the scoreboard when sophomore Luis Silva's strike from 35 yards out hit the top left corner of the Northridge goal. Freshman Machael David assisted the goal, marking his third assist of the year and his second in two games.
Under five minutes into the second half, the Gauchos struck again when sophomore Danny Barrera played a through ball to sophomore Waid Ibrahim, who beat the Matador keeper, Michael Abalos, with a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal. The goal was Ibrahim's fifth of the season and second in two games.
Northridge out-shot UCSB 7-5 in the remaining 40 minutes of the game, but the Gaucho defense held the Matadors off for their 10th shutout of the season and sixth in conference play.
The Gaucho shutout was threatened twice late in the game. In the 74th minute, Sims received a through ball on the right side of the box and headed a shot that bounced off the left post. Six minutes later, the Matadors saw another opportunity fall short when there was a scuffle in the box and Mattias Bonvehi fired a shot that went high, hitting the crossbar on its way out of the field of play.
In the goal, junior Sam Hayden posted two saves in his 10th shutout of the season. He now stands alone at fourth place in the UCSB record books for single season shutouts.
"I think our defense has improved tremendously this year, and it gives the team a lot of confidence knowing that when they get a lead, they can close the game," said head coach Tim Vom Steeg following the win.
Tonight's game was sponsored by the Goleta Hampton Inn. The Goleta Hampton Inn is a preferred hotel of UCSB Athletics and is conveniently located only 1.3 miles away from campus off Hollister Avenue. Right now, those visiting UC Santa Barbara can take advantage of special rates. To book your stay, visit Goleta.HamptonInn.com or call 1-800-HAMPTON.
The Gauchos will continue Big West play on Saturday, Oct. 31 when they head to UC Irvine for a 7 p.m. match-up with the Anteaters. The game will be broadcast live on KIST 1490 AM and online here.