Nov. 9, 2002
Riverside, Calif. -
Amidst a heavy downpour, the 15th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team clinched its second consecutive Big West Conference title with a 3-0 victory over UC Riverside. With the win the Gauchos improve to 15-2-1 on the year, and 7-0-1 in the Big West with two conference matches remaining.
UCSB forward Rob Friend scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, heading in teammate Memo Arzate's corner kick at the 18:02 mark. The goal was Friend's 16th of the season, he needs just two more to tie UCSB's single season scoring record of 18 set by Scott Grasinger in 1983. Arzate tallied his team leading 16th assist of the year, one short of Eric Price's UCSB record of 17.
Freshman defender Alan Keely notched his first collegiate goal in high fashion, driving the field coast-to-coast through the middle of the Highlander defense and firing a shot from about 20 yards out with 63:15 on the clock to give Santa Barbara a 2-0 lead.
The Gauchos' struck again a little more than five minutes later when Matt Bly collected the rebound off of teammate Matt Kubota's shot to give the game its final score of 3-0. The goal was Bly's second in the last two games and his third of the season, the assist was Kubota's fifth in eight conference matches.
Santa Barbara outshot Riverside 25-4 in the match, forcing Highlanders goalkeeper Alex Keough to make 10 saves on the day on the rain soaked field. UCSB goalkeeper Danny Kennedy made two saves, both late in the match, to preserve his six shutout of the year before giving way to freshman keeper Kyle Reynish with 12:00 minutes remaining. Kennedy has now posted 13 shutouts over the last two seasons to pace all Big West goalkeepers.
Santa Barbara faces Cal State Fullerton next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Fullerton before closing out the regular season at home on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. against UC Irvine in Harder Stadium.