Nov. 9, 2005
Riverside, Calif. - It was a day of firsts for the 17th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team as it topped UC Riverside 3-1 in today's Big West Conference match. Sophomores Andrew Proctor and Brennan Tennelle, and freshman Alfonso Motagalvan, all scored their first goals of the season to help the Gauchos improve 11-4-3 overall on the season and 6-1-2 in league play.
UCSB hit the scoreboard first when Proctor scored his first goal of the season with a deft chip over UCR goalkeeper Andrew Hills. Sophomore preseason All-American Andy Iro hit well placed clear to the top out on the Gauchos' attacking -right flank. Senior Bryan Byrne caught up to Iro's pass near the top right corner of the penalty box and beat defender Scott Barnett with a couple of touches before sliding a pass behind the defense in towards the six yard box. Proctor touched Byrne's pass forward and onto the near post, drawing out Hills, leaving the back post for Proctor's taking and a 1-0 Santa Barbara lead in the 22nd minute.
Proctor, who made his first start of the season today, got into mix again less than eight minutes later, setting up Tennelle for his first goal of the season and a 2-0 UCSB lead. With the ball out wide right, Byrne dumped a ball into the six-yard box onto the chest of senior Ivan Becerra who was posted in front of Hills. Becerra brought the ball down to his feet a played it off to the charging Proctor near the right post. Proctor one-timed the pass and rifled a shot off the chest of Hills, sending the rebound trickling across the open frame. Tennelle jumped on the chance, shedding his defender and touching the ball into the wide -open goal in the 30th minute of the match.
Motagalvan continued the half of firsts for the Gauchos, running onto the end of an Eric Frimpong cross to give the guests a 3-0 lead going into halftime. Following a couple of bouncing balls in the Riverside penalty box after a UCSB free kick, the Highlander defense cleared the ball out to midfield up the left sideline where Frimpong met up with it. Frimpong turned with the ball and carried it a couple of touches back towards the box before alertly chipping a cross towards the far post. Motagalvan managed to get some distance between himself and his defender running left-to-right across the top of the penalty box to get underneath Frimpong's lofted ball. The freshman midfielder only needed to lightly lift the ball with his head over Hills, continuing it on its path into the back post for Motagalvan's first career collegiate goal in the 41st minute.
Santa Barbara outshot UCR 9-5 in the first half, with Reynish only being forced to make one save to keep the Highlanders at bay in the half. Hills made three saves on UCSB's six shots on goal.
The Gauchos' achilles heal this season bit them yet again when UCR narrowed the gap to two will a Randy Poggio goal on a set piece in the 51st minute of the match. The Highlanders earned a free kick just outside the top left corner of UCSB's penalty box. Riverside's Jordan Arias sent a cross into the back post that Poggio met up with after losing his defender to cut the Santa Barbara lead to 3-1.
Despite the set piece goal, UCSB's defensive unit of seniors Chris Hughes and Nate Boyden, Iro, and junior Jeff Murphy played very well in the absence of senior Pat Scott who is out for the season. The Gaucho defense limited the Highlanders to just two shots on goal in the match.
Santa Barbara dominated the play in the box, outshooting UCR 18-9, including a 10-2 advantage in shots on goal.
UCSB returns home this weekend for its regular season finale this Saturday against UC Irvine looking for an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. Kickoff for Saturday's senior night match is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium.