Nov. 12, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Neil Jones' goal in the 72nd minute gave the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team a 1-0 Big West Conference victory over Cal State Fullerton, ensuring the Gauchos at least a second place finish in the conference. Junior goalkeeper Dan Kennedy posted his sixth shutout of the year to propel UCSB to 14-4-1 on the year and 6-3-0 in Big West play. The loss drops the Titans to 8-9-2 and 3-5-1 in conference action.
The Gauchos controlled most of the match in the first half, outshooting Fullerton 8-2 at the break, but the Titans goalkeeper Sam Reynolds kept the visitors in the match make three critical in the first 45 minutes. UCSB seniors David McGill, Matt Kubota, and Darren Doi excelled in the midfield all match, dominating the center of the field on the Gauchos' Annual Senior Night. The trio, along with the Gauchos back line, limited the CSF to just seven shots on the night.
UCSB rattled off 19 shots in the match, highlighted by Jones' 12th goal of the season in the 72nd minute off of a perfect Tony Lochhead corner kick. Lochhead set an arching liner toward the Titans near post and Jones managed to slip his defender and slam the ball into the top corner with head. The goal was Jones' third game-winner of the season.
In goal Kennedy made five saves on the night, including two at point blank to keep the game scoreless. The shutout was his sixth of the season and his 19th complete game blanking on his career, moving into third place by himself in Big West Conference history.
Neil Jones' six shots paced the game, while junior defender Tony Lochhead who played in the midfield tonight, was second on the team with five. Midfielders Ignacio Cid and Samuel Rivas led the Titan attack with two apiece.
The Gaucho now travel to UC Irvine to close out the 2003 regular season on Saturday, November 15th at 7:00 p.m. in Anteater Stadium. UCSB, who remains one point behind Cal State Northridge in the conference standing thanks to a 4-2 at Cal Poly tonight, still has a shot at a third straight Big West Title. Should the Matadors lose or tie at Cal State Fullerton this Saturday, a Gaucho win will solidify a third consecutive crown and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.