Nov. 12, 2005
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The 17th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer finished the 2005 regular season with a commanding 2-0 win over UC Irvine, claiming second place in the Big West Conference with a 7-1-2 league record. The Gauchos now wait to see if they earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament thanks to a 12-4-3 record while playing one of the nation's toughest schedules.
Sophomore Hermann Trophy Candidate Tyler Rosenlund showed tonight why he is being considered for Division I men's soccer player of the year, scoring the game-winning goal before assisting on UCSB's second tally. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Reynish posted his eighth complete game shutout of the season to move into a tie for third place in the Gauchos' single season record books.
After a scoreless first half of play, Rosenlund put UCSB on the board in the 47th minute with his third goal of the season. Freshman midfielder Chris Pontius won a loose ball out on the Gauchos left flank, just beyond Santa Barbara's attacking side of midfield. Pontius looked up to see Rosenlund running across Irvine's backline from left to right near the top left corner of the Anteater penalty box and looped a through ball over the UCI defense and into Rosenlund's path. With Anteater goalkeeper Ryan Mathy charging off his line, Rosenlund alerting one-timed a chip over him to give Santa Barbara the 1-0 lead.
Following a couple of missed golden opportunities, the Gauchos eventually added an insurance goal at exactly the 87 minute mark. Standing near the middle of the center circle, Rosenlund picked up a cleared ball from Santa Barbara's backline and dribbled into the open space left by a pressing UCI down the right side. After beating one defender on the dribble Rosenlund carried the ball to just outside the top right corner of the Anteater penalty box before curling a cross to a charging Jonathan Davis on the backpost. Davis shielded his defender to knock down the pass, deftly hitting it under a diving Mathy for team second-best fifth goal of the season and the final 2-0 score.
Santa Barbara outshot Irvine 17-4 in the match, including a 9-1 advantage in shots on goal. Despite only having to make one save for the shutout, Reynish played very well off his line coming up with numerous stop before the Anteaters were able to get a shot off.
The match turned physical towards the end with both sides having players ejected for receiving their second yellow cards on the night. UCI forward Brad Evans was given a red card in the 74th minute, and UCSB's Brennan Tennelle was sent off in the 85th. Both teams combined for 40 fouls on the night.
Now the Gauchos await to see if the NCAA Selection Committee will award them an at-large berth into the 2005 NCAA Tournament by virtue of their overall record and strength of schedule. The tournament field will be announced this Monday, November 14th at 1:00 p.m. PST on ESPNews. Fans can join the UCSB players and coaches at Zodo's Bowling and Beyond to watch broadcast.