Nov. 15, 2003
Irvine, Calif. -
In his final regular season game as a Gaucho, senior forward Gene Deering made a spectacular play in the second minute of the second overtime period to give the 15th-ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos a 1-0 win at UC Irvine. The win improves UCSB to 15-4-1 entering the NCAA Tournament next week. With a 7-3-0 record in Big West play the Gauchos earned second place in the conference standings.
The match seemed to be in the hands of UCSB all night as it struggled to stay on sides. When all was said and done the Gauchos's attacking offense was flagged ten times compared to the Anteaters one. The shot counts were even at 12 apiece, as were the goalkeepers save marks, Dan Kennedy and UCI's Cameron Rossi each earning four on the night. Kennedy was steller between the pipes, making three diving saves at point blank range to post his seventh shutout of the season, matching his career-high, and tallying the 20th complete game blanking of his career.
UCSB's midfield, which once again featured Tony Lochhead, got in the mix to set up Deering's overtime heroics. Lochhead picked up a cleared ball along the left sideline near midfield. After a couple of touches, Lochhead switched the ball to the feet of David McGill on the opposite side of the field. McGill then found Memo Arzate in the middle of the field with a one touch pass near the top of the box. Arzate turned and hit Deering down on the touchline, and the rest was history on the Gauchos' 2003 regular season.
UC Santa Barbara now awaits the decision of the NCAA Tournament Selection comittee to see if it will receive an at-large berth into the tourney for the second consecutive season. The UCSB players and staff will be gathering at Zodo's Bar and Grill off of Calle Real to watch the selection show on ESPNews at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 17th.