17th-Ranked Gauchos Shock Top-Ranked and Third-Seeded SMU, 3-1
Nov. 15, 2006
DALLAS - The 17th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team shocked top-ranked and third-seeded Southern Methodist in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Wednesday night in Dallas, 3-1.
UCSB got on the board first at 31:38 when sophomore forward Nick Perera took a pass from sophomore midfielder Eric Avila and powered a shot from the top of the box that glided past Mustang goalkeeper Matt Wideman. It was Perera's fifth goal of the season.
SMU knotted the score in the 41st-minute when Scott Corbin took a feed from Chase Wileman and one-time a shot into the back of the goal. Mynor Gonzalez also assisted on the score for the Mustangs. The goal was Corbin's third of the season and for Wileman, it was his 13th assist.
The Gauchos wasted little time snapping the tie. At the 43:08, freshman midfielder David Walker scored the first goal of his career. With the ball loose in front of Wideman, Walker charged in and headed a shot in for the unassisted tally. The score was 2-1 UCSB at the half.
The second half was scoreless until the 76th-minute when Santa Barbara added some insurance. Senior Bryan Byrne crossed a pass into the box and Avila one-timed the ball past Wideman for his sixth goal of the season, giving the Gauchos an insurmountable 3-1 advantage. The assist was the eighth of the year for Byrne.
UCSB dominated the physical match, outshooting SMU 16-8. Wideman made seven saves while Gaucho goalkeeper Kyle Reynish had three. Santa Barbara was whistled for 25 fouls in the contest, while the Mustangs had just 11.
The Gauchos, who scored as many as three goals in a match just two other times this season, did so Wednesday night against an SMU team which was not only ranked number one in the nation, but had allowed just 11 goals in its 22 matches. The Mustangs were also unbeaten at home (8-0-1) entering the contest and as a team they had posted 14 shutouts.
The win improves the Gauchos record to 14-7-0 on the season. SMU drops to 17-2-4.
UCSB will advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four seasons. The Gauchos will play Old Dominion, a 1-0 upset-winner over North Carolina tonight. The match will be played in Norfolk, Va.