Nov. 23, 2002
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
In front of over 3,400 fans, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team defeated the University of San Diego 2-0 in the first NCAA Tournament appearance of the program's history. The Gauchos, 18-2-1, will now travel to Berkeley to face Cal on Wednesday, November 27th in second round action. The Toreros season ends with an overall record of 14-6-0. The game marked San Diego's fifth straight postseason appearance.
Santa Barbara struck early in the sixth minute when junior midfielder David McGill fed senior forward Rob Friend with a through ball over the top of the Toreros' defense. Friend collected the ball before colliding with a defender and USD goalkeeper Parker Jarvis. Both Jarvis and the central defender went to ground and Friend broke through to net his 20th goal of the season, extending his school record.
The teams engaged in a physical battle trading fouls for the next 81 minutes with the score remaining at 1-0 UCSB. Sophomore midfielder Matt Bly would give the Gauchos their insurance goal with just under three minutes remaining in the match when he slipped a shot low and just inside the left post at the 87:14 mark. Bly's fourth goal of the season was set up when Friend let go a pass from just outside the left corner of the penalty box finding senior midfielder Brandon Meeks in the middle. Meeks took a couple of touches, drawing the San Diego defense towards him, setting up Bly for a clear shot.
But it was the Gaucho defense that was the star tonight, headed by sophomore goalkeeper Danny Kennedy, as they held the Toreros to 11 shots on the game. Kennedy was huge between the pipes for UCSB making seven saves, including two the last ten minutes of the match. The shutout was Kennedy's sixth of the season as he has not allowed a goal in his last 335:22 minutes of play.
The winner of Santa Barbara's NCAA College Cup Second Round game at Cal will go on to face the winner of the Loyola Marymount-UCLA match to be played on the same day on the campus of UCLA.
USD Head Coach Shamus McFadden
About the play of UCSB's defense
They played very well, you have to tip your hat off to them. We had our opportunities to score but sometimes where there's a will in soccer there's not always a way.
About team being out of sync.
We were out of snyc in the first half I thought. We didn't play to our capabilities in the first half I thought. A lot of that possibly is that Santa Barbara is a big physical thing. They body you up quite a bit and I think that certainly affected us.
About the quick score.
That was sort of a brain fart that really shouldn't have happened, we have two senior guys there and there was a lack of communication. The surface was a difficult surface for us because you know the field is a different surface and I thought we struggled with it in terms of footing. We should have been wearing studs tonight and I think that first goal was a direct result of it. You notice we were slipping, we spent a lot of time on the ground. The grass sorta seemed to give way on us tonight. But if you play soccer you have to bring your tools, a good carpenter doesn't leave his tools at home. We didn't. Not to make excuses, at the end of the day, they put their opportunities away, they were a little more fluid than us tonight and they put their chances away and we didn't.
On David McGill.
Not so nice of a fellow Irishman to do that is he. He's a cheeky little bugger. It's soccer and he played well, I thought we were chasing the game towards the end and there was a tackle there that I thought was a foul but you know, sometimes they go for you and sometimes they go against you, tonight it didn't go for us, at that point we were chasing the game but I thought that was a big call there at the end of the game, or should I say, a big no-call.
USD Player Ryan Coiner
On shutting him down.
We just got too spread out where I didn't have support, the field is so big we're not used to a field that long. As the game went on we just got more and more spread out and I didn't have support to play to, so I couldn't support and run off.
On the shot that missed
Sometimes things don't break for you, we had our opportunities and they didn't go it.
On the crowd.
You know I didn't even notice the crowd until they scored that second goal, it was one of the loudest cheers I've heard all year, it was kinda fun to listen to, but I didn't notice it until then
UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg
On winning the his first NCAA game.
Obviously it's hard to express in words what it felt like tonight on the field. The crowd was great, the energy was great on the field, I felt like we were really prepared for what was going to happen tonight, so I think we just had to make a couple adjustments at halftime, but otherwise everything that we thought was gonna happen, happened tonight. They played very hard, we played very hard, and I felt like if we could just shut down #22 up top for them we would be ok. I think we're going to get our goals, we scored first here at home, we play very well here at home, to me it went like I thought it would.
On how important it was to score first.
Very important, we call that a "Rob goal," where two guys were stuck on the ground and Rob's putting something in the net, normally you don't want to score that early because it gets the other team going and it can be a let down later on. But we'll take a goal in the playoffs anytime.
About thinking a missed shot may come back to haunt them.
Well we went into halftime, especially in these games where it could be one nothing it could be three nothing, what we spoke about at half time was what we needed to do on defense to make sure they didn't score. So that was the real key for us, to stay solid in the back, if the second one game, the third one, great, either was we were going to get out of here with a win.
Impression of Dan Young shutting down Coiner.
We haven't played against Connier. The advantage goes to the forward when the defender hasn't seen him before, I had seen Connier a lot more then Dan had so I was trying to talk him through the first fifteen minutes about how to play him. You don't want to get too close to him on a tight turn because he's got good speed going foraward, so Dan just had to play a little bit smarter, in terms of if he could win the ball, go get the ball, but if he couldn't, stay back a little bit and not get turned on, Dan is a very very smart soccer player and after about 15 minutes he saw what Connier was about a little bit and I felt that as the game went on Connier became more frustrated and I thought Dan kept playing better and better as the game went on. Again, he's a very smart soccer player and that was a key matchup in the game.
On learning from mistakes with Indiana
Yesterday we replayed the goals against Indiana in the locker room and it was a pretty straight forward statement. If we give up those goals tonight, we're done, the season's over. That's why you play an Indiana because when you make mistakes like that they make you pay. So I think tonight's win goes a long way towards that Indiana game and obviously the abilitiy of the players and the coaching staff to make the adjustments after that game and step up and win a game tonight which is the game you want to have, so the Indiana game was obviously very huge for us.
On the team being loose.
Well I think the statement that we made all week was that our goals that we have up in the locker room that the team came up with themselves, we accomlshed them this year. Our goal was to repeat as champions of the Big West, our goal was to make the NCAA tournament, so we did all those things, now were in a different world and at this point it was actually the least amount of pressure that I felt before the game that I did all season. I felt loose before the game, I felt the players were comfortable about our ability and I think you want to be playing well at the right time and that's what this team is doing right now, so there's a lot of confidence that comes inside and that's not just cheering and screaming in the locker room, it's the kinda confidence that you get when you're playing well and you're playing well with eachother. Like I said, this is a great group and I think people tonight got to see what a special group we've been working with all year.
UCSB Player David McGill
About the pass and what you saw.
Well before the game Tim just told me that when the ball is on the week side just tuck in. That's what I was doing, just hanging out and waiting for the ball to break and when Rob put his head down and started going I put the ball over the top. No defenders can stay with Rob, he's fast for his size too. He got the break of the ball and put it in the net.
On the Crowd.
It's great to have the support of the fans. Jeff said there was about 3400, but it seemed like a whole lot more then that, there must have been people sneaking in or something. Crowd was great, they cheered and it really gets you going, you really want to play well. It adds an extra 10% to your play, wanting to do well in front of the crowd.
UCSB Player Rob Friend
On his goal, beating the defender and the keeper.
The first thing I do when Gilla looked up and saw me running, we saw the goalie run out and I had the defender on my side, the defender was a lot smaller and the goalie was too, I thought if I could just stay on my feet and try and get a touch on it, which I did, it kinda bounced up, around the goalie, I collided with the goalie and the defender, but I knew if I could stay on my feet the ball would pop up, which it did and fortunately I put my head down and put it in the back of the net. It was pretty fortunate as well.
On possibly his last home game
It was great, you know coming into here after transferring, Tim promised me that we would make the tournament and we've worked hard it's been since day one when I got here, the freshman came in and we got some transfers in, we work so hard, we knew that we could play at home in front of a home crowd, we're the type of team that if we get momentum in a playoff we get fired up, I think we're a tough team to play, especially at home, so I think it was pretty special, in front of a crowd like that cheering us on. Maybe that was our last game at home, hopefully not, but most likely, it was definitely a great way to go out.
UCSB Player Danny Kennedy
On defense winning the game
I agree with that, it was a two nothing game, but for a while there it was a one to nothing dogfight. But with Dan and Tony stepping up like they did on their high low forwards, they did an excellent job keeping their transition going so we could kinda kill their offense attack. Alan played well in the middle and I had to just hold some balls. We got out of there with a shutout.
On scramble at the end when they finally got the ball out of the box. Balls bouncing around and you're trying to get a hand or get anything on it, we did and we got the best of it. The ball bounced our way a little bit tonight but we'll take that any night.
On a shutout.
That was awesome, the whole defense stepped up huge, and Robbie and Matt put away their goals and we got out of there with a win.