Dec. 3, 2006

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St. Louis, Mo. - The unseeded UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team upset UCLA 2-1 for its first NCAA National Championship Sunday at Hermann Stadium in St. Louis.

Nick Perera wasted no time and put UCSB up 1-0 with a goal at the 2:12 mark of the first half. Eric Avila added the second score at 60:01 on assists from Perera and Bryan Byrne.

The Bruins, who stomped Virginia 4-0 in Saturday's semifinal, got a goal from Jason Leopoldo at 78:56, but the Gaucho defense held for the rest of the match. Senior keeper Kyle Reynish made four saves in the game for UCSB.

UCSB ends its championship season with a 17-7-1 record, while UCLA finishes at 14-6-4.

It is the second national title in UCSB history as the men's water polo team won the first in 1979. Had UCLA won, it would have been the school's 100th national championship.