Oct. 4, 1999
There We Have It!
By scoring the only goal of their match with San Jose State Saturday night, the Gauchos secured their seventh win of the season, a total that surpasses the combined efforts of the 1997 and 1998 teams, which won four and two games, respectively. UCSB is now just three wins away from equaling the victory total of the Gaucho teams of the last three seasons. Not since 1995 has UCSB had a winning record or reached postseason play. With UCSB's leading scorer Thiago Martins out of the lineup with a red card, its second leading goalman Jaime Ambriz found the back of the net in the 56th minute in the matchup with the Spartans, after receiving a pass from Steven Sosa, the team's leader in assists. Goalkeeper Stewart Sanders earned his fourth shutout of the season. UCSB improved to 7-3-0 on the season. The win exemplifies the difference betweenlast year's Gauchos and this year's team. The 1998 Gauchos played well against a tough San Jose State squad, but lost 3-0. Whereas UCSB often turned in respectable showings and lost, it is now both performing well and winning.
With Thiago "Thiba" Martins, the Gauchos' and MPSF Pacific division's leading scorer, out of action Saturday due to his receiving a red card in UCSB's last contest, the Gauchos' matchup with San Jose State on the ThunderPitch at Harder Stadium figured to be heavy duty. However, UCSB's sophomore forward (and Martins' teammate at Santa Barbara City College the last two seasons) Jaime Ambriz (no nickname) was ready. Ambriz connected on a line drive shot from the penalty area in the 56th minute vs. SJSU to give the Gauchos all the offensive output they would need. The goal was Ambriz's fourth of the season. His goal count and nine total points rank him second among Gauchos. Ambriz redshirted 1998 at SBCC after suffering a knee injury at the start of the season. He attended nearby Rio Mesa HS in Oxnard.
UCSB's supersenior goalkeeper Stewart "The Colonel" Sanders earned his fourth shutout of the season Saturday (11th career) in UCSB's 1-0 win over SJSU. Sanders also made a season-high seven saves in the match, bringing his 1999 total to 41. The Colonel also lowered his season GAA to 0.89 and his career mark to 1.26. Sanders' 11 blankings are the fifth-most ever by a Gaucho keeper. Sanders is also the only Gaucho left from UCSB's 1995 team which advanced to the MPSF playoffs.
The Gauchos will delve into the heart of darkness this weekend, when they begin conference play with MPSF matches at Cal State Fullerton and UCLA. The contests are the first of seven straight MPSF games before UCSB closes the season with three non-conference dates. Although UCSB has gone 3-1 against MPSF schools thus far, three of those games were against Mountain division opponents and the Irvine contest was just a preview of the team's conference date later in the season, so none of the games count in the MPSF standings. UCSB went 0-8-1 in the MPSF last year, and is a combined 2-16-1 in league play since the 1996 campaign.
The Bottom Line: Gaucho Scoring and Goalkeeping Leaders
Points: Thiago Martins 14 (6, 2), Jaime Ambriz 9 (4, 1), Sean Herrity 6 (3, 0), Lucas Dalgleish 5 (2, 1), Steven Sosa 4 (0, 4). Goalkeeping: Stewart Sanders 0.89 GAA, 4 ShO, 41 saves.