Oct. 25, 1999
Back in the Saddle
After losing three out of four games two weeks ago and bouncing back to post four consecutive conference victories, the Gauchos have quelled any doubt, self or otherwise, about their ability. UCSB exploded for four goals Friday against New Mexico and three scores Sunday against UNLV in two MPSF shutouts on the ThunderPitch last weekend. Friday saw junior forward Sean Herrity post his first career hat trick with just 62:12 gone on the clock. In Sunday's game, three Gauchos got on the board. Senior goalkeeper Stewart Sanders earned both shutouts, bringing his season and career totals to seven and 14, respectively.
The Boston Red Sox' sale of Babe Ruth comes to mind when thinking of junior Sean Herrity's performance against his former school Friday night. Although the teams hadn't met since 1995, the Gaucho Faithful should have known they had Herrity on their side and that meant bad news for the Lobos. Herrity spent his freshman and sophomore seasons as a reserve forward at New Mexico. Even more impressive was the fact that Herrity's last two goals came when the Gauchos were playing one man down. Not only did Gaucho fans see the team's first hat trick since 1996, but they got a chance to see Herrity do exactly what he'd done last Sunday at UC Irvine: win the match with a shorthanded goal. One week ago, Herrity re-entered the match in the 85th minute and scored in the 87th, putting the Gauchos on top 2-1. Herrity has scored seven goals on the season and recorded one assist, good for 15 total points.
Gettin' it Done!
That's the only way to describe supersenior keeper Stewart Sanders' performance thus far. The San Diego, CA native has notched seven shutouts, equaling the total from his standout freshman campaign in 1995. He has also made an MPSF Pacific division-leading 67 saves and carries a measly 0.87 GAA. Sanders' 14 career shutouts rank him fourth all-time among UCSB goalkeepers. Not bad for a guy who sat out 1998, was a reserve in 1997 and redshirted 1996.
Who Says Soccer's Boring?
Even the Gaucho Faithful were pleasantly surprised at the excitement factor in Friday and Sunday's conference matches. The contests were so action-packed, a review of the high points is in order.
* Junior forward Sean Herrity recorded a hat trick against his former team Friday night in just 63 minutes of play. The hattie was UCSB's first since 1996.
* A New Mexico defender was whistled for a foul and subsequently red carded when he picked up the game ball and booted it out of the stadium.
* Freshman Justin Waldrop scored his first career goal in the 88th minute Friday at the far post, off a pass from Lucas Dalgleish.
* Senior goalkeeper Stewart Sanders made three saves against New Mexico to earn his sixth shutout of the season.
* Sophomore forward Jaime Ambriz retook the team scoring lead when he recorded the Gauchos' first score Sunday.
* Sophomore forward Joe Hubay-Dies bounced a 25-yarder past the UNLV keeper for the insurance score.
* Waldrop added a double-secret insurance score in the 79th minute, his second career goal and second in as many games.
* Sanders made a season-best nine saves on 18 UNLV shots to notch his 14th career shutout, good for fourth on UCSB's all-time list.
* UCSB won its season-high fourth consecutive match, with all the victories coming in conference games. The Gauchos also guaranteed themselves the school's first winning season since 1995, when UCSB last went to the MPSF postseason.
* UCSB's seven-goal outburst was its highest two-match total this season.
The Bottom Line: Gaucho Scoring Leaders
Points: Ambriz 16 (7, 2), Herrity 15 (7, 1), Martins 14 (6, 2), Dalgleish 6 (2, 2).