UCSB Drops a Heartbreaker to No. 2 Cal, 7-6

Nov. 6, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - If it is possible for a team to play the best match of its season and still come up one goal short, No. 14 UCSB (12-14, 0-5) may have done so on Sunday when it fell to No. 2 Cal (18-4, 4-1) 7-6 at Campus Pool.

Although the match started as the rankings would predict, with Cal's Marty Matthies netting an early goal in the first quarter, the match was evenly fought from that point on. Following the early score, the Gaucho defense stepped up and shut down the Cal offense for the rest of the quarter. In addition, with twenty-four seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Gauchos knotted the score at one when senior Ramiro Saldain notched his first of three goals on the match.

Once again, the Bears struck first in the second when All-American John Mann tallied his first of three goals on the day. The Gauchos failed to be intimidated by the early scoring, and Bret DeMuth answered right back to even the score at two. The Gauchos and Bears exchanged goals once more before sophomore Matt Tilburg found the back of the net to give UCSB a 4-3 halftime lead.

The third quarter proved to be the game changer when Cal outscored UCSB 3-1 to take a 6-5 advantage into the fourth quarter. After Brian Kinsel got the ball rolling for the Bears in the period, Mann netted his second goal of the match. Saldain put one in the cage for the Gauchos to knot the score at five goals apiece, but with one minute remaining in the third, Shea Buckner put the Bears on top for good by netting his only goal of the match.

The first four minutes of the fourth quarter saw very little offense from either squad, but with 2:12 left to play, Mann put Cal up by two goals with his third and final score. The Gaucho offense was not finished yet, and less than a minute after Mann's goal, freshman driver Miles Price netted a goal to cut the lead to one. Unfortunately for UCSB, its next offensive possession resulted in a steal and Cal ran the clock out to secure a one-goal victory over UCSB.

Sophomore goalkeeper Rick Wright had a tremendous match in goal for the Gauchos. The San Diego, Calif. native tallied 16 saves between the posts.

UCSB continues action on Thursday when it hosts Loyola Marymount at 3:00 pm at Campus Pool.

Team                       1      2      3      4      Total
UC Santa Barbara           1      3      1      1        6
Cal                        1      2      3      1        7
UC Santa Barbara goals: Ramiro Saldain-3, Matt Tilburg-1,
Miles Price-1, Bret DeMuth-1
Cal goals: John Mann-3, Marty Matthies-1, Andrija Vasiljevic-1,
Brian Kinsel-1, Shea Buckner-1
Goalie Saves
UC Santa Barbara: Rick Wright-16
Cal: Nate Bennett-7