SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Fifth-ranked UC-Santa Barbara (3-0) opened its 2012 home schedule on Saturday as the Gauchos downed visiting No. 11 UC-San Diego 18-10.
Junior Evan Dellinger led the Gauchos in the high-scoring affair with a career-high five goals. Junior Matt Gronow, who opened the season last weekend with consecutive hat tricks, posted a season-best four goals, one shy of his career high.
The Gauchos jumped out an early lead in the first couple of minutes behind goals from Teddy Zhang and Gronow. A six-on-five goal from Brian Donohoe got the Tritons on the scoreboard and the two teams traded a pair to put the score at 3-2 heading into the final minute of the first quarter. Dellinger posted consecutive goals, including one with just four seconds to go, to give the Gauchos a three-goal lead heading into the second period.
Josh Stilling posted the first goal of the second – and the first of his four goals – with 4:42 on the clock, but the Gauchos were able to outscore the Tritons 3-1 in the final three and a half minutes of the first half to push their advantage to 8-4.
The third quarter was an offensive battle with the teams scoring a combined 10 total goals, including three in the first minute alone. UCSB piled on seven goals during the period, including a pair from freshman Bryan Snyder.
Heading into the final eight minutes of the game, UCSB held a comfortable 15-7 lead. The Gauchos opened the quarter with consecutive goals from Gronow and Eric Van de Mortel and held on for the 18-10 victory.
Myles Christian was solid in the goal for the Gauchos as he compiled 12 saves in three quarters of work. Chris Whitelegge had three saves in the fourth.
The Gauchos’ 3-0 start is their best since 2010 when they opened with an identical record.