No. 8 UC Santa Barbara Hands Cal Poly First Big West Defeat
Oct. 8, 2009
*Courtesy of Cal-Poly Athletics
SANTA BARBARA, California - A 30th-minute goal by UC Santa Barbara sophomore midfielder Luis Silva ended the Cal Poly men's soccer team's best start to any conference season as the Mustangs fell Wednesday evening versus the eighth-ranked Gauchos in front of 5,842 supporters at Harder Stadium, 1-0.
Cal Poly (4-7-0, 2-1-0) which had opened Big West Conference play with consecutive victories for the first time in program history, failed to retain sole possession of first place atop the standings after yielding 22 shots. The Mustangs, who fell to 1-11 all-time at UC Santa Barbara (8-2-1, 2-0-0), have earned just one point at Harder Stadium since a 4-2 victory on Nov. 13, 1998. UC Santa Barbara's win brought the Gauchos level with Cal Poly atop the Big West standings.
Cal Poly's lone scoring threat during the first half came during the seventh minute, as junior forward David Zamora hit the Gaucho crossbar with the first of his two shot attempts.
The Gauchos nearly poached the opening goal seconds later, as UC Santa Barbara sophomore midfielder Danny Barrera drove a shot that was cleared off the Cal Poly goal line by sophomore center back Patrick Sigler.
UC Santa Barbara then snatched the only goal it needed to further the program's unbeaten streak against Cal Poly to five matches when sophomore midfielder Michael Tetteh fed Silva at the top of the Mustang box and the latter slotted a shot past Mustang junior goalkeeper Patrick McLain and into the left corner of the net. McLain, the Big West's reigning Player of the Week, had failed to concede a goal for 226-consecutive minutes both Silva's strike.
Held without a shot on target for the opening 47 minutes, Cal Poly finally broke through early in the second half as a header from Zamora was easily corralled by Gaucho goalkeeper Sam Haden. Two minutes later, Sigler capped a wild scramble in the Gaucho box with a point-blank shot into the arms of a prone Hayden.
Sigler and junior midfielder Junior Burgos both planted free kicks into the Gaucho box in the 63rd and 78th minutes, respectively, but Mustang attackers failed to get on the end of the passes.
"In the first half, UC Santa Barbara did a good job of forcing the attack, but in the second, I thought we created the better chances," fourth-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher said. "It wasn't always pretty, but it was effective. I'm disappointed we didn't get one or three points tonight, but I give a lot of respect to UC Santa Barbara."
In the 74th minute, Mustang sophomore midfielder Evan Richter slotted a pass through the left side of the Gaucho box to freshman Chris Gaschen, but the midfielder's far-post attempt counted as one of Hayden's five saves.
Cal Poly's last attempt to equalize came four minutes from time, but Burgos sent a free kick directly at Hayden.
McLain finished with a career-high five saves for Cal Poly.
The Mustangs complete their two-match road trip Saturday, Oct. 10 with a 7 p.m. non-conference date at Cal State Bakersfield.