The #5 UCSB men’s soccer team continued to dominate Big West competition last night after the Gauchos dismantled central coast rival Cal Poly 3-1 at Mustang Stadium.
Santa Barbara, now 11-1-1 on this season and 4-0-0 in conference play, netted three goals before surrendering one in the last five minutes off a free kick.
Junior forward Matt Bly scored two goals for the Gauchos, both on unassisted shots into the upper right corner of the back of the net. The native of Santa Rosa came off the bench and at the 20:12 mark secured the game’s first goal with a shot from 10 yards out. Bly has been sensational off the bench for UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg lately. After registering his fourth assist in his last three games against Northridge on Sunday, he responded with the first two-goal performance of his career.
Senior midfielder Memo Arzate got in the action after halftime, putting away a penalty kick at the 55:53 mark to give Santa Barbara a 2-0 lead. Arzate, averaging 1.08 assists per game before last night’s match, led the Gauchos with three shots. Santa Barbara only posted eight shots on the evening.
Bly wasn’t finished, however. At the 67:54 mark, he put UCSB up by three goals to secure victory. The emergence of Bly creates a potentially dangerous prospect for Santa Barbara opponents. With much of the offense already running through senior forward Neil Jones, junior forward Drew McAthy and Arzate, spreading the wealth of scoring opportunities to other players only strengthens the balance of the offense.
The Gauchos continue their road trip this weekend when they travel Saturday to take on Fullerton at 7 p.m. The Titans will attempt to snap Santa Barbara’s 12-game Big West winning streak.