Undefeated weekends have become a growing trend for the UCSB men’s soccer team, as it followed up a 3-0 victory against visiting University of San Diego on Friday night with a 2-0 win against Sacramento State on Sunday.
These games have been the first at Harder Stadium since the start of Fall Quarter. The Gauchos have ended two other weekends with shutouts so far this season, and are currently 5-0-1 during Friday and Sunday matchups.
“We’re doing what’s really difficult to do, which is come back on Sunday after a very emotional win on Friday,” Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “Our defense has been very good. We haven’t given up a goal in any of our Sunday games.”
The Gauchos defended early and shot often during the 2-0 win against Sac State on Sunday, holding the Hornet offense to just two shots in the first period and six overall. UCSB took a total of 23 shots throughout the game.
The Gaucho front line of junior forward Sam Garza, sophomore forward David Opoku and senior midfielder Luis Silva provided a solid offensive attack during the match, though none were able to connect with a goal.
“Garza had five shots, David had six and Luis Silva had four,” Vom Steeg said. “The good thing is we’re having different people put the ball in the back of the net.”
Junior midfielder Machael David scored the first goal for the UCSB offense during the 19th minute of the first half. Opoku freed a shot from the left side of the goal, allowing David to fire a shot past the Hornet goalkeeper.
“I give all the credit to Opoku,” David said. “He did a fantastic job of putting [the pass] through.”
It was David again who created the opportunity for a UCSB goal when he assisted a shot by senior defender Tim Pontius just in front of the goal line minutes before halftime.
Junior goalkeeper Andre Grandt collected three saves against Sac State en route to his fifth shut-out of the year.
Friday’s 3-0 victory against USD was played in front of 13,772 fans, the second highest attendance of all time for a UCSB home game, and fifth highest overall in NCAA regular season history. Silva scored three goals in the game for the first time in his collegiate career, and the 25th hat trick in UCSB history.
“It was amazing,” Silva said. “You don’t expect to score three goals as an attacking mid, and it was good to share the win with our fans.”
Sophomore forward Dom Sarle assisted on two of Silva’s three goals during the 10th and 28th minutes of the first half. Opoku’s pass during the 59th minute gave Silva his third goal.
UCSB out-shot USD 14-7 on the game, and held the Torero offense to just two shots during the second half.
The Gauchos are set to open league play with a game at UC Riverside on Wednesday.