Senior midfielder Luis Silva scored two goals en route to a 4-3 Gaucho victory on the road against Cal State Fullerton this past Saturday. The pair of goals placed Silva among the top-10 highest scorers in the history of UCSB men’s soccer.
UCSB improves to 11-5-1 overall and 4-4 in Big West play, a high enough standing to crack into the No. 4 position in the conference. Fullerton drops to 7-6-4 and remains in last place in the league at 1-5-2.
Silva led the UCSB offensive attack early with a goal just three minutes into the match. An assist by fellow senior midfielder James Kiffe gave the Gauchos a 1-0 advantage.
“It was a play we’ve been running in practice,” Silva said. “We’re inside the six-yard box trying to crash the middle. Kiffe delivered a great ball to me and I just put my head into it.”
Silva followed the score with a two-on-one attack against the Titan defense alongside junior midfielder Josue Madueno. Silva assisted Madueno on the goal to give UCSB a 2-0 lead 22 minutes into the game.
Silva’s offensive efforts were present again just five minutes into the second half when he was able to give the Gauchos a 3-0 lead and give himself a league-leading 13th goal on the season.
The UCSB lead was cut short just 25 seconds later, when the Titan offense was able to score from 16 feet out of the net. In the 69th minute, the Titans reduced the Gaucho lead to 3-2 when Fullerton junior midfielder Gerzon Blanco was able to connect on a shot from the left side of the box to the far post.
“We were trying to kill the game and we gave up the quick goals,” Silva said. “We kept them in the game.”
UCSB sophomore midfielder Fifi Baiden earned his first career goal less than 10 minutes later on a shot from 22 yards outside the box to give the Gauchos a 4-2 lead.
“It was huge, that fourth goal,” Silva said. “The field was wet and he took a hard, low shot.”
Fullerton responded with a goal assisted by a free kick just minutes later to put the score at 4-3, where it would remain for the rest of the match.
Junior goalkeeper André Grandt tallied one short of his career high, with six saves throughout the match. CSUF amassed three saves during the game.
Silva’s two goals were his 23rd and 24th scores of his collegiate career at UCSB, placing him at No. 9 among the highest scorers for Gaucho men’s soccer.
The Gauchos will play their last road game of the season against Cal State Northridge on Tuesday.