Playing its first two games at home since the beginning of classes, the UCSB men’s soccer team split a pair of matches over the weekend. The Gauchos dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to Stanford in overtime on Friday before rebounding with a 1-0 victory over Loyola Marymount on Sunday night to improve to 5-4 this year.
“[The victory] was much needed, especially the way we got it, because there were some heartbreaks the last two games,” Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “I think it was important for us morale wise and psyche wise. Obviously we’re very encouraged by today’s result.”
Sunday night’s victory over LMU (4-2-1) featured an aggressive Gauchos’ offensive attack that outshot the Lions 17-11 with a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. UCSB was unable to translate all the scoring opportunities into goals and went into halftime scoreless.
Senior midfielder Goffin Boyoko changed that in the 50th minute when he sent a ball to the far post past the outstretching arm of the goalkeeper for his fourth goal of the season. Sophomore defender Marshall Cazares and freshman forward Ismaila Jome each received assists on the play, Jome’s team leading fourth this season.
Senior forward Achille Campion led UCSB with three shots on goal while Jome contributed two. Jome is quickly becoming a dangerous weapon for the Gauchos and is one of five freshmen starting for UCSB.
“[Jome] just gets on everything. The thing about him is he competes, he’s fearless,” Vom Steeg said. “You look at a player like that and there’s no reason he shouldn’t potentially be the freshman of the year in the conference.”
Freshman midfielder Paul Ehmann received a red card in the 89th minute, forcing the Gauchos to play a man down for the remaining minute plus. Luckily, a Lions’ comeback never materialized. Freshman goalkeeper Josh McNeely posted his second career shutout Sunday.
“We had 17 shots and we were dangerous. It was the first time we scored where we actually passed four times next to each other,” Vom Steeg said. “I thought all that was promising. At the end of the day we got the result we needed tonight. It was an important win going into league.”
Friday’s highly anticipated match against Stanford (5-1-1) proved to be entertaining for the 7,750 fans in attendance. Tied at one apiece and in overtime, Stanford used the second goal of the day from freshman forward Jordan Morris in the 95th minute to clinch the victory.
Morris scored in the 31st minute to give Stanford a 1-0 lead before senior defender Peter Schmetz scored his first goal of the season in the 53rd minute to tie the game and ultimately send it to overtime. Ehmann and sophomore forward Charlie Miller were credited with assists on the goal by Schmetz.
Santa Barbara’s offense struggled to convert opportunities into goals, a clear theme thus far in the season. The Gauchos outshot Stanford 12-8 with a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal.
“I was a little bit frustrated after the Stanford game because I had a chance after four minutes and I missed it,” Boyoko said. “We have the chances, we just need to shoot on target and make the keeper make the save.”
The Gauchos open conference play on Friday when they host Cal State Fullerton. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
A version of this article appeared on page 5 of September 30, 2013′s print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of The Daily Nexus.