For the third straight game, the UCSB men’s soccer team came from behind to capture an overtime victory, this time defeating UC Davis on the road 3-2 in double overtime. Santa Barbara received a golden goal from senior midfielder Goffin Boyoko to extend its winning streak to six games.
The Gauchos’ victory improves their record to 10-4 overall and 5-0 in the Big West, while Davis falls to 6-7-1 overall with a 2-3 mark in conference. UCSB is the only undefeated team in the conference and holds a nine-point, or three-game, lead over Davis and Cal Poly in the Big West North standings.
“We don’t give up until the final whistle is blown and that’s the motivation that has helped us during these crazy overtime games,” senior midfielder Fifi Baiden said.
UCSB started the scoring early on as freshman midfielder Drew Murphy netted his first career goal in the 13th minute, a lead that would extend into halftime.
Davis, however, quickly changed the game with two goals in the second half. Junior forward Matt Wiesenfarth headed home a goal in the 57th minute, while senior midfielder Alex Aguiar added a 78th minute goal to give Davis its first lead late in the game.
“We knew Davis was going to be tough and we were more concerned with defending than attacking,” Baiden said. “We could have had more shots on goal, but at the end of the day, we’re happy to get the three points.”
UCSB then added late game pressure as they have done in the previous two games to try and score before time ran out. The pressure finally paid off minutes before the end of the match, as UCSB was awarded a penalty kick due to a foul in the box.
Senior forward Achille Campion sent the penalty kick between the posts for a 90th minute goal, tying the game and sending UCSB to overtime moments later.
After an uneventful first overtime period, UCSB finally came through in the second, avoiding its first draw of the season. Murphy sent a corner kick near the back post, allowing Boyoko to head in the game-winning goal for his fifth goal and fourth game-winner of the season. For Murphy, it was his seventh assist on the season, tied for first in the Big West.
“The coaches give me a general area of where to serve the ball and I’m glad Goffin was there,” Murphy said. “We get a lot of chances off corners, and a lot of it has to do with luck, but Goffin was in the right spot at the right time and he got the game winner with 50 seconds left. It couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
Overall, the Gauchos finished the match with three shots on goal, all of which were successful, and seven shots in total. Davis finished with 11 shots and four shots on goal.
Regardless of the opportunities, UCSB holds a large lead in the Big West standings with only five games remaining on the season. The Gauchos have now won their first five conference games for just the second time in program history.
“We’re 14 games in now and things are finally starting to click,” Murphy said. “A lot of that has to come off the fact that we’ve been winning. A soon as everything starts to go well, things tend to click with teams and I think we’re at that point right now.”
UCSB next hosts Sacramento State at Harder Stadium Tuesday.
A version of this article appeared on page 5 of October 21st’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of the Daily Nexus.