The UCSB men’s soccer team was unable to stop an aggressive UC Davis squad Saturday night as the Gauchos were blown out 5-0.
The shutout was UCSB’s worst home loss since 1998.
UCSB entered the match one point ahead of Davis in the North Division, but now is second in the Big West at 6-6-4 and 4-2-2. After Saturday night’s game, Davis now sits atop of the conference with 16 points and a 8-7-2, 5-2-1 record. The Gauchos have one more home game against Sacramento State and will play their final game of the regular season at Cal Poly on Saturday night.
Davis managed to put up its first point on the board in the eighth minute when senior Greg Salazar serviced a well-placed pass to a waiting Adam Mickelson, who sent a shot off his left foot past the Gauchos freshman goalie Alan Carrillo.
Mickelson’s goal was just the beginning to the Aggies’ barrage of goals as they continued to create scoring chances. In the 33rd minute, redshirt junior forward Matt Baringer found himself on the receiving end of a deflection, which he fired into the net for his fifth goal of the season. The unassisted effort added on to the team’s early lead, increasing the Aggies’ lead to 2-0, landing the Gauchos in an even deeper ditch.
Right before the end of the first half, in the 41st minute, senior defender Kyle Higgins found himself on the breakaway while dribbling a pass from teammate Onah Power, managing to get past a Davis defender to find the back of the net.
The first half was brought to an end with the Aggies on top 3-0, bringing back deja vu of the two teams’ previous match which ended with a 3-0 shutout victory.
By halftime, the Gauchos defense had given up five shots to the Aggies and Carrillo did not manage to make a single save. The defense was shaky in the first half and was able to constantly create chances on the offensive end. The Davis defense was able to hold the Gauchos to no shots at halftime, as the home team just could not get too many good looks at the net.
The second half kicked off and it was much of the same from the Davis offense. The rhythm the team had found in the first half had clearly continued into the second, with the team being able to notch another point on the board when Power was able to find senior Noah Wilson to make the game 4-0, in the 57th minute. Power notched his first two assists of the season to tie him for third best on the team.
It was only five minutes later that the Aggies were able to score again with Mickelson striking yet again for his fourth goal on the season. The game ended 5-0 in favor of Davis.
The multi-point nights from multiple Aggies in Saturday’s matchup were an indicator of the Gauchos’ collapse on defense. Excluding the first goal, each half had the scores occur within ten minutes of each other.
The Aggies’ various quick bursts on offense were able to cut through the Gauchos’ defense, who left too many open looks, too many times on the pitch. Davis finished with 12 shots, of which half were shots on goal.
Carrillo ended the match with just one save. It was a tough night for the keeper who was outstanding in play last week. The UCSB offense was able to take four shots in the second half, but forced the Davis keepers to only make one save. Senior midfielder Seo-in Kim was responsible for both of the Gauchos’ two shots on goal.
The five goals allowed and no goals scored performance by the Gauchos is a sign that the team and Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg have some corrections to make upon the postseason’s arrival in the first week of November.