Fullerton, Calif. – #1 Indiana lived up to its reputation as a national power and showed the #17 UCSB men’s soccer team the full meaning of tradition.

The Gauchos lost 3-1 to the Hoosiers (13-2-2) on Sunday night in Fullerton in a nonconference game for both squads. In the battle of David versus Goliath the Gauchos stepped into the national spotlight and stood its ground versus the perennial national championship contenders. Santa Barbara, however, squandered countless chances and made costly mistakes deep in its defensive end while Indiana efficiently scored when opportunities arose.

“We are disappointed because we put together a good effort on the field tonight,” UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “They just took advantage of our mistakes and capitalized.”

Santa Barbara (11-2-1) stormed out of the gate in the first half like an angry bull infuriated by the Indiana red. The Gauchos controlled the game through much of the first half, out-hustling their Midwestern counterparts while forcing the Hoosiers to make several early substitutions.

UCSB senior forward Rob Friend fired a shot that deflected off an Indiana defender just 22:24 into the game. IU sophomore goalkeeper Jay Nolly reached back and barely tipped the redirected shot out of harm’s way.

Just two minutes later, Santa Barbara sophomore goalkeeper Danny Kennedy made a costly mistake and came out of the box too late to challenge Indiana senior midfielder Michael Bock. Bock dumped the ball past Kennedy and crossed the ball in front of an open net to junior midfielder Vijay Dias for the put-away.

Then at 38:04, IU senior striker Pat Noonan struck gold after freshman defender Alan Keeley stumbled en route to a routine clear. Noonan later added a second goal, his 12th of the year, on a free kick just outside the box. Noonan lasered a bender in the upper right hand corner of the net, freezing Kennedy and the spirits of the rest of the Gauchos.

Friend eventually found the net, however, late in the second half on a turnaround left footer.

“I think Pat [Noonan] showed why he is a legitimate national player of the year candidate tonight,” Indiana Head Coach Jerry Yeagley said.

The Gauchos held their own against Indiana, however. On Friday evening, the Hoosiers lost to Fullerton 2-1 despite countless scoring chances. Sunday night against UCSB, Indiana capitalized on its chances and made the Gauchos pay for every error.

“We just didn’t score,” UCSB junior midfielder Memo Arzate said. “I thought they would be a lot stronger. I didn’t think they were much different than some of the other teams we’ve played.”

Yeagley and the rest of the IU coaching staff certainly did a great scouting report. The Hoosiers were prepared for Friend, who leads the Big West with 13 goals. Indiana senior sweeper John Swann marked Friend tightly all night. Swann limited Friend’s touches and got in his head early.

The Hoosiers also pressured Arzate, the NCAA’s leader in assists, from the very start. Defenders harassed Arzate, stopping him from finding a way to create scoring opportunities for his dangerous set of forwards.

“This was a key match. I told my guys at the start of the trip out here to California that if we could afford to lose out here, it couldn’t be to Santa Barbara,” Yeagley said. “[The Gauchos] were very dangerous in the air and posting up. Swann did a great job on Rob [Friend] and prevented him from doing his magic.”