If the UCSB men’s soccer team learned anything from playing then #1 Indiana on Sunday, the squad learned how to bounce back from a loss.

The Gauchos (12-2-1, 4-0-1 in the Big West) crushed the UC Irvine 4-1 on a cold and foggy Wednesday evening. After the Anteaters scored first, less than 11 minutes into the match, Santa Barbara reeled off four straight goals, including three scores before halftime.

With the victory, the Gauchos not only remained undefeated in the conference, but they maintained a three-point lead in the Big West. Santa Barbara tallied three points for Wednesday night’s victory, but failed to increase their lead over the rest of the pack. Cal State Northridge defeated Cal State Fullerton 2-1 on Wednesday night in Fullerton to cling on to second place.

Anteater senior midfielder Jesse Peron put Irvine on the board by drilling the ball over UCSB sophomore goalkeeper Danny Kennedy at the 10:25 mark. Peron’s strike was his second of the season UCI senior midfielder Scott Bowman, no relation to the retired Detroit Red Wings coach, recorded his fifth assist of 2002. The Gauchos responded hastily and with great vengeance and furious anger by tying up the game seconds later. Sophomore forward Drew McAthy dropped the ball past hapless UCI goalkeeper Cameron Rossi at 10:41.

McAthy, eager for seconds, drew blood a second time at the 27:42 mark with his 12th goal of the season. Junior midfielder/defender David McGill assisted on McAthy’s second helping. McGill gleaned two assists against the Anteaters.

Junior midfielder and playmaker Memo Arzate recorded just his second goal of the year to put the Gauchos comfortably ahead by a score of 3-1. Arzate later assisted on senior forward Rob Friend’s 15th goal of the season to finish the night’s fireworks. Arzate has recorded 13 assists in 2002.

Kennedy relinquished the one goal early on and gave way to freshman goalkeeper Kyle Reynish for 15 minutes in the second half. Reynish did not allow a goal while facing zero shots. In comparison, Irvine backup goalkeeper Ryan Mathy, who relieved Rossi in the second period, gave up Friend’s goal.

The Gauchos also out-shot 15 to eight.

-Nexus Staff Report