Men’s club soccer finished their league play on a strong note Saturday night with a 5-0 victory over Long Beach State. Having already clinched the league title, the Gauchos went undefeated in league with a record of 9-0.
“That was one of their goals in the beginning of the season,” Assistant Coach Randy Eskilson said. “And they played very well to accomplish it.”
Santa Barbara’s defense complemented their offense in both halves by pressuring Long Beach State’s target forwards and constantly pushing the ball up the field into 49er territory. The Gaucho’s defensive containment helped keep their 1-0 lead until the end of the first half. In the second half, Santa Barbara’s offense took over.
The Gauchos’ offense exploded in the second half, scoring four more goals. The goal leader of the game was forward Mickey Belgium, who scored two of the four goals. He scored his first goal on a penalty kick early in the half, and headed in the next off a second post-pass from Devon Cook.
“I didn’t have to do much,” Belgium said. “The cross was pretty much perfect.”
The last two goals were scored by forwards Laurent Cases and Tony Ferreira. Cases scored on a deep outlet pass that left him isolated with the 49er goalie. He made a quick move and easily put it past the keeper to make it a 4-0 game.
With a minute left to play, Ferreira was able to capitalize on a mistake made by Long Beach State’s goalkeeper. Ferreira came in behind the goalie, after he had misjudged his dive on a quick ball coming through the box, and tapped the shot in to score the final goal of the game.