Anyone who thinks that the only good players in Santa Barbara can be found on the Division I UCSB men’s soccer team should think again. The UCSB men’s club soccer team is tearing up the turf again this season, currently ranked #7 in the region.
In 2003, the Gauchos won the national title and last year made it to the quarterfinals. So far this year, UCSB has played six games in two weeks, winning four straight.
“We’re still coming together as a team, but getting better every game,” team captain and midfielder Shiv Kumar said. “We’ve dominated so far.”
The men took on both San Diego State and San Diego this past weekend on the road. UCSB squeezed out a 2-1 win over the Aztecs Saturday night.
Sunday morning, the Gauchos were up again to take on San Diego. After leading 1-0 through most of the match, the exhausted UCSB squad allowed one Triton goal in the final minute, tying the game at 1-1.
With a goal in each game last weekend, forward Georgi Milosevski leads the Gauchos with four goals on the year.
Midfielders Armando Flores, Josh Schaidle and Scott Townley controlled the pitch – in the air and on the ground — all weekend in San Diego.
“Josh played the two best games I’ve ever seen him play and Townley had a great weekend,” Kumar said. “Also, the defense from Kip Hanson and Noah Farrell was essential. They kept the opponents from scoring.”
The Gauchos’ lone loss this season was in their opener against Cal. Although the Golden Bears took just two shots during the whole game, one was enough to lead them to a 1-0 victory.
Since then, the Gauchos have gone undefeated and are looking toward their fourth straight league title.
“We will win or do well at regionals, then, in mid-November, we have nationals,” Kumar said. “We won the national title two years ago, but last year we lost in the quarterfinals. This year, we’ll see.”
With three more scheduled matches, UCSB will travel to Long Beach this Saturday, then return home to host Irvine Sunday.
Kickoff Sunday is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Harder Stadium.