The UCSB men’s club soccer A team swept its two matches this weekend, shutting out USC 2-0 and UCLA 1-0 to win its third consecutive league championship.
The Gauchos (8-1-2 overall, 6-1-0 in the California Collegiate Club Soccer League) have scored 23 times so far, and have only allowed two goals to opposing offenses.
“An unselfish, aggressive style of play [helped us win],” Assistant Coach Randy Eskilson said. “Against USC in the first half, we were flat. Afterward, we came out and played our game: controlled possession, dictated play and creating all the scoring chances.”
Dan Costa and Georgi Milosevski each scored a goal on the Trojans.
In the match with the Bruins, Milosevski scored the game’s only goal in the 83rd minute. The Gauchos maintained possession of the ball throughout most of first half, and had four scoring opportunities in the match.
“The team has solid goalkeeping – Mike McAndrews has recorded nine shutouts, and a defensive mindset starting with our back three of Kip Hanson, Joe Ferreira and Bob Votolato … continues through each player,” Eskilson said. “The strength of our team is our depth – wearing opponents down and capitalizing on our opportunities. The only weakness I fear is the team not playing at the level I expect, and letting a weaker opponent dictate style.”
On Sept. 16, the Gauchos kicked off their 2006 campaign in a preseason tournament at San Diego State. UCSB only came away with 0-0 draws with both Arizona and Long Beach State, but was victorious the next day, pummeling Cal State San Marcos 9-0 before shutting down the Long Beach State 49ers 2-0 in their second meeting together of the weekend. The Arizona Wildcats won the tournament, while UCSB won the consolation championship.
League play began Sept. 23 with a 2-0 win over Cal followed by another over San Diego State on Oct. 7. On Oct. 8, University of San Diego ended the Gauchos’ winning streak by handing them a 1-0 loss – their first of the season. UCSB bounced back the next week with a 4-1 triumph over Irvine and a 1-0 win over Loyola Marymount.
Next weekend, the Gauchos will compete in the CCCSL Tournament held at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
“I have a saying on the first day of practice: the league goes through UCSB,” Eskilson said. “You must defeat us to be champs of our league.”