On a cold and windy night during the week of Halloween, the UCSB men’s soccer team was looking for revenge. It sounds like the plot of a (very) bad horror film, but it was, in fact, the scene on Wednesday night at Harder Stadium. In front of 2,482 die-hard fans weathering the cold, the Gauchos rocked the Matadors 2-0 and maintained their first-place status in the Big West Conference.

Sophomore midfielder Luis Silva scored in the 16th minute in what might have been UCSB’s best goal of the year, and sophomore forward Waid Ibrahim added a breakaway goal in the 50th to seal the win. Silva’s ball — a product of beautiful buildup passes by several teammates — was a running rocket to the upper-left corner of the net from around 30 yards out. Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said he certainly expects to see that shot replayed on the highlight reel at the end-of-year banquet.

“We’re very explosive right now,” Vom Steeg said. “And able at any moment to break out and get a goal.”

That was reflected by both UCSB scores, which came seemingly out of nowhere. Other than Silva’s score, the first half was effectively devoid of opportunities for either team. Six total shots were fired, and neither keeper had to do much sweating — and much less work.

In the second half, the play opened up a little bit and it paid off for the Gauchos very quickly. Just under five minutes in, sophomore midfielder Danny Barrera found Ibrahim streaking through two defenders and hit him perfectly with a through-ball. Ibrahim took a touch to get around his man, before launching an 18-yarder to the far post and in the net.

With a two-goal lead, Santa Barbara began to sit on its lead with substitutes, causing Northridge to claw back. Two late Matador shots hit the woodwork, but in the end CSUN became the 10th team to come up empty-handed offensively against junior goalkeeper Sam Hayden and his stalwart defense.

“We did enough to keep them at bay,” Vom Steeg said. “Our defending’s been collective, and that’s been the key. We’ve gotten some really good team defending.”

With the win, UCSB improves to 12-3-1 on the season and 6-1-0 in Big West play. The Matadors drop to 7-7-2, and 2-4-1 in conference. Next up for Santa Barbara is a road-match this Saturday at UC Irvine, the defending conference champions and likely the Gauchos’ biggest threat for Big West supremacy this year.

“Irvine’s tough,” Vom Steeg said. “It’s always a war. It was a war when we played ’em here.”

UCSB hits the road once more to take on Cal Poly before coming home for the regular season finale against Davis on Nov. 7. For now, though, the Gauchos can hang their hats on a very solid, comfortable victory.