It took more than regular time, but Gaucho soccer outlasted Cal Poly on the way to a 2-1 overtime victory in the first round of the Big West championships. After a 72nd minute equalizer from freshman forward David Opoku to tie the match at one, things stayed all square through regular time with neither team able to put a ball into the net.
Sophomore midfielder Nic Ryan would be the one to get the Gauchos into the championships as he took a pass from Opoku in the box, powering the ball low and left past Mustang goalkeeper Patrick McLain in the 97th minute.
With the sudden-death victory, UCSB moves on to the Big West Tournament finals on Saturday to face a surprise opponent in Cal State Fullerton, which took out UC Irvine 2-1. Because Fullerton is the fourth seed and UCSB the third, the Gauchos will host the match in front of their home crowd at Harder Stadium this Saturday.