A foggy scene set the mood for the UCSB men’s soccer team’s 3-2 loss to UC Riverside at Harder Stadium on Saturday night. The game marks the first time since 2000 that UCSB has lost four league games.
“We had our chances early,” Assistant Coach Greg Wilson said. “I thought we had ourselves in a great spot, but it kind of came back and nicked us a little bit.”
With the loss, UCSB drops to 9-5-1 overall and 2-4 Big West. UCR improves to 8-5-2 overall and 3-3-1 in conference play.
The game began similarly to the first match between the Gauchos and Highlanders, as UCR took a 1-0 lead with 18:19 remaining in the first half. Less than five minutes later, the Gauchos tied the game when a UCR hand ball led to a scoring penalty kick by senior midfielder Luis Silva. Silva’s goal was his 10th of the season, the most in the Big West.
Play stopped short during the first half when sophomore defender Mathew Glodack suffered a head injury after sustaining a violent fall to the ground. Glodack was escorted away from the stadium via ambulance.
Coming out of the halftime break, UCR reclaimed the lead with less than 30 minutes remaining. The Gauchos were able to tie the score again in less than five minutes when junior forward Sam Garza connected on a shot off an assist by Silva.
“I was on the right side and [Silva] toe-poked it to me,” Garza said. “I hit it to the back post. It was a great pass.”
The score remained tied at 2-2 until a foul call on Gaucho junior midfielder Machael David provided the Highlanders with a penalty kick, and a chance to once again take the lead. With 18:25 remaining, UCR was able to connect on the penalty kick and take a 3-2 advantage.
UCSB took a total of 20 shots in the game, while UC Riverside was able to pull out a win on just seven attempts on goal.
“We had our chances and we should’ve put them away,” Garza said. “I guess we’re just too inconsistent.”
While five yellow cards were served during the first match between UCSB and UCR earlier this season, Saturday’s game proved to be no friendlier as a total of 31 fouls were called throughout the 90 minutes.
Silva and Garza led the Gauchos, each with five shots on goal and a score apiece. Sophomore forward David Opoku and senior midfielder James Kiffe each tallied three shots during the game.
“We have to try and finish in front of the net,” Garza said. “This game is in the past. It sucks we lost but we still have four [league] games ahead of us.”
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