The No. 8 UCSB men’s soccer team dropped its second consecutive game when the team lost 1-0 at Aggie Stadium against UC Davis.
The Gauchos drop to 8-2-3 overall and 2-2-1 in the Big West while the Aggies improve to 6-4-4 overall and 4-1 in conference. Santa Barbara is now five points out of playoff contention.
“Davis is a tough game,” senior midfielder Nic Ryan said. “It’s disappointing and it puts us further down in the standings. We need to win all our games (coming up) to make the Big West tournament.”
The win for Davis broke a six-game losing streak against UCSB. The loss is also the first in Davis since 2006.
“We knew it was going to be one of the toughest games,” junior midfielder Fifi Baiden said. “That’s one of the games we needed to have and I expected them to come out strong because they’ve been winning, and the expectation was met. I think they fought harder.”
The winning goal for the Aggies came from the current Big West offensive player of the week, junior midfielder Alex Henry. In the 85th minute, Henry took a free kick from the right side of the field that curled into the top left corner of the goal.
““Our goalie came out to punch it and it went over his head,” Baiden said.It was unexpected, but there’s not a lot you can do about it.”
While UCSB matched the Aggies in shots with nine apiece, Davis held the advantage in shots on goal at 4-3.
“We didn’t put enough shots on frame,” Baiden said. “We did everything to get the ball up and it’s one of those games where they have pretty good defense, but we couldn’t put enough balls on frame.”
Finding the back of the net was once again an issue for UCSB, who was shut out for the third time in the last four games.
“We’re definitely struggling with goals right now,” Ryan said. “We’re changing formations and there are different players in different positions, but we just need to finish our chances and we’re not doing that right now.”
Combined with the fact that Davis is known to be a solid defensive squad, the Aggies clamped down on UCSB’s offense, allowing the Gauchos’ forwards to take just one shot.
“[Davis plays] with a good eight guys behind the ball, so it gets difficult to get behind that and get shots through that,” Ryan said. “Getting through all those guys was definitely difficult for us.”
Senior defender Peter McGlynn led the Santa Barbara offense, taking five shots, three of which were put on frame.
“We had some good opportunities in the beginning where we just had to finish, and we didn’t,” Ryan said. “When we don’t score, it gives other teams momentum. We need to score first.”
UCSB will need to rebound quickly with Sacramento State coming to Harder Stadium Tuesday at 7 p.m.