The UC Santa Barbara men’s soccer team ends an eventful season with a loss to the California State University, Fullerton Titans on Oct. 28.
After catching heat going into the playoffs with back-to-back wins against the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Mustangs and the California State University, Sacramento Hornets, the Gauchos fell short in their last game of the season. After the conference game loss, the Gauchos fell to 4-3-2 in conference and their overall record dropped to 9-7-2.
Right from the jump, the Titans immediately took control of the match. They held possession of the ball for the majority of the first 10 minutes and controlled the game. But, the Gauchos turned it around in the 15th minute, when senior midfielder Nemo Philipp drove a free kick from 30 yards out towards the goal, but it deflected off a California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) defender.
After the deflected free kick, UCSB continued to show offensive dominance and had another chance in the 23rd minute. Freshman forward Kavi Krishnan’s pass to junior midfielder Lucas Gonzalez was too strong, and the CSUF goalkeeper got to it before Gonzalez could take the shot. In the 31st minute, the Gauchos applied more pressure on the Titans on a corner kick that was headed by junior midfielder Mikkel Goeling, but the CSUF goalkeeper saved it once again.
Later on in the half, as the Gauchos were gaining momentum, the Titans retaliated and scored their first goal, taking the lead. For the remainder of the half, the Gauchos dominated possession but did not take any quality shots. The Titans led 1-0 going into the half.
The start of the second half picked up on where the first half ended, where the Gauchos once again dominated possession of the ball. After multiple missed opportunities for the Gauchos to tie up the game, the Titans were awarded a penalty kick and capitalized, extending their lead to 2-0.
In the 63rd minute, the Gauchos had another chance to score when the Titan goalkeeper cleared the ball to Philipp, yet his shot was saved. Later on, in the 74th minute, UCSB hit a cross into the penalty box for a chance of an easy shot, but it was slapped away by CSUF goalkeeper. Right after, sophomore midfielder Filip Basili attempted a deep shot, but it sailed over the goal post. For the remainder of the match, the Gauchos dominated offensively, but the Titans played better defense, not allowing a goal to be scored.
CSUF came out on top with a 2-0 win over the Gauchos to end their regular season. The Gauchos’ record was good enough to give them the No. 3 seed for the Big West Conference tournament.
Next week, the Gauchos will host UC Riverside in the first round of the tournament.