Gauchos explode for 5 goals in Utah Valley rout

UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — All looked good for the UC Santa Barbara men’s soccer team in the first half of Sunday night’s game against Utah Valley, with four first-half goals leading to the biggest win ever. of the Gauchos of the season so far, 5-1.

With its third straight win, Santa Barbara is now 4-1-1 on the year, while the Wolverines fall to 2-2-1.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN
One of the main messages head coach Tim Vom Steeg had for his team after UCSB’s win over Oregon State was about starting strong and focused. The Gauchos had narrowly conceded on more than one occasion in the opening minutes against the Beavers on Friday night, but Sunday that wouldn’t be the case.

UCSB 1, Utah Valley 0 – Henry Davies 7′ (Philippe)
In the 7th minute, a corner from Gaucho fell on midfielder Nemo Philipp on the right side of the box. He had time and space to cross it with his right foot, and senior centre-back Henry Davies was wide open to score his first goal of the season.

UCSB 2, Utah Valley 0 – Wolverine Own goal 8′
No more than 40 seconds later, the Gauchos pushed upfield and left-back Rigoberto Barragan sent striker Alexis Ledoux in front with a fine through ball. Ledoux tried to cut it down with a pass to the top of the box, but he deflected hard off a Utah Valley player and flew into the top right corner of the goal to make it 2- 0.

UCSB 3, Utah Valley 0 – Finn Ballard McBride 23′ (J. Vom Steeg, Philipp)
The Gauchos transformed another free kick into a goal in the 23rd minute. Philipp played it to the far post where midfielder Jared Vom Steeg managed to steer him in front of goal. Forward Finn Ballard McBride turned and made the slightest contact with his right foot, bouncing it off Wolverine keeper Jason Smith who couldn’t react in time to keep him clear.

A straight red card in the 32nd minute for Utah Valley defender Nate Mefford meant the visitors would play a man the rest of the way, and the Gauchos would continue to capitalize.

UCSB 4, Utah Valley 0 – Rigoberto Barragan 41′
Defender Salaudeen Ayinla came off the bench and through the UVU defense to find striker Salvador Aguilar in central position. Aguilar sent it wide into the run of midfielder Sam Fletcher, whose first touch set up a low right cross towards Aguilar at the edge of the six-yard box. Aguilar’s powerful shot forced Smith into a brilliant foot save, but it appeared to Barragan on the left side who struck a magnificent left-footed volley inside the near post, giving UCSB a advantage of 4-0.

UCSB 4, Utah Valley 1 – Mark Andros 57′
Utah Valley entered the board in the 57th on a great solo effort from Mark Andros, who brought it back into midfield before beating a few Gaucho defenders and sending a low shot to the left post while moving towards his right.

UCSB 5, Utah Valley 1 –
Philipp capped off a magical day 21 minutes later with a quick corner which he played short on the right wing of midfielder Lucas Gonzalez. Gonzalez handed the ball to Philipp, who set up to cross it towards the far post. However, just like on the own goal in the first half, the ball settled perfectly into the top corner as if it was intended.

NOTABLE

The Gauchos surpassed their season high for first-half goals alone. After scoring six times in their first four outings, they have now scored eight times in their last two.
Goalkeeper Leroy Zeller was once again outstanding, always finding the right places and finishing with four saves.
Ballard McBride has now scored in three straight games. He becomes the first Gaucho to score three goals this season.
Of UCSB’s 10 attempted shots, nine were on target. The Gauchos’ season-high was six shots on goal early in the evening.

(article courtesy of UCSB Athletics)