Third-ranked UCSB got an early goal and that proved to be enough to beat Harvard in a non-conference soccer game Sunday at Harder Stadium.
Javier Castro headed home a cross from right back Peter McGlynn in the 14th minute for the 1-0 victory before 4,489. The shutout was the third of the season for the Gauchos and extended their unbeaten streak to eight games. They’re 6-0-2. Harvard, which lost at Cal Poly on Friday, is 1-5-1.
If not for the play of Harvard goalkeeper Joe Festa, UCSB could have turned this game into a blowout. Festa was brilliant, making eight saves in the match. In the first half alone, he dived to stop a redirected ball off the foot of Nic Ryan in the 22nd minute, stopped a point-blank shot by Josue Madueno four minutes later and saved a header by Dom Sarle in the 34th minute. He also made a big save on Ema Boateng in the second half.
UCSB didn’t appear to be suffering a hangover from Friday night’s exciting 1-1 tie against ninth-ranked UCLA. They outshot the Crimson 8-0 in the first half and 16-3 for the game, with two of the shots coming in the last six minutes.
The Gauchos got a fine performance from their defense. Brandon Brockway, Mathew Glodack, Daniel Welsh and Pierre Rappolt played well. The Gauchos were without 6-5 center back Peter Schmetz, who missed his fifth match with a hip flexor injury. They also were without midfielder Machael David (injured against UCLA) and leading goal scorer Achille Campion (ankle injury suffered at Seattle last week).
UCSB now enters Big West Conference play, traveling to UC Riverside on Friday night at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.