Gauchos lose game, Walker

Loyola Marymount gave sixth-ranked UCSB a rude welcome back to West Coast soccer on Sunday night.

After beating up on three Big East teams over the last two weeks, the Gauchos ran into a scrappy Lions squad and their monster of a goalkeeper and came out on the short end of a 2-1 decision before 2,618 at Harder Stadium.


Adding to the disappointment of their first defeat of the year, the Gauchos (4-1-0) lost leading goal scorer David Walker to a broken right hand.

UCSB's leading scorer David Walker rolls over in pain after breaking his right hand after falling while running down a ball

UCSB's leading scorer David Walker rolls over in pain after breaking his right hand after falling while running down a ball

Walker was hurt in a collision with 6-foot-6, 235-pound LMU goalkeeper Max Young as the two chased down a long ball in the 14th minute. Walker won possession of the ball, took it to the corner against a defender and then appeared to slip to the turf. He stayed down.

Walker explained what happened after the game.

“The goalkeeper missed the ball and got my hand instead … broke my hand in two spots, possibly more, I don’t know,”  he said.

He’s expected to have X-rays and surgery today.

Walker explained that he didn’t feel pain right away. Then he looked at his hand.

“I went down and I saw (bone) sticking out. I started hyperventilating and lost it after that,” he said.

Shortly after Walker’s injury, midfielder Michael Tetteh limped off the field with an injured ankle.

It wasn’t long afterward that the Lions would score their first goal.

“That really hurt us,” UCSB coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “I lose Walker and Tetteh and then I have to go to my bench early and, of course, both goals came out of that.”
On the first goal, LMU (3-1-0) took advantage of a turnover and some sloppy defense. Gaucho central defender Martin Hedevag brought the ball into the attacking zone and telegraphed a diagonal pass that was easily intercepted by Lions’ defender William Johnson. Johnson then booted a long ball to a sprinting Rafael Baca, who dribbled through two defenders and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Sam Hayden.

“The game plan was to make sure Baca didn’t see the goal and he split two defenders on a one-time ball,” Vom Steeg said. “The second goal was just a screw-up.”

On the Lions’ second goal, forward Logan McDaniel lifted a ball high above the goal box and, as it fell to the ground, there was a scramble between Hayden, defender Rob Hoyle and LMU’s Phil DaSilva. Hoyle attempted to clear the ball away but he hit it off the legs of DaSilva and it ricocheted into the net for a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute.

The Gauchos generated plenty of scoring chances, but LMU’s Young played brilliantly between the pipes. He knocked away a blast from Tetteh in the ninth minute and twice blocked close-range shots by Michael Nonni in the first half, including one off his face.

LMU coach Paul Krumpe said Young, a redshirt freshman, was making his college debut.

“He was so spectacular,” said the coach.

Vom Steeg agreed.

“I thought their keeper played out of his head. Any time you see the goal that many times … he made six saves when we were within 12 yards.”

Young made eight saves on the night. The Gauchos outshot LMU 18-11, including 11-2 in the second half.

“The good news for us was I liked our ability to attack the goal and I liked the chances we created. But some nights it’s not your night,” said Vom Steeg.

The Gauchos kept firing at the LMU goal, but Young continued to come up big. He also got some help as Tetteh smacked a shot off the post in the 82nd minute.

UCSB (4-1) would finally get one past Young in the 87th minute off a set piece. James Kiffe flicked Danny Barrera’s free kick to Hedevag, who headed it in for his fourth goal of the season, tying Walker for tops on the team.

But this night belonged to the Lions, who snapped a two-game losing streak against the  Gauchos.

“For whatever reason,” Krumpe said. “it was a perfect time for us because they’re coming off the high of a 4-0 game (over Rutgers on Friday) on national television, and I think they might of got caught looking ahead. But I’m so proud of our guys.”

For Vom Steeg, the game came down to a couple of mistakes.

“It’s one of those games where we don’t make any mistakes in the back and we’re clean, then it’s zero-zero and eventually we’ll get a game winner. But we didn’t do that.”