Gaschen gives Mustangs massive win

SAN LUIS OBISPO  – Chris Gaschen scored 2:37 into the first overtime period to lead Cal Poly (6-5-3, 3-2-2) to a 2-1 victory over No. 13 UCSB (10-4-2, 6-2) at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Wednesday evening in front of the Fox Soccer Channel cameras and a crowd of 8,125 fans.

The game-winner came when Jake Hustedt passed the ball to Gaschen who shot from 12 yards out on the right side into the high left corner past the outstretched hands of Gaucho goalkeeper Sam Hayden.

The loss snapped the Gauchos’ current seven-game win streak. It marks just their second conference loss of the season.

UCSB began attacking straight out of the gates, recording five shots and four on goal in the first eight minutes alone. David Opoku took the first shot in just the third minute when he split two defenders and fired a shot that was collected by Cal Poly goalkeeper Patrick McLain.

Luis Silva collected the rebound but his quick shot went high.

Just over a minute later, Michael Boxall passed the ball to Sam Garza who sent a shot to the left side of the Mustang goal, but McLain dove for the save. Just over two minutes later, Garza fired off almost an identical shot towards McLain, which the keeper once again grabbed.

In the ninth minute, Cal Poly’s Tim White crossed the ball from the left side of the field to Junior Burgos who took two touches before sending the ball to the bottom right corner of the Gauchos’ putting the Mustangs ahead, 1-0.

The Gauchos trailed for 11 minutes until Luis Silva kicked the ball to David Opoku who dribbled it into the penalty area, created space for himself and shot the ball from 12 yards out to the right side of the Mustang goal, notching the game at one-all.

From that point forward, UCSB controlled possession for most of the remainder of the half.

The Mustangs mustered one more shot in the 41st minute when Burgos took a shot from 15 yards out on the right side, but Hayden made his second save of the game to preserve the tie.

The Gauchos had 16 shots in the half with a 7-3 advantage for shots on-goal.

The second half was more evenly matched as the teams combined for just four shots on-goal. UCSB held a slight 7-6 advantage for shots in the second half, but was limited to just one on-frame: a header by Danny Barrera off a cross from Opoku in the 65th minute.

“We expended a lot of energy in the first half,” head coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “They made the adjustments…and we were scrambling in the second half. We couldn’t get on the ball. We couldn’t find Danny (Barrera); we couldn’t find (Luis) Silva. The game, as it can, got away from us.”

With the score tied, 1-1, after 90 minutes, the Gauchos were forced into overtime for the sixth time this season. With the loss, UCSB falls to 1-3-2 in overtime games.

Garza and Opoku each had a team-high four shots with three on frame on Wednesday night.

In goal, Hayden made five saves while McLain made seven for the Mustangs.

“At some point you are going to lose a game,” said Vom Steeg. “But it’s disappointing that we, collectively, didn’t finish our chances and follow directions at the end of the game. That cost us the game.”

UCSB will continue Big West action on Saturday when it travels to UC Irvine. The match is scheduled for an 8 pm start.

Comments

  1. Tough loss. : / Gotta get that win against Irvine!

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