Neither Gauchos, Anteaters budge

IRVINE  —  No. 13 UCSB battled No. 7 UC Irvine to a scoreless draw on Saturday night during a match-up between the Big West Conference leaders at Anteater Stadium. With the tie, UC Irvine holds onto its first place standing in the league standings with 20 points and UCSB stays in second with 19 points. The Gauchos are now guaranteed to finish at least second in the regular season conference standings.

With the tie, UCSB is now 10-4-3 on the season and 6-2-1 in conference games. Irvine meanwhile now holds a 13-1-3 mark and a 6-0-2 league mark.

The Anteaters‚ had the first shot opportunity of the game when Corey Attaway headed the ball from just outside the left post in the third minute, but Gaucho goalkeeper Sam Hayden grabbed the ball for the first of his three saves on the night.

UCI continued to plug away and in the 12th minute, Miguel Ibarra streaked down the right side of the field and sent a low shot to the far side of the Gaucho goal. Hayden made an impressive diving save, knocking the ball away with his outreached hand.

UCSB began to find its offensive rhythm mid-way through the first half. In the 18th minute, Tim Pontius headed a cross off of Danny Barrera’s corner kick just over the cross bar.

Just a few minutes later, Zach Olow was able to get into the box with the ball and fired a shot from point-blank range that Hayden blocked to keep the Anteaters off the scoreboard. It was the third and last shot on goal from UCI during the match.

In the 30th minute, the Gauchos had another opportunity to score when Michael Boxall got his head on another corner kick from Barrera, but his shot went wide left.

In the second half, UC Irvine once again had the first shot opportunity in the 50th minute when Olow headed a ball off an Anteater corner, but the shot went high.

The Gauchos fired off two shots in the ensuing four minutes. In the 52nd minute, Sam Garza sent a shot from about 12 yards out from the right side of the field, but an Anteater defender blocked it out of bounds. The block led to a pair of corner kicks and on the second, David Opoku headed Barrera’s cross, but Andrew Fontein saved the shot.

UCSB received a blow in the 71st minute when Peter McGlynn received a red card, forcing the Gauchos to play the remainder of the match a man down.

The Gauchos had two solid chances to score in the second overtime period. The first came early when Barrera sent a shot towards the Irvine goal from 25 yards out, but the ball went high. Then, in the 104th minute, Silva beat two defenders and shot the ball from point blank range, but he hadn’t gotten enough power behind it and Fontein easily made the save.

As has been the case in every match this season, UCSB led its opposition for shots, 10-9. Each team had three on frame. The Gauchos held a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks.

This marked the Gauchos‚ seventh overtime contest this season and second this week alone. UCSB holds a 1-3-3 record in extra time.

UCSB will conclude its regular season schedule next Saturday, Nov. 6 when it hosts UC Riverside. Game time is scheduled for 7 pm.