Byrne, Hayden face each other in U.S. Open Cup

A couple of former UCSB soccer stars met up in a U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday in Ventura.

Midfielder Bryan Byrne scored the first goal for his team, Doxa Italia, against Hayden’s Ventura County Fusion, but the Fusion rebounded and scored three unanswered goals to win its first U.S. Open Cup match in team history, 3-1, at the Ventura College Sportsplex.

Hayden, the outstanding goalkeeper for the Gauchos in 2009-2010,  booted a clearing ball off a charging Bryne and it ricocheted into an open net for the first goal of the game. Bryne was co-captain of UCSB’s national championship team in 2006. He also played for the Fusion.

Fusion coach Ole Mikkelsen wasn’t surprised by Byrne’s play.

“Byrnie is that type of player,” Mikkelsen told the Ventura Star. “He works hard You expect that type of effort from him.”

The Fusion tied the score on a penalty kick by UCLA’s Andy Rose in the 31st minute. Mark Magee scored the go-ahead goal in the 43rd minute and Bruin Reed Williams added an insurance goal in the 78th on an assist from Hayden.

Also playing for the Fusion is former Westmont standout Dillon Barna.