Gauchos explode for 6-0 blowout of Fullerton

Fifi Baiden (5), Dom Sarle (15) and Josue Madueno (19) celebrate after Madueno's first goal of the season. (Vince Agapito photos)

After working overtime to win its last two matches, UCSB took care of matters early on Tuesday night.

The No. 12 Gauchos scored six times and routed visiting Cal State Fullerton, 6-0, at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Senior Luis Silva and sophomore David Opoku each scored twice to lead UCSB to its third-straight victory.

UCSB improves to 9-3-1 on the season and 2-2 in Big West play. The Titans, meanwhile, fall to 6-4-2 and 0-3 in league games.

Junior Sam Garza got the ball rolling for the Gauchos when he scored his second goal in as many games in the 16th minute. Silva started the play by feeding the ball over the top of Dom Sarle, who tapped the ball to Garza from the 18-yard line. Garza quickly shot the ball to the lower left corner of the Titan goal.

Sam Garza goes up for the ball against Fullerton. Garza would later score the Gaucho's first goal of the night.

Garza and Sarle nearly combined for a second goal in the 33rd minute when Sarle fed the ball to Garza on a breakaway. The junior beat his defender and shot to the right side, but goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon made the stop.

Just six minutes later, UCSB got its second goal on an own goal. Silva took a free kick on the right side of the field from 40 yards and the ball was deflected by a Titan defender into the back of the goal to put the Gauchos up, 2-0.

It turned out that the first half was just a warm-up for UCSB.

Junior Josue Madueno ­– who made several good runs to open the period – scored his first goal of the season in the 62nd minute. James Kiffe sent a beautiful cross from the left side to Madueno on the right post. The junior tapped the ball in, stretching the Gaucho lead to three goals.

Less than three minutes later, Silva beat his defender on the left side, cut into the box and crossed the ball to Opoku, who deflected it in for his first of two goals.

The Gaucho onslaught continued with Silva’s second strike in the 74th minute. Fifi Baiden passed the ball from behind the midfield line to Silva, who was 25-yards out from the goal. The midfielder chipped the ball over Whiddon, who was off his line.

The hits just kept coming for Fullerton, which was called for a handball in the box when a Titan defender blocked a cross by Gaby Okito in the 81st minute. Opoku lined up to take the shot and sent the ball towards the high right corner, but Whiddon made an impressive save and tipped the ball out of bounds.

Opoku would not be denied his second goal. In the 87th minute, he received a pass on the ground from Kiffe and once again shot to the high right corner of the goal to put UCSB up 6-0.

The last time UCSB tallied six goals in a regular season game was against Northwestern on Sept. 9, 2005.

Goalkeeper André Grandt made three saves on his way to his sixth shutout of the season. Whiddon made four saves for Fullerton.

UCSB will continue Big West action at Cal Poly on Friday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.