MSoc: Boyoko’s goal helps UCSB snap skid

Behind a team-leading fourth goal of the season from senior forward Goffin Boyoko and the second clean sheet of freshman keeper Josh McNeely’s young career, UCSB was able to defeat the visiting Loyola Marymount Lions by a score of 1-0 on Sunday night at Harder Stadium.

UCSB broke a two-match losing streak, improving to 5-4-0. LMU fell to 4-2-1 with the loss.

After a first half that saw the Gauchos attempt seven shots but record no goals, Boyoko was able to break through for UCSB in the 50th minute.

Receving a ball from a Gauchos defender, sophomore Marshall Cazares made a brilliant turn to beat his defender and advance the ball further upfield. Cazares found freshman forward Ismaila Jome on the left wing, andd Jome fed Boyoko with a through ball to the right of LMU keeper Paul Blanchette. Boyoko curved the ball back to the keeper’s left for his first goal since Sep. 1.

Jome extended his team lead with his fourth assist, while Cazares’s helper was his first collegiate point.

UCSB continued to keep up the offensive pressure, and may have won the contest by more than a single goal if not for a standout performance from Blanchette. On the night, the Gauchos recorded season-highs with 17 shots and nine shots on goal, which almost doubled their previous best of five.

Senior striker Achille Campion was a constant nuisance for the Lions, registering a team-high five shots and three shots on frame in just 49 minutes of action. In addition to his assist, Jome finished with four shots on the night and was a threat throughout down the left flank.

Making a pair of saves in each half, McNeely recorded his first shutout since his UCSB debut at UIC on Sep. 1. His four saves were his most in four games. The freshman’s personal record improved to 4-3-0 in the win.

“We played well again tonight, so that’s three games in a row that we put what I thought was a great effort on the field,” said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg. “We’ve put ourselves in a good position for when conference play opens on Friday.”

The Gauchos will open up Big West play against Cal State Fullerton Friday night at 7:30 p.m. before wrapping up their seven-match homestand with a 5 p.m.