Vom Steeg wins 200th game as Gaucho coach

Achille Campion scored two goals, and UCSB men’s soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg won the 200th game of his career as his Gauchos beat Yale 3-1 before 3,073 fans at Harder Stadium on Friday night.

Vom Steeg is 200-80-30 in 15 years at the helm of the UCSB program.

“That wasn’t exactly the plan:  I’m going to start coaching here and at some point I’m going to win 200 games,” quipped Vom Steeg. “I do look back now and it’s a lot of games.”

What made the milestone special was it happened at Harder Stadium, where his teams have dominated and played before the biggest crowds in college soccer.

Vom Steeg marked his milestone by changing his team’s formation, going with five midfielders and three defenders.

He liked what he saw from the new alignment. The ball movement was swifter and the team was more dangerous in the attacking third of the field.

“I thought we had better ball movement out of it, ” Vom Steeg said. “I thought we spread ourselves out much better; we finally got crosses and we finally got Achille facing the goal.”

Campion opened the scoring in the 11th minute off a nifty combination play between Ismaila Jome and Drew Murphy. Jome delivered a through ball to Murphy in the box and Murphy then hit a short cross on the ground to  Campion who slotted the ball  past Yale goalkeeper Blake Brown.

Charlie Miller came off the bench to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute. Miller hustled to collect the rebound of his blast off the cross bar and kicked the ball into the net for his second goal of the year.

Yale got back in the game, scoring just before the halftime horn. Scott Armburst fought off a defender and fed Cody Wilkins on his left. Wilkins buried his shot to the far post,  making it 2-1.

“You’re dealing with 18 to 23 years old, and with 39 seconds left  we couldn’t finish the half. That made it a lot harder,” Vom Steeg.

When he walked into the locker room and halftime, all he could say was, “Really?. It’s one of those nights. It could have been 4-0 and I could have enjoyed the last 20 minutes. But, nothing is easy in Division 1 college soccer. Everything is going to be work and a challenge.”

Campion finished the scoring in the 65th minute, one-timing a nice cross form Kevin Garcia-Lopez, who beat two defenders on the right flank before delivering a bullet of a pass.

UCSB takes a 4-2-0 record into a Monday night showdown with New Mexico, a perennial power in the West Region.

Yale (1-4-0) had a large contingent of fans from Cate School that were there to support former Cate All-CIF star Avery Schwartz.