MSoc: Gauchos have too much firepower for Westmont

Kevin Feucht celebrates scoring UCSB's third goal of the game.

Kevin Feucht celebrates after scoring UCSB’s third goal of the game off Drew Murphy’s free kick. (Presidio Sports photo)

UCSB showed its explosive attack during the first half of Saturday’s Bryant & Sons Cup soccer match against Westmont.

The Gauchos’ speed and quickness helped produce a pair of first-half  goals and they scored another on a set piece in a 4-1 exhibition victory before 2,760 at Harder Stadium.

On the first goal, speedy forward Ahinga Selemani broke free in the box and was taken down, resulting in a penalty kick. Drew Murphy stepped up and buried the shot past goalkeeper Josh Glover for a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.

Nick DePuy made it 2-0 in the 28th minute, tapping in a low crossing ball from Ismaila Jome. Jome’s slick step-over move in a 1 v 1 situation on the left side created the space to slip the ball past the Westmont defender and put it on DePuy’s foot inside the 6-yard box.

Jome, who is looking to be more of an impact player on offense this season, leaped and punched the air in celebration after DePuy put the ball away.

Kevin Feucht does a back flip after scoring UCSB's third goal.

Kevin Feucht does a back flip after scoring UCSB’s third goal.

“I kind of know the timing of it; I know when he steps over,” DePuy said of syncing up with Jome. “Right when I saw him step over, I said, ‘I got to get in front of that guy.’”

The celebration of the night belonged to Gaucho newcomer Kevin Feucht. He raced toward the post and finished a free kick from Murphy with a diving header for the third goal of the half in the 44th minute.

Feucht was so excited after the goal he launched into a back flip.

“I saw Drew before he took the free kick,” Feucht said. “I looked at him — it was eye contact — and said, ‘Far post… give me the ball; I want it.’ I scored and it just came out of me to do the back flip.”

Vom Steeg cracked: “That’s how he got recruited. I didn’t care what I saw in the video. When I saw the back flip, that’s all I cared about. Any one his size (6-4, 180) that can do a back flip, he can come and play.”

Westmont got on the board just before halftime when Tanner Wolf put away the rebound of his penalty kick that was blocked by UCSB freshman goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg.

The PK was special moment in this annual game, which goes back to the 1960s. It pit the sons of the two head coaches against each other — Tanner Wolf’s dad is Dave Wolf and Justin Vom Steeg’s father is Tim Vom Steeg.

“That was a neat moment,” coach Wolf said. “What was going through my head was, ‘I hope Tanner converts it.’”

Said coach Vom Steeg: “I knew when Tanner was going off, I thought Justin would have a good chance at it because you have to hit it pretty hard to just beat him on the shot.”

Vom Steeg blocked Wolf’s spot kick, but Wolf followed his shot and tucked away the rebound.

“He did well to be composed when it came back to it and put in the corner,” coach Vom Steeg said of Tanner Wolf.

Said coach Wolf:  “Tim and I have been coaching together for a long time, and there definitely was a special-ness to that. In some ways, it went well all the way around because Justin made a terrific save on the initial take and Tanner was able, fortunately, to get to the rebound.

“There was a lot of Santa Barbara soccer history that was in that penalty box at that particular point in time.”

The Warriors had chance to pull to within a goal in the 53rd minute. Freshman Asher Booth drove in alone on Vom Steeg but his shot was off target.

“We got to put balls on target,” Wolf said. “That was maybe our one chance to kind of scratch back in it.”

DePuy, picking up where he left off last season when he scored 10 goals, ripped a bullet from 25 yards inside the left post for a 4-1 lead in the 59th minute.

UCSB officially opens its season next Friday at home against No. 8-ranked Stanford. Westmont plays host to Roosevelt (Ill.) in its season open on Saturday.

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