MSoc: Acheampong nets first goal in Gaucho draw with Denver

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Geoffrey Acheampong recorded the first entry in his UC Santa Barbara scoring ledger on Friday afternoon and Nick DePuy netted yet another goal, but they were both nullified as a pair of second half tallies from Denver resulted in a 2-2 draw in the opening game of the Grange & Ashwill Memorial Invitational at the University of New Mexico.

The thirteenth-ranked Gauchos took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime and they outshot the Pioneers 18-7 in the contest, but two goals early in the second half put Denver up 2-1.

DePuy came to the rescue for UCSB (1-0-1) in the 78th minute, smashing home a rebound after a dangerous corner attempt, but the Gauchos couldn’t muster another goal in overtime to grab the extra points.

In fact, it was Denver (2-0-1) who came closest to finding a golden goal, as Kortne Ford had his 108th minute drive clang off the crossbar.

It was the second goal of the season for DePuy, who continued his run as one of the most prolific scorers in the country. The junior has now scored in eight of his last nine games, and has 14 goals in 16 appearances since moving to forward full-time midway through the 2014 season.

Acheampong’s opener for UCSB came on the team’s very first shot of the game. The former Cate School star – the two-time high school All-American had 48 goals in his Rams career – got his head on the end of an Ismaila Jome cross, sending it near post past Pioneers keeper Dan Jackson.

Denver’s Scott Devoss equalized right after the halftime break, heading home a cross in the 46th minute to reclaim momentum for his team.

Controlling the run of play after the score was leveled, the Pioneers pushed across the go-ahead goal 11 minutes later when Sam Hamilton volleyed in a Karsten Hanlin pass.

The Gauchos finish off their trip to the Land of Enchantment with a contest against host New Mexico at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.