MSoc: Sac State jumps on shorthanded Gauchos

SACRAMENTO – The 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men’s soccer had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Sacramento State on Wednesday afternoon.

An opportunistic Hornets (5-7-1, 2-4-0 Big West) side scored on two of their first three shots on net in the first half to go ahead 2-0, and the Gauchos (9-4-1, 4-1-0) were unable to recover from that early hole despite outshooting Sac St. 19-17 and netting a pair of nice goals.

One positive development from Wednesday’s contest for UCSB was the return of junior midfielder Ismaila Jome, who made his first appearance since injuring his ankle on Sept. 18 against the College of Charleston.

The two-time All-Big West honoree scored a goal in his first game back, snatching a turnover at the top of the Hornets box and then ripping a left-footed shot over the head of keeper James Del Curto in the 84th minute. It was his first goal of the season and the fourth of his career.

But by the time Jome notched that marker, the game was well in hand for Sacramento State.

The Hornets shook off a 47th minute goal from Kevin Feucht – the German midfielder knocked home a rebound off a Geoffrey Acheampong shot – that made the score 2-1 and responded with two more tallies of their own to put the game out of reach at 4-1 with less than 10 minutes remaining. The goals came with the Gauchos playing with 10 men as defender Sam Strong was shown a red card in the 61st minute.

Jome’s goal in the 84th gave UCSB a sliver of hope, but then Argenis Ramos put the final nail in the coffin with an 88th minute strike.

Despite the loss, Acheampong had one of his better statistical games as a Gaucho, leading all players with five shots. His shot early in the second half led to Feucht’s goal, and he missed a score of his own by mere inches in the 82nd minute when his header glanced off the crossbar.

With his 47th minute assist, Acheampong has now recorded a point in seven of his last nine contests. Feucht has now scored in two straight games for the Gauchos.

UCSB will look to get back into the win column on Saturday night, as they travel to San Luis Obispo to play Cal Poly and resume the Blue-Green Rivalry, the greatest rivalry in college soccer.