@ UCI 3-1
As I mentioned last week we felt that we were on the wrong end of our first game with UCI that ended with a 1-2 overtime defeat. We came out aggressive from the kick off and set a great tone early.
In the 5th minute of the game a good through ball got behind them and forced them into pulling Mike Farfan down just outside the box. The referee deemed that the last man was guilty of the foul and showed him a red card directly. The red card was the second time this season that we played a man up and definitely startled the Eater’s.
I was concerned that we might let up slightly knowing that we were up a man and was also worried that the referee could look to even the numbers out somehow. We needed to be more motivated to take advantage of our numerical superiority and keep our heads knowing the situation.
I was very surprised that Irvine didn’t take a forward out in order to keep four in the back. They decided to play with three and then proceeded to play an offside trap which we quickly took advantage of. We got on the board in the 15th minute after a great through ball by German Moreno found Mike Farfan who went uncontested with the keeper. Mike slotted his second goal of the year to make the score 1-0.
Gabe Farfan scored his first of the year on a similar through ball from German Moreno doubling our advantage and taking us into the half with a two goal lead.
At halftime we reiterated the need to stay composed and to keep going at them. We have done a great job defending and felt that we should be able to suffocate the game and take the three points ending a streak that saw us winless against them since 1999.
Seven minutes into the second half Irvine was awarded a penalty for what I was told later was a hand ball. I wasn’t able to see from my vantage point so I will accept the referee’s decision. The penalty was converted to cut into our lead but I was convinced there was still no need for alarm and that we would create plenty of other quality chances.
In the 69th minute Gabe scored his second on the night and season on a shot from about 25 yards out that beat the keeper on the near post and once again gave us a two goal lead and the eventual final score.
This game was very similar to our first meeting in that we controlled the tempo, possession and had the better chances. The difference was that we took advantage of our chances and were able to match our season high for goals scored in a game.
We have given up two penalty’s on the year both coming in games versus Irvine.
UCSB Nov 10 7:00pm Titan Stadium
We welcome the Defending National Champion Gaucho’s to Titan Stadium Saturday night. The Gaucho’s sit atop of the Big West Standings and are currently ranked 10th in the Nation. They have only lost 1 of their past 11 games going 8-1-2. They also beat Irvine last week matching our result 3-1.
The first meeting played in Santa Barbara Oct 6th resembled many of our encounters with them. It was a defensive battle that was decided in the final 12 minutes on a Chris Pontius goal. Last year we also lost 0-1 in Santa Barbara and 1-2 in 2ot at home.
In the first game this year we had two chances that went off the crossbar and those missed opportunities eventually sent us to our second league defeat. We will look to have two players available that weren’t available in our first meeting. German Moreno was sitting out his Red Card and Mike Farfan was injured and unable to play.
Santa Barbara has been the elite team in our league and will be a big test for our young team. We have been through a lot this season and will look toward this game as a barometer to gauge how far we have come since our first meeting. Even though the conference tournament won’t start until next year we are playing as if it has and want to end in the top four. We are presently fourth with 3 games remaining.
What player and coach wouldn’t want to test themselves against the best and until someone else lifts the Championship trophy they are the best.