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Big second half for UCSB as they dominate Westmont in exhibition soccer game

Big second half for UCSB as they dominate Westmont in exhibition game.

UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Men's Soccer team scored three goals in the final 30 minutes of Saturday's Community Shield match against Westmont, cruising to a 5-1 victory in the 60th edition of the cross-town rivalry match. Nemo Philipp's 49th minute strike proved to be the game-winning goal.

"It was a good game for us because we walked in at halftime, we went, 'let's change our look here,' we took advantage of our opportunities, I thought our break was excellent," Vom Steeg said. "Nemo (Philipp) I thought was fantastic, Alexis (Ledoux) and Nemo, the two of them, and then Lucas (Gonzalez) got going in the second half."

With a new head coach for the first time in 32 years, Westmont brought a new formation and gameplan to this year's Community Shield, posing a challenge for the Gauchos in the early going. And then when UC Santa Barbara did break down the Warriors' defense, Westmont goalkeeper Brady Highfill denied them. The Gauchos put seven shots on target in the first 45 minutes and Highfill stopped six of them, including a diving save to push aside a line-drive free kick from Nicolas Willumsen. The only Gaucho to beat Highfill in the first half was Alexis Ledoux, who slotted home a penalty kick in the 16th minute, low in the corner to the goalkeeper's left.

UC Santa Barbara took that 1-0 lead into halftime, thanks in part to goalkeeper Leroy Zeller answering the few tests that Westmont did provide. The German made a strong stop in a one-on-one situation to keep the visitors off the scoreboard in the 40th minute.

After the interval, the Gauchos turned their offense up a few notches, finding more space and opportunities. After firing seven shots in the first half, UC Santa Barbara put up 16 in the second, eight of them on target and four of those finding the back of the net. Philipp doubled the Gauchos' advantage in the 49th minute after Lucas Gonzalez made a break down the left side. The team's captain kept his composure and slid a centering pass to Philipp, who took one touch before firing a left-footed shot low into the corner. Gonzalez found the back of the net himself just after the hour mark when Alexis Ledoux's pass split the defenders and set Gonzalez up to just slide the ball past the Westmont 'keeper.

The Warriors did get themselves on the scoreboard in the 66th minute thanks to one of the few Gaucho mistakes in the game, but UC Santa Barbara maintained the momentum. A vast majority of the newcomers to the team saw action late in the second half, and two of them made near instant impacts. In the 81st minute, freshman Kaden Standish scored his first Gaucho goal when David Danquah's deflected cross fell right at his feet in front of an empty net, and fellow freshman Kavi Krishnan scored his first in Blue and Gold just six minutes later. Henrique Bueno, himself new to the team, swung in a corner kick which sailed past everyone but Krishnan, who was waiting at the back post and just had to tap it home.

UC Santa Barbara will open the 2023 regular season on Friday, August 25 at Harder Stadium as they host Oral Roberts. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. For fans who cannot make it to the stadium, the game will be live on ESPN+ with live stats available on

(Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics).

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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