Skip to Content

Gauchos soccer win at home against UNLV

UCSB SOCCER TZ.00_00_18_03.Still001
Gauchos soccer defeat UNLV 2-1

UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It might not have been the perfect homecoming for the UC Santa Barbara Men's Soccer team on Monday night, but it was pretty darn close. The Gauchos (2-2) controlled the first half against UNLV (1-2) and scored twice, then fought off a Rebel rally in the second half to get themselves back in the win column by a 2-1 margin. Lucas Gonzalez assisted Nalu Mack for UC Santa Barbara's opening goal, then scored what proved to be the game winner himself from the penalty spot.

"Our defense was much better, we were picked up, but there is still a lot of room to improve, as we all know," Vom Steeg said. "Wins are good, so it was important for us to win, and now we actually have a couple days to regroup. It was a really exhausting game up in Portland on Friday night, that's just a really tough turnaround trip, and (UNLV) threw everything they had in the second half."

Vom Steeg may be under-stating his team's performance slightly, but the stats do not. The Gauchos dominated the first half, controlling 65% of the possession through the first 45 minutes and firing 12 shots. In the 27th minute, one of those shots found home to put the home side ahead. Gonzalez's in-swinging corner kick made its way through a crowd of Rebels before landing at the feet of Mack at the back post, who just had to tap the ball over the goal line to make it 1-0.

UC Santa Barbara maintained control of the match and Gonzalez doubled the Gauchos' advantage in the 42nd minute, converting a penalty kick won by Dominick Phanco. The sophomore from Florida made a diagonal run into the penalty area, sneaking behind his defender, meaning all the Rebel could do was bring down Phanco. Gonzalez sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, and it was 2-0 Gauchos at halftime.

The home side nearly made it 3-0 in the 56th minute, as Alexis Ledoux dribbled into the penalty area, cut past his defender and curled a shot which ricocheted off the far post and bounced out to Mikkel Goeling, who fired a low line drive back in, forcing a strong save from UNLV's keeper.

As the clock ticked past the hour mark, fatigue started setting in for both teams, and the play became more even. Gaucho goalkeeper Leroy Zeller made a couple strong saves to preserve the shutout, but a mistake costs the hosts, giving away a penalty kick in the 76th minute. The Rebels converted and the game was back on. Two minutes later, Zeller made his finest save of the match, a full-stretch dive to his left to preserve the lead. The German finished with a season-high eight stops on the night. Saves number seven and eight each came in the 86th minute, smothering what would be UNLV's last chances of scoring on the night.

Kaden Standish nearly iced the game on a breakaway in the 90th minute, but was denied by the Rebel keeper.

The Gauchos finish this homestand on Saturday, September 9 at 7 p.m. when they face Utah Valley at Harder Stadium. UC Santa Barbara Men's Soccer will be hosting their annual AYSO Banner Parade on Saturday, inviting local youth soccer teams to enjoy the game and show off their team spirit.

(Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics)

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Mike Klan

Mike Klan is the sports director for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Mike, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content