Sports update: Soccer Showdown in S.L.O.

A week of soccer that started splendidly for local college teams reaches a climax Friday night, October 17, when UCSB’s men travel to Cal Poly and the women’s team hosts Pacific at Harder Stadium.

The Gaucho men are sitting third in the Big West Conference with a 2-1-1 record, two points behind Cal Poly (3-1-0). The Mustangs upset the Gauchos last year before a crowd of more than 7,000 in San Luis Obispo. Their 8 p.m. contest will be televised on the Fox Soccer Channel (Ch. 265 on Cox Cable).

It’s going to be wild,” UCSB Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “It’s another strong opponent and a tough place to play.”

The Big West is very tough in men’s soccer, as the Gauchos found out in two home games last week. They were tied by Cal State Northridge (2-2) and blanked by UC Davis (2-0). Davis, ranked No. 7 in the nation on three polls, leads the conference with a 3-0-2 record.

UCSB, ranked No. 19 by Soccer America, rebounded from its loss to the Aggies by pounding UC Riverside 5-1 on Wednesday night.

This is the kind of reaction we needed,” said senior forward Nick Perera, who scored two goals. “We needed a bounce-back game to stamp ourselves in the league. It was overall our best 90-minute performance. It didn’t matter who we played tonight.”

The Gauchos’ other goals were scored by Chris Pontius, his 10th of the season; Alfonso Motogalvan, on a penalty kick that put the team up 4-1 at halftime; and David Walker, on a brilliant assist by freshman Luis Silva, who hurdled a Riverside defender and dished the ball off to Walker on the right flank.

UCSB WOMEN: The Gauchos (2-1 Big West) have a chance to move up in Friday’s 7 p.m. match with Pacific (3-1) and a Sunday visit to Cal Poly (3-0). Tickets for the match against Pacific are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or at the Harder Stadium box office one hour prior to kickoff.

SBCC: Both Vaquero teams are on top of the Western State Conference after Tuesday’s games. The men vaulted past Moorpark with a 1-0 victory over the Raiders. They will conclude a five-game road trip at Canyons on Friday. SBCC’s women are 4-0 in the WSC after a 4-1 victory over Cuesta; they have a showdown at Ventura (3-0) Friday night.

WESTMONT: The Warriors took advantage of a man-up situation in the second half and knocked off Fresno Pacific 3-0 on Tuesday. They moved into a three-way tie for sixth place in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. A day later, Westmont’s women defeated Fresno Pacific 4-1 and moved into third place in the GSAC.

UCSB HOOPS TICKETS: College basketball fans can nab the hottest ticket in town - UCSB’s November 21 game against North Carolina - by purchasing a “Cinco Pack” being offered by the Gaucho Athletic Department. The $75 package includes the game against the Tar Heels, likely the No. 1 team in the nation on preseason polls, and four other games at the Thunderdome. Seating will be in the end courts.

Cinco Packs are being sold at the Athletics Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or by calling the ticket office at (805) 893-UCSB and selecting option 2. Online sales at begin Oct. 22.

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