Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gauchos men's soccer season ends with 4-3 loss


Despite a 3-1 lead in the second half, defending champion No. 12 UC Santa Barbara gave up three straight goals to fall 4-3 in double overtime to No. 5 Ohio State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
In a heated match featuring 31 fouls and seven yellow cards at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the Gauchos failed to capitalize on several opportunities to put the game out of sight for the Buckeyes.

“The play that killed us was their second goal,” UCSB Coach Tim Vom Steeg said during a postgame press conference. “We went up 3-1 and we were confident we would win. Then they came right back and scored their second goal on a corner kick. From there, they got all the momentum.”
After an early goal by UCSB’s Alfonso Motagalvan, knocking in a rebound from midfielder Ciaran O’Brien’s free kick less than five minutes into the match, the Buckeyes answered at the 24-minute mark as defender Eric Brunner drove home a free kick of his own.
The Gauchos went into the second half up 2-1 after a Buckeye defender attempted to clear a crossing pass, heading the ball into the crossbar and down into his own goal in the 32nd minute.
Less than eight minutes into the second period, Gauchos forward Nick Perera curved a shot just inside the left post after eluding a defender in the 53rd minute.
“When we gave up that goal early in the second half, it didn’t look good,” OSU Coach John Bluem said during the press conference. “But our guys never give up.”
Buckeyes forward Xavier Balc, taking one of seven OSU corner kicks on the day, sent the ball spinning into the box. After a blocked header, OSU’s Eric Edwards blasted the rebound past goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner to bring the score to 3-2.
Following a handball near the Gauchos penalty box, Brunner ripped the equalizer through the wall of UCSB defenders in the 70th minute.
“Obviously, the story for us will be having a 3-1 lead in the second half on the road and not being able to finish,” Coach Vom Steeg said. “We felt like we had this game won when we went up 3-1 and had several opportunities to go ahead 4-1 or 5-1.”
After a scoreless first overtime period, Buckeye midfielder Matt Gold stole a pass, dribbled into the box and sent the ball toward Edwards for a shot. Despite a block by Rueckner on the first attempt, forward Andrew Magill cleaned up the rebound, effectively ending UCSB’s season at 13-4-4.
“I take my hat off to Ohio State,” Coach Vom Steeg said, “and wish them well going forward.”

No comments: