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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 5:19 am | Fair 46º

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Soccer: UC Davis Shuts Down Gauchos in 2-0 Victory

UCSB is blanked for the first time in more than a year.

The UCSB men’s soccer team suffered its first Big West Conference defeat in almost a year in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to No. 13 UC Davis. It was the first time the Gauchos had been shut out in more than a year.

The Gauchos — 6-4-2 overall, 1-1-1 in the Big West — came into the game ranked as high as 13th in the nation and carried the country’s longest goal-scoring streak at 31 consecutive games. UCSB outshot UCD — 11-1-1 overall, 3-0-1 in the Big West — 14-10 but the Aggies made the most of theirs.

The Big West’s leading goal scorer, Quincy Amarikwa, scored his 11th goal this season at 17:03 into the game when he took a centering pass from Paul Marcoux, dribbled in and easily beat goalie Kristopher Minton for a 1-0 lead.

The Gauchos tried to get something going, but managed just four first-period shots against a stout Davis defense and goalie Ryan McCowan, who eventually posted his sixth shutout this season.

UCSB mixed things up in the second half, taking 10 shots, but McCowan had five saves and the Gauchos couldn’t muster enough offense as Davis packed its players in to prevent any sort of Gauchos attack. UCSB entered the game averaging an impressive 2.09 goals per game average.

In a show of how aggressive the Gauchos tried to be, they were whistled for offsides eight times, often killing what could have been a potential counter-attack. Senior forward Chris Pontius took seven shots, including two on goal, but couldn’t score. Bongomin Otii also had two shots on goal, both of which were saved.

Amarikwa scored his 12th goal of the season on a highlight-reel play that even the 4,007 in attendance had to applaud. After passing the ball to Ian Conklin, Amarikwa received the ball back on a lob pass, jumped up and nailed a perfect bicycle kick past Minton. That shot stunned the crowd and seemed to deflate the Gauchos at 47:38, and they couldn’t recover.

As expected, the game was very physical, with a total of 28 fouls called between the teams. UCSB was also given six yellow cards, to Michael Boxall, Jon Curry, Martin Hedevag, Luis Silva, Michael Tetteh and David Walker. For Tetteh, a freshman from Dunn School, the yellow card was his fifth of the season and he will be forced to miss Tuesday’s match against UC Riverside.

Tuesday’s game features a giveaway of free flags for the first 500 fans. Click here to purchase tickets or call 805.893.8272. Students are free.

Matt Hurst is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.

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