Santa Barbara junior Jesus Miranda’s second-half hat trick brought the Dons back from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory over Oxnard Wednesday night at Peabody Stadium.

The first two of Miranda’s goals came on assists from Juan Pablo Montes. The winner, with two minutes remaining, resulted from a deft pass to Miranda in the box by Carver Jensen.

The loss was just Oxnard’s second in Channel League play, and the win improved the Dons to 3-8-3 in the league. And after two league losses in the prior seven days, the comeback was satisfying.

“Even though we have not been able to pull some wins in our last two games, we played good soccer and tonight was a product of our work the last 10 days,” Santa Barbara coach Ricardo Alcaraz said.

The Dons fell behind early, when Oxnard scored on penalty kick in the 10th minute.

“It has been the story of our season, falling behind early, but tonight our players kept their head in the game and continued to keep the ball under immense pressure,” Alcaraz said.

Oxnard made it 2-0 in the 60th minute when the Dons’ defense failed to clear the ball out of the box.

But Miranda got things rolling five minutes later, when he took a through ball from Montes and tucked in a shot to the second post. 

Montes got loose again in the 70th minute and crossed the ball across the six where Miranda was waiting for an easy tap in. 

Both teams hit the the post in the last five minutes, looking for the game-winner. 

Santa Barbara goalie Jefferey Lechuga kept the tie intact with a nifty leg save when an Oxnard player got free for a one-on-one with the goalie.

“Lechuga, like always, kept us in the game with huge saves,” Alcaraz said.

With two minutes to go, Miranda controlled a loose ball in the middle of the field and played a ball out wide to Jensen, who then dribbled past one defender and slipped the ball to Miranda into the box, where he tucked it in for the winner.

“Jesus started the counter and finished it with class,” Alcaraz said. “I’m happy for Jesus to get his first hat trick, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

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Dennis Moran, Noozhawk Correspondent

Noozhawk correspondent Dennis Moran can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.