Luis Silva scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to guide the No. 19 ranked University of California at Santa Barbara men's soccer team to a 3-2 victory over the No. 3 ranked University of Akron on Wednesday night at Harder Stadium.
The match, which was televised on FOX Soccer Channel, is the first UA has lost this season and only the second loss during the regular run of play in its past 60 matches, dating back to the start of the 2009 season.
UA ventured to Harder Stadium to play where it won the national title last season. The Zips (7-1-2) trailed for the first time all season, but rallied back from a 2-1 deficit midway through the second half only to allow Silva's second goal 33 seconds into overtime.
“We didn't sustain a high enough level on either side of the ball to deserve to win tonight,” UA coach Caleb Porter said in a statement. “We hadn't played that caliber of opponent in the season thus far and it showed, especially in our individual and collective defending. Santa Barbara played through us far too easily and we didn't show the grit and intensity that we needed.”
Michael Nonni and James Kiffe assisted on Silva's game-winning goal.
UA sophomore Darren Mattocks netted his eighth goal of the season and junior Thomas Schmitt found the net for the second time in three matches.
“The most disappointing part was the way we started each period,” Porter said. “We weren't sharp in the first half but still scored a goal and were in a good position, up 1-0. UCSB was more hungry in the second half and it showed when they leveled the game and then went up 2-1. We finally woke up and put together some of our best stuff to get back into the game. I really thought we were going to find the goal to win in regulation, but again we lost our edge in overtime and they capitalized.”
The Gauchos (7-3-1) were in control early, Zips junior goalkeeper David Meves made key saves.
Mattocks scored his goal in the 15th minute with freshman Wil Trapp recording the assist.
Silva tied the score at 1-1 in the 64th minute with a goal off an assist by Dom Sarle.
Sarle made it 2-1 in the 66th minute with a goal. Josue Madueno and Kiffe got assists.
The Zips got even in the 69th minute when Schmitt netted a goal off an assist by sophomore Aodhan Quinn.
UA, which has played six of its last nine matches away, will return home to host Northern Illinois at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“UCSB is certainly a talented team and they exposed us at times when we weren't clicking,” Porter said. “But I know this team has it in them to perform better. Maybe we needed this type of game as a bit of a rude awakening to realize we still have a ways to go in order to be a championship caliber team.”