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Men's Soccer

2008 Big West Conference
Men's Soccer Tournament

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#1 seed UC Irvine Beats #2 Seed UC Santa Barbara 4-2; Wins Big West Tournament

The top-seeded UC Irvine men's soccer team (14-1-6) defeated #2 seed UC Santa Barbara 4-2 Saturday night to win the Big West Conference Tournament at Anteater Stadium.

Senior Rafael Macedo scored off a cross from sophomore Amani Walker in the 10th minute to put UCI up 1-0. Walker headed in a ball off a throw in by sophomore Gray Bailey in the 17th minute to put UCI up 2-0. Walker and Macedo connected again in the 27th minute to give the 'Eaters a 3-0 lead. Junior Irving Garcia took a cross from junior Carlos Aguilar and knocked it in the 40th minute to put UCI up 4-0. The Gauchos were awarded a penalty kick in the 76th minute following a handball in the box and it was converted by Chris Pontius to cut the lead to 4-1. With 51 seconds left, UCSB was given another penalty kick and this time it was converted by Nick Perera to bring the final score to 4-2.

Freshman keeper Andrew Fontein was named the Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player after having nine saves for the `Eaters. Keeper Kristopher Minton had four saves for the Gauchos.

The crowd of 1,832 was the largest crowd in Anteater Stadium history. UCI's four goals came on their first four shots.


#1 Seed UC Irvine Shuts Out #4 Seed UC Davis 1-0

The top-seeded UC Irvine men's soccer team defeated fourth-seeded UC Davis 1-0 Wednesday night in the Big West Conference Tournament semifinals at Anteater Stadium.

Junior Irving Garcia put UCI up 1-0 in the 37th minute after receiving a pass from senior Rafael Macedo he squeezed the ball just between the keeper and the left post for the eventual game-winner.

Freshman keeper Andrew Fontein had two saves as he earned his fourth shutout of the season. Keeper Ryan McCowan had two saves for the Aggies.


#2 Seed UC Santa Barbara Defeats #3 Seed Cal Poly in Big West Tournament Semifinal Penalty Kick Shootout

Nick Perera scored two goals during regulation and goalkeeper Kristopher Minton stopped two penalty kicks during a penalty kick shootout as the #2 seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos beat third-seeded Cal Poly in a Big West Tournament semifinal game in a penalty kick shootout on Wednesday at Harder Stadium.

Perera was named the College Cup's Most Outstanding Player in 2006 when UCSB won the national title and notched his second multi-goal game of the season. He also scored the first UCSB goal in the penalty kick shootout.

Minton stopped the first two shots by Cal Poly's Mario Fernandez and Kyle Montgomery, with the crowd of 3,601 erupting in delight. After Perera's goal, Chris Pontius scored for a two-goal advantage.

The next three Cal Poly shooters all scored - although Minton got his hands on one of the shots - and Jon Curry missed his shot before Alfonso Motagalvan netted his. That meant that as freshman Michael Tetteh stepped up for his penalty kick, if he made it, the Gauchos would play for their third straight Big West title.

Tetteh, kicking left-footed put the ball into the upper right-hand corner, as the Gaucho faithful stormed the field to celebrate.

Perera's first goal at 63 minutes snapped a lengthy scoreless streak by the Gauchos. It was the team's first goal since Peter McGlynn scored on Nov. 1, a string of over 364 consecutive minutes without a goal. The goal came after Luis Silva flicked the ball to Perera about 15 yards in front of the goal and the senior blasted a shot into the right-hand corner of the net.

That set off the crowd of 3,601 as Perera's goal tied the game at 1-1. Cal Poly scored the first goal of the game when Julian Alvarez flicked the ball over Minton's head as the keeper came out to defend a breakaway at 15:40.

Just 3:52 after his first goal, Perera did it again and this time with help from Minton. The freshman goalie blasted a goal kick past midfield and Perera outraced his defender to the ball, starting a breakaway. As he corralled the ball, Perera netted a shot into the upper right-hand corner for a 2-1 lead.

Patrick Sigler, however, knotted things up at 2-2 when he headed in a corner kick and sent the third installment of the Cal Poly-UCSB rivalry this season into overtime. All three games between the schools went into overtime this year.

The Mustangs' Eric Branagan-Franco had 11 saves - the most by a Gaucho opposing goalkeeper this season - as UCSB fired 30 total shots. That total was UCSB's high for the year and the Gauchos had 13 on frame. Chris Pontius led the team with 11 shots while Perera had seven. Danny Barrera added four.

Minton made two saves during regulation, but his first two during the shootout were much needed.