2009 Big West Conference
Men's Soccer Tournament
2009 Tournament Schedule
Saturday, November 14
Championship Match: #3 UC Irvine 4, at #1 UC Santa Barbara 1
The No. 3 seed UC Irvine men's soccer team (15-6) defeated No. 1 seed UC Santa Barbara 4-1 Saturday night in the championship match of the Big West Tournament at Harder Stadium.
Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player, Carlos Aguilar (Palmdale/Taft College) took a corner kick in the 10th minute to senior Kevin Santora (Los Altos/Bellarmine College Prep) who flicked it to junior Gray Bailey (Huntington Beach HS). Bailey knocked into the net from the right side of the box to put UCI up 1-0. Senior Irving Garcia (San Luis, Ariz./Yavapai College) stole the ball after a Gaucho defender played the ball back towards keeper Sam Hayden. Hayden wasn’t able to collect the ball as Garcia knocked it to himself behind the keeper and then guided the ball into the empty net for a 2-0 Anteater lead in the 30th minute. Junior Spencer Thompson was taken down in the box giving UCI a penalty kick in the 62nd minute. Aguilar took the kick for the ‘Eaters and converted to put UCI up 3-0. Thompson would create his own opportunity as he dribbled the ball to 15 yards out and knocked it across to the left side of the net for a 4-0 Anteater lead. The Gauchos would add a late goal in the 83rd minute cutting the lead to 4-1, but UCI would prevail to win their second straight Big West Tournament title and earn the Big West’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Fontein (Las Vegas, Nev./Sierra Vista HS) had six saves for UCI in 80 minutes of play. Junior Victor Chichilla (Palmdale/Taft College) played the final 10 minutes in net for the ‘Eaters. Sam Hayden had three saves for UCSB.
Wednesday, November 11
Semifinal #1: at #1 UC Santa Barbara 1, #4 Cal State Northridge 0
Junior Michael Boxall's header in the 72nd minute propelled No. 1 seeded UC Santa Barbara (15-3-2) to a 1-0 victory over No. 4 seed Cal State Northridge (10-8-2) on Wednesday night in a Big West Tournament semifinal game at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.
The Gauchos will host No. 3 seed UC Irvine in the tournament's championship game on Saturday evening and the winner will receive the Big West's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Heading into the final 20 minutes, the game was deadlocked at 0-0. UCSB was awarded a foul outside the Matadors' 18 just right of the penalty box. Luis Silva volleyed the ball into the area and CSUN goalkeeper Michael Abalos was able to make the save. Unfortunately for the Matadors, he was unable to control the ball, pushing it to his right where Boxall was able to make contact with the deflected ball, heading it in for his first career-goal and the game-winner.
Northridge out-shot the Gauchos 6-0 in the remaining minutes, but Gaucho goalkeeper Sam Hayden was able to easily save the three shots that came on-goal.
"In the second half, we took over the game and did a very good job of creating opportunities," said head coach Tim Vom Steeg after the match.
The 1-0 win marked Hayden's 14th shutout of the season; setting a new UCSB single season shutouts record and surpassing Dan Kennedy's previous record of 13, set during the 2004 season. As a team, the Gauchos would need just one more shutout to tie the school record of 15 in a season, also set during the 2004 season. Hayden recorded a career-high tying six saves in the win.
The game was a physical one with 45 fouls called between the two teams and a total of eight yellow cards handed out.
Saturday's championship pairing is a rematch of last season's inaugural tournament title game. UC Irvine advanced to the final after defeating Cal Poly 2-1 in overtime on Wednesday night. The Gauchos, who won the 2009 regular season Big West title, will play the Anteaters at 7 p.m.
Semifinal #2: #3 UC Irvine 2, at #2 Cal Poly 1 (2OT)
The No. 3 seed UC Irvine men's soccer team (14-6) defeated No. 2 seed Cal Poly 2-1 in double overtime Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Senior Irving Garcia (San Luis, Ariz./Yavapai College) sent a ball into the box where it was headed in by senior Carlos Aguilar (Palmdale/Taft College) 1:59 into the match giving UCI a 1-0 lead. The ‘Eaters committed a foul three yards outside the box; giving the Mustangs a free kick in the 30th minute. David Zamora took the kick for Cal Poly and knocked inside the post to tie the match at 1-1. The teams remained tied through regulation and one 10 minute overtime period. Junior Spencer Thompson (Ahwatukee, Ariz./Mountain Pointe HS) was fouled inside the box giving UCI a penalty kick at the 102:49 mark. Aguilar took the kick for the ‘Eaters and converted to give UCI the 2-1 victory.
The 'Eaters now advance to face No. 1 seed UC Santa Barbara Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Big West Tournament championship match at Harder Stadium.