SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State and No. 12 UC Santa Barbara played 110 minutes of mostly even soccer, with each team placing four shots on goal, as the two Big West North rivals played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday at Hornet Field.
"It's a good result at home against a very good team and I thought my boys left everything on the field today." Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger said. "It's been a tough year for us with results and it's a very young group, but they are still putting everything they have into every practice and every game."
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (11-4-3, 6-0-3 Big West), which has clinched the Big West North Division crown, needed to battle mightily to extend its unbeaten streak to 10 matches. Sacramento State (3-10-4, 1-7-1 Big West) recorded its third home tie and its first positive result against a ranked team this season, but despite the draw the Hornets were eliminated from postseason contention.
The match was not without a good amount of action as both teams had several quality scoring chances. UC Santa Barbara had a 16-14 overall shot advantage but each squad placed just four tries on goal. The Gauchos had a slight 3-2 edge in corner kicks as the match played out to be a very even battle.
UC Santa Barbara did have the early pressure to start the match with six shots and a corner kick through the first 25 minutes. Senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo made two early saves, including a fine stop on a close in try in the 26th minute, before the Hornets got some offense going.
Sacramento State junior forward Chimdum Mez had arguably the best scoring chance of the first half in the 30th minute, as a lead pass from senior Isaac Ikyurav got the forward in a 1-v-1 on the UCSB goalie but his shot missed just wide to the far post. The Hornets nearly had a goal in the final seconds of the half off a deep throw in but the deflection attempt was rebuffed by the Gaucho defense.
After being outshot 7-3 in the first half the Hornets had an 8-4 shot advantage in the second half. Neither team could get a second half shot on goal, however, until the late stages of the half. The Hornets had to play a man down after sophomore Edwin Luna was issued a red card with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation, but the squad had a couple of near misses as consecutive shots by freshmen Trevor Jackson and Ivan Ramirez were stopped by UCSB goalkeeper Josh McNeely in the 90th minute.
Both teams had near goals in the first overtime, with Jackson having the best try in the 99th minute denied by McNeely on a sprawling save in which he narrowly pushed the ball over the crossbar. UC Santa Barbara was able to convert the ensuing Hornet corner kick into a counter attack but freshman Ismaila Jome pushed an open try just wide.
Seven minutes into the second overtime Castillo stopped a point-blank try by Gaucho forward Goffin Boyoko and narrowly was able to hang on to the ball and prevent an open rebound attempt. The Gauchos then appeared to have a game winner in the 109th minute but a goal by Jome was waved off as the forward was ruled offside. UC Santa Barbara had another try in the final seconds denied by Castillo as the match ended in a draw.
The draw also extended Sacramento State's impressive streak to 26 consecutive overtime matches without a loss. The Hornets are now 11-0-15 in overtime contests dating back to the first game of the 2010 season.
Sacramento State will host Causeway rival UC Davis to close the 2013 season at 2 p.m. Saturday on Hornet Field. Seniors Castillo, Ikyurav, Nate Barr, and Almog Strikowski will be honored prior to their final collegiate game.