Gauchos clinch share of Big West championship

November 10, 2007

No. 10 UC Santa Barbara got late scores from David Walker and Alfonso Motagalvan to complete a thrilling comeback and defeat Cal State Fullerton 2-1 Saturday night at Titan Stadium. The Gauchos clinched a share of the 2007 Big West Conference Championship with the win, their second consecutive Big West crown and fifth overall since the conference reinstated men's soccer in 2001.

UCSB will advance to a sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament, which begins November 23-24 and improved to 11-3-3 with their fifth straight win.

"We hung in there tonight and I'm proud of our guys," head coach Tim Vom Steeg said. "We found a way to win a close game and that's obviously very important heading into the postseason. The team worked very hard this year and had to make it through a very difficult conference schedule to win the conference title. We've got two more games next week though."

After Fullerton defender Shay Spitz scored his team-leading fifth goal to give the home team a 1-0 lead on a feed from German Moreno, UCSB's dramatic comeback came with just 10 players on the field after senior defender Greg Curry received a red card in the 73rd minute.

Santa Barbara has now defeated Fullerton eight straight times, with the last four coming by a single goal. The Titans saw their record against conference opponents fall to 2-6-2 and 7-9-2 overall.