DAVIS, Calif. -- Senior Lizandro Torres netted the game-winner in the 16th minute, and host UC Davis added two more scores 90 seconds apart midway through the second half, lifting the Aggies to a, 3-0, victory over Big West Conference North Division rival UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field.
Winning for the third time in their last five contests overall, UC Davis improved to 6-6-2 overall on the season and drew even with the Gauchos, temporarily, for the top spot in the division at 3-1-1 in conference play. UC Santa Barbara, receiving votes in one national poll entering the week, fell to 5-5-3 overall and 3-1-1 in the conference.
"I feel really good about my team," Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer. "I feel like we're just starting to peak. We've played some quality teams this season and, unfortunately, we've played really well, the result just didn't go our way. I don't think our record indicates how good of a team we really are but, when we play well like we did today, we're a threat to beat anybody."
Thursday's victory gave the Aggies back-to-back wins in the series with the Gauchos for the first time since 2012 and posted their highest goal total against UCSB in the history of the series.
The UC Davis defense limited the Gauchos to just five shots on the afternoon -- and only one on frame for the match -- as sophomore goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley was forced to make just one save on the day en route to his second shutout of the season.
"Our defense played outstanding," Shaffer said. "Roy Boateng has been solid, Chase Rhode has been outstanding… I'm just excited for the group. We get one or two players who are playing really well, it can just lift your team."
Torres gave the Aggies the early advantage with his third goal of the season, working together with teammate Miguel Acevedo, who made a long run up the middle before shooting a ball to Torres crossing into the box on the right side. The Stockton, Calif., native gathered the pass and fired a shot over the top of a charging Alan Carrillo back to the middle of the net for the 1-0 lead.
A managerial economics major, Torres moved into a tie for the team lead with his three goals and is now third on the team with six points on the season, scoring for the first time since collecting back-to-back scores against Loyola Marymount and San Diego en route to Big West player of the week honors on Sept. 11.
The score remained that way through the half, holding UCSB to just a single shot in the first 45 minutes, before UC Davis put the match away with back-to-back scores in the 76th and 77th minutes. Senior Noah Wilson, a religious studies major from Petaluma, Calif., netted his second goal of the season at the 75:04 mark, as a cross from Brian Quintero on the left side deflected off another player and right to Wilson, who put the ball home from the right side for the 2-0 advantage.
It was Wilson's first score since a three-point day in a 2-1 win over CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 3.
Not long after, senior Greg Salazar became the 14th different Aggie player to score a goal -- and the seventh to score the first of his career this season -- sending a free kick in the box through traffic that went off a player and caught the defense off balance, bouncing into the left side of the net unchallenged for the final 3-0 advantage.
A neurobiology, physiology, and behavior major from Long Beach, Calif., Salazar tallied his first points of the season, entering the year with six assists to his name.
"We've been in tight games, but we've been finding ways to get through them," Salazar said. "The guys came ready to play today and it was well-deserved."
UC Davis outshot UC Santa Barbara, 11-5, for the match, getting two shots apiece from Torres, Wilson, and Matt Baringer. Leading scorer Rodney Michael finished with two of the Gauchos' five attempts on the day, but was unable to put a shot on frame.
The Aggies close out the weekend by making the short jaunt across the Causeway to take on Sacramento State on Saturday (Oct. 14). Kick off at Hornet Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.
NCAA Soccer Game Summary (Final)
UC Santa Barbara (5-5-3, 3-1-1 BWC) vs. UC Davis (6-6-2, 3-1-1 BWC)
Date: Oct 11, 2017 Attendance: 303
Weather: sunny, smoky, strong wind from north
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UC Santa Barbara.... 0 0 - 0
UC Davis………….. 1 2 - 3
1. 15:10 UCD Torres, Lizandro (3) (Acevedo, Miguel) - long run by 20, pass into box right side, shot over charging GK
2. 75:04 UCD Wilson, Noah (2) (Quintero, Brian) - rebound off own player, shot right side
3. 76:33 UCD Salazar, Greg (1) (unassisted) - free kick right side, deflects off player and bounces in, left post
Shots: UC Santa Barbara 5, UC Davis 11
Saves: UC Santa Barbara 1 (CARRILLO, Alan 1), UC Davis 1 (Lapsley, Wallis 1)