Monarchs Fall to UC-Santa Barbara in 2006 College Cup
Nov. 18, 2006
NORFOLK, VA -- The Monarchs knew this was the biggest game in program history and they played like it. ODU fell to UC-Santa Barbara 2-1 in a physical game that saw three penalty kicks, two yellow cards, and 21 fouls. Sophomore Eric Avila knocked in the game winner on rebound from his own penalty kick in the 61st minute.
The Gauchos of UCSB nailed a 1-0 lead to the scoreboard on an unassisted shot from sophomore Nick Perera just 6:11 into the game. The goal seemed to wake up the Monarchs who dominated possession for the majority of the game.
The first half was very physical, but the referee did not call many fouls. Letting the two teams play proved a mistake in the second half when the foul count tripled to 21. Three fouls would prove to have major influence on the game at hand.
In the 57th minute a foul was called off an ODU corner kick when one of the Gauchos committed a handball penalty. Senior midfielder Ross Mackenzie was called on to tie the game up for the Monarchs. UCSB goalie Kyle Reynish guessed right, Mackenzie went right and still snuck it underneath for the tying goal. It was Mackenzie's career-high fifth goal on the season.
ODU pushed with new life on the next possession, but just three and a half minutes later the Monarchs would commit a fatal foul. On a ball in the air, Avila went up for the ball in the box and had his legs knocked out from underneath him. Avila was called on to take the shot against former roommate and Monarch goalie Evan Newton.
Newton and Avila had taken practice penalty kicks on each other every day after practice according to Avila when they played together as a part of the Under-17 National Team. Avila shot to the left and Newton guessed right and stopped the ball. However, Avila instinctively followed his shot and with the rebound he put the ball home for the game winner.
The Monarchs would maintain possession the rest of the half, pushing downfield for the remaining 30 minutes. ODU was unable to find the net, however, even when awarded another penalty kick. With 5:01 left on the clock, senior defender David Horst was fouled by Reynish in the box and the Monarchs had chance one-on-one. Mackenzie was called on again and shot a near identical penalty kick. This time Reynish denied Mackenzie and sealed the victory for UCSB.
Statistically speaking, the Monarchs played a very even game with the Gauchos taking 15 shots to UCSB's 11 and giving up six corner kicks to their own five. ODU committed six fouls and were victims of 15. Finally, Reynish and the Gauchos saved eight shots on goal when Newton and the Monarchs stopped six.
UC-Santa Barbara (15-7) advances to the Round of 8 next weekend and they will play the winner of the UNC-Greensboro/Northwestern matchup. The Monarchs, who were in their fifth straight NCAA turnament end their historical 2006 season with a record of 14-6-2 and the pride knowing they lasted longer than any other team in ODU history.