SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara scored twice in the eighth minute and held on to the lead to send the Sacramento State men's soccer team tp its first Big West Conference loss of the season, 2-0, on Tuesday night at Harder Stadium.
The Hornets (7-5-2, 4-1-1 Big West) swept all four teams in the South Division of the Big West - UC Irvine, UC Riverside, CSU Northridge and CSU Fullerton - but have a draw and a loss in two North Division games after playing Cal Poly to a 1-1 final score on Saturday and falling to the Gauchos.
The loss didn't hurt in the standings, however, as the Hornets remain in first place in the North Division with 13 points after UC Davis (12 points) lost at Cal Poly, 1-0, on Tuesday night as well. With their wins, the Gauchos and Mustangs are tied for third with 10 points each.
The Gauchos jumped out to an early lead on Ema Boateng's fourth goal of the year when the freshman blasted in a shot from 30 yards out in the eighth minute. Just over 10 seconds later, Nic Ryan tallied his seventh goal of the season on a loose ball inside the six-yard box.
UCSB dominated possession in the first half but the Hornets started to open things up in the final 45 minutes. Chimdum Mez had the Hornets' best look in the second half, but on a one-on-one with the keeper in the 18-yard box, his shot sailed high.
The Gauchos finished the game with a 24-7 edge on shots - including 12-1 in the first half - and a 6-0 advantage on corner kicks.
The Hornets are now 0-2-1 against top-25 teams this season, with both losses coming on the road.
Sacramento State returns home for the Causeway Cup when rival UC Davis visits Hornet Field at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
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