SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara, the highest scoring team in the Big West, got a goal less than six minutes into the game but Sacramento State shut the door after that and got an equalizer in the 27th minute from senior Alex Bettencourt en route to a 1-1 tie in double overtime Wednesday night in Santa Barbara.
Sacramento State (6-5-2, 2-2-1 Big West) picked up a point in Santa Barbara for the first time since joining the Big West in 2011. Ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation earlier this season, UC Santa Barbara (7-5-2, 3-0-2 Big West) remained undefeated in conference play and atop the Big West North standings with 11 points.
The Gauchos took that very early lead just five minutes and 13 seconds into the contest. Nick DePuy created a turnover at midfield and broke into the box, where his pass was deflected by a Hornet defender but was reached at the far post by Ahinga Selemani for a chip in.
Sacramento State tied it up in the 27th minute after a UCSB foul was called just atop the box off the right post. Bettencourt took the free kick with a four-man wall in front of him, and his lined shot went through the wall and past the screened Gaucho goalkeeper to tie the game.
Both teams would have their chances to take the lead. Hornet goalkeeper James Del Curto made a pair of strong saves late in the first half and made a sensational kick save on a close UCSB shot in the 58th minute.
UC Santa Barbara came close again as Noah Billingsley ringed a shot off the crossbar in the 61st minute. The Hornets appeared to have the go-ahead goal in the 71st minute as Bettencourt finished in close but was called offside.
Del Curto had four saves through regulation time, and in the first OT the Gauchos had a couple of good looks but were not credited with a shot. UCSB had two shots in the second OT and again came close to a winner as header by DePuy missed just wide in the 103rd minute.
Sacramento State was credited with just five shots in the game with the Bettencourt goal the team's only shot on frame. UC Santa Barbara finished with 16 shots with six on goal as Del Curto made five big saves to get the Hornets a positive result.
With the tie and loss from UC Davis at Cal Poly on Wednesday night, the Hornets moved ahead of the Aggies for sole possession of second place in the Big West North division with seven points. Sacramento State will host UC Davis at 4 p.m. Saturday at Hornet Field in the first of two meetings between the Causeway rivals over the next two weeks.