Los Angeles Soccer: Jessica Long
Miguel Ibarra's second-half goal Tuesday night carried UC Irvine past Cal Poly. Now the Anteaters must play a waiting game.
Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) finished a feed from his former Taft College teammate Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) in the 56th minute to give No. 14 UCI (14-5-1) a 1-0 victory in San Luis Obispo -- and a home assignment for next week's Big West Conference men's soccer tournament semifinals.
The Anteaters, who wrapped up their Big West campaign at 6-3-1, are four points above UC Davis (5-3) and No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (5-4) in the conference standings. The Gauchos can't catch UCI, but Davis has two games left -- and one victory and one tie Wednesday against last-place Cal State Fullerton and Saturday at UC Riverside -- would be enough to catch up.
Davis beat Irvine and would be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament if they shared the regular-season title.
All four tournament berths were clinched Tuesday, thanks to Irvine's victory and UC Santa Barbara's 3-2 triumph at Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos and UC Riverside will join Irvine and Davis in Wednesday's semifinals.
CSUN and Cal Poly were eliminated from contention.
Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scored twice, including a deflected shot that found the net with 19 seconds to go in overtime, to lift UC Santa Barbara.
Cesar Diaz Pizarro struck with 2½ minutes to play Friday night, and UC Riverside completed a comeback for a 3-2 men's soccer triumph at UC Irvine, its third victory this season over a nationally ranked opponent.
The triumph leaves the Highlanders (9-5-2), who have twice beaten UC Santa Barbara this season, in position to qualify for the Big West Conference tournament and took command of the league's title race from ninth-ranked Irvine (13-5-1) and gave it to second-place UC Davis.
UCR twice rallied from deficits, with Jose Diaz (Corona/Santiago HS) answering Cameron Iwasa's early goal and Humberto Santiago scoring in the 79th minute to pull the Highlanders even after Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) provided a 2-1 edge to the Anteaters in the 68th.
Pizarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored his team-best ninth goal -- and school-record eighth career winning goal -- in the 88th minute.
UCI remains atop the standings with 16 points from a 5-3-1 conference record, but UC Davis (5-3), one point behind, has two games remaining, one more than the Anteaters. UCR (4-3-2) and UC Santa Barbara (4-4) also are in the race.
In other men's action:
- Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scored twice and assisted two more goals as UC Santa Barbara (11-5-1) held on for a 4-3 victory at Cal State Fullerton (7-6-4) to climb into fourth place, putting the Gauchos into position to qualify for the Big West tournament. UCSB finishes its regular season with games against Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly, its closest pursuers.
- Cal State Northridge (7-7-3) settled for its second successive scoreless draw, against visiting Cal Poly, and sits fifth, one spot outside a Big West tournament berth, with two games to go.
- Paul Islas tallied twice and Fresno Pacific held on for a 4-3 victory over Concordia (12-3-1), No. 8 in the NAIA rankings, in a showdown for the Golden State Athletic Conference title. Edgar Orozco (Santa Ana/Santa Ana HS, Corona HS and Golden West College) scored twice and added an assist for the Eagles.