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Gomez Scores in UCSB Debut, Gauchos Defeat UC Riverside 3-1

Gomez Scores in UCSB Debut, Gauchos Defeat UC Riverside 3-1

It didn't take long for Migel Gomez to make a first impression with his new team. The junior forward scored a goal in his first game with the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Gauchos improved to 2-0 in the 2018 season with a 3-1 win over UC Riverside Sunday at Harder Stadium.

Gomez entered the game in the 74th minute with UCSB leading 2-0. He took his first show a few minutes later, but missed wide of the mark. After the Highlanders scored in the 85th minute to climb to within one, Gomez sealed the win for UCSB with a goal in the final minute. The Lompoc native buried one in the back of the net on a ball assisted by Axel Mendez.

Gomez enjoyed a historic sophomore season for Hancock last fall. He became the first Bulldog to receive the Western State Conference Player of the Year award in 15 seasons and the first in at least 12 seasons to be named to the All-State Team. Gomez was also named to All-West Region First Team by the United Soccer Coaches Association (USCA).

The Lompoc native ranked third in the state with 19 assists and 47 points, and tied for sixth with 14 goals. His 19 assists set a Hancock single-season record and ranked third all-time in conference history. He finished his Hancock career with 24 goals and 30 assists. He became the first Bulldog men's soccer player to sign with a Division I program in nearly one decade.

During the postgame press conference, Gomez said he wanted to make the most of his time on the field, especially with his family and friends in the stands.

"It was my big opportunity to show what I got when I went in there. Coach told us to keep running and that's what I wanted to keep doing, just pressuring and not let the other team come out easily," said Gomez. "Lompoc being there helped a lot. When I went out there, I wanted to give it my all."

UCSB returns to action at 7 p.m. at Portland on Friday, August 31.