SANTA CRUZ, CA -- Tuesday brought a thrill-ride of a match between the 4th ranked NCAA team in the nation, the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and the NAIA team of Fresno Pacific University. Senior Day at the East Field saw four senior Slugs play their final home game. Seniors Brendan Ward, Matt Mahowald, Tim Degrasse, and Cameron Hector received their standing ovations in front of a loving hometown crowd.
The scoring got off with the Slugs striking first in the 19th minute on a goal by junior CJ Villalobos, assisted by sophomore Ben Middlemiss. It was this goal that stood as the only goal of the half, and the game went into the break at 1-0 in favor of the Slugs. The second half brought a much more thrilling line however. It was Fresno Pacific that struck back not once but twice with two goals by and in the 51st minute and 52nd minutes, making the score 2-1 in Fresno's favor.
It was the Slugs who had to chase the game most of the second half. They tied the game at 2 a piece in the 63rd minute on a header goal from junior Daniel Seltzer, from free kick by senior Cameron Hector. The tie was short lived however when Paul Islas of Fresno Pacific put one past senior goalkeeper Matt Mahowald. Finally after pounding on the door of the goal for nearly the entire half, the Slugs finally made the game even with just minutes to spare. It was freshman Alika Okamitsu in the 85th minute that scored a header from a free kick by senior captain Evan Chambers sending the game overtime at 3 goals a piece, the fourth OT for UCSC this season.
The overtime was tipped slightly in the Slugs favor by a red card shown to Fresno Pacific's Edison Gonzalez in the 88th minute. Just second away from a thrilling end to the first half of overtime, Slug freshman Aaron Surry tallied home yet another overtime win for the Slugs, from a blocked shot of senior Tim Degrasse. The win kept Santa Cruz's unbeaten streak alive making their record an impressive 10-0-1. The Slugs now go south for a three game road trip in Southern California.