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1. Unseeded UCSB captures first men's championship
December 3rd, 2006 11:27PM



UC Santa Barbara defied history to beat UCLA, 2-1, in the final of the Men's College Cup Sunday and win its first NCAA Division I men's championship.
The Gauchos' victory over UCLA was their first since 1982 and only the second in 33 meetings. UCLA came into the final the favorite after its demolition of fourth seed Virginia in Saturday's semifinals, but the unseeded Gauchos struck early to throw the Bruins off balance.

Spaniard Nick Perera scored only 132 seconds into the game, slipping a low ball off the left post and in past Bruin goalkeeper Eric Reed after collecting a cross from Canadian midfielder Tyler Rosenlund in the box. Perera had given the Gauchos an early lead in their 3-1 win over No. 3 seed SMU in the second round and scored on the first shot of the game again three days later at Old Dominion.

Both Perera and Rosenlund had chances to add to the UCSB lead in the first half, but they had shots bounce off the left post. In the 61th minute, the Gauchos took a 2-0 lead when Eric Avila chipped the ball over the scrambling Reed after being set up by Perera and Bryan Byrne.

For UCLA, outplayed after a commanding performance by its young team in the semifinals, the only goal came in the in the 79th minute when Jason Leopoldo scored on an assist from Tony Beltran.

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