After defeating Loyola Marymount on Aug. 30, the Hokies hung around California until Sept. 1 to play UC Santa Barbara for the first time in program history. In 2018, UCSB went undefeated at home, and this was certainly a match head coach Mike Brizendine was not going to overlook.
In a physical game with six yellow cards disposed, Virginia Tech was able to score two goals late in the game and defeat the Gauchos 3–1 to start a winning streak.
UCSB, however, opened up the scoring early; in the fifth minute of play, Gaucho Ameyawu Muntari kicked it into the net off a pass in the box. Jon Ingason soon matched the score by the 7:11 mark with his first goal of the season.
The score remained 1–1 throughout the rest of the first period and until the 66th minute when a pass intended to Jacob Labovitz from James Kasak hit a defender’s cleat and flew into the goal to put the Hokies up one. The goal was a mistake that was difficult to avoid for the Gauchos and was just a case of the wrong place at the wrong time.
Virginia Tech sealed a two-goal lead in the 75th minute when Labovitz found the ball and recorded his first career goal with the Hokies.
Brizendine made many substitutions throughout the entire game and 16 Hokies played. Brizendine likes to give minutes to many players early in the season to evaluate his team and give some of his bigger names more recovery.
Goalie Mathijs Swaneveld tallied four saves off UCSB’s four target shots.
With the victory, Virginia Tech advances to 2–0 on the season for the second consecutive season and secures Brizendine’s 100th career win, 73 of those with Tech.
Up next, Virginia Tech heads up to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to take part in the JMU Invitational. It takes on Loyola Maryland on Sept. 6 and Hofstra Sept. 8, hoping to advance to 4–0.