George Kuntz has learned not to get too excited about mid-season success. But the UC Irvine men's soccer coach was fibbing somewhat behind a muted grin Saturday night, when he was quick to call the Anteaters' 2-0 Big West Conference win at UC Santa Barbara "Just one game."
A win for any Big West program over UCSB, which has won seven conference regular-season and conference tournament titles in the last 10 seasons, is always a treasured accomplishment, particularly at always rustic and usually rowdy Harder Stadium.
The win was not only a welcome remedy to the disappointment of UCI's 1-0 conference-opening loss to visiting Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Wednesday. It also helped extend a winless conference start for the Gauchos.
The victory snapped a 16-game home unbeaten streak for the Gauchos, who were national champions in 2006.
UCI (9-2, 1-1 in conference), ranked No. 7 in last week's National Soccer Coaches Assn. of America poll and No. 1 in the West Region, needed a win to avoid slipping into the basement of the conference standings.