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No. 3 Vaqueros top L.A. Mission 4-1, claim 1st WSC title since 2011

Freshman Adrian Gamez had two goals, scoring in the 9th and 87th minutes. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Freshman Adrian Gamez had two goals, scoring in the 9th and 87th minutes. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

It took SBCC just 80 seconds to find the net on Friday and the third-ranked Vaqueros scored three times in the first 24 minutes en route to a 4-1 men's soccer win over L.A. Mission at La Playa Stadium.

Santa Barbara won its third straight to improve to 13-0-4 overall and 7-0-1 in the WSC North. The Vaqueros clinched their first WSC title since 2011, thanks to Oxnard's 2-1 win over Santa Monica. SBCC is 10-0-1 in the last 11 and 7-0-2 at home. Mission falls to 4-11-4 and 0-6-2.

With two games to play, the Vaqueros have secured the WSC North crown with 22 points. Santa Monica (4-1-3) is second with 15 points.

Adrian Gamez scored two goals and Carlos Espinoza had three assists.

Matt Wilkinson got the Vaqueros going early, rolling in his fifth goal from 12 yards at the 1:20 mark. Sonny Boyoko made a nice high lead pass for Espinoza on the left side and Espinoza crossed it to Wilkinson.

Gamez took a pass from Victor Chavez and scored from close range to make it 2-0 in the ninth minute.

Gamez started the third scoring sequence with a pass to Espinoza. Espinoza found Chavez open on the left side and he drilled it in for his team-high 12th goal and a 3-0 lead at 23:55.

Gamez, a freshman midfielder from Santa Barbara High, got his first goal of the year seven days ago against Hancock. He has three goals in the last three games.

"I feel like I'm getting on my top form," said Gamez. "I hadn't shot the ball much before and now I'm shooting all the time. We dominated the first half today. In the second half, we came out a little lazy because they were on top of us. Then we got the momentum back and controlled it the rest of the way."

SBCC outshot the Eagles 16-6 in the first half and 26-9 for the game with 10 shots on-goal.

Mission's Richard Cuellar headed in a goal in the closing seconds of the first half, leaving the Vaqueros with a 3-1 advantage.

Chavez hit the right post in the 83rd minute. Gamez got his second goal by taking a pass from Espinoza and blasting in a 22-yarder for a 4-1 lead at 86:38.

Andrew Wakamiya, a freshman from Dos Pueblos High, made his first start at right back and was solid throughout. His fellow defenders Boyoko, Hudson Handel and Nathan Hundley also played well.

"The boys started really well," said assistant coach Dylan Murphy. "Anytime you play a team that has struggled to get results, if you don't start positively, you can get yourself into trouble. The start really set the tone for the match.

"Adrian was fantastic and I thought Andrew Wakamiya was the man of the match. He played 90 great minutes in his first start at right back."

The Vaqueros have two games left in the regular season – Tuesday at Moorpark at 2 p.m. and Thursday vs. Santa Monica at La Playa, starting at 7 p.m.