Aaron Loy sighting proves to be highlight of UCSB win at USC

Aaron Loy, UCSB
Aaron Loy made an appearance at UCSB's opening game Saturday night.

UC Santa Barbara, ranked No. 6 in the MCLA preseason coaches’ poll, opened its season Saturday with a big win. But the on-field result over SLC opponent USC wasn’t the most significant development.

That would have to be the appearance on the sideline of Aaron Loy, the Gauchos’ freshman from La Costa Canyon HS who lost both feet to a meningitis infection in November. Loy spent the game on the UCSB sideline, wearing a Gauchos’ No. 4 uniform, taking part in team huddles and even rolling through the handshake line at game’s end with the help of teammate Sean Harvey.

The last time we wrote about Loy, it was to recap the Aaron Loy Lacrosse Shootout, an all-day, all-ages lacrosse festival that featured more than 300 players and raised more than $18,000 for the Loy family. (See below for another opportunity to help the Loy family.)

Saturday apparently was Loy’s second night out in a row, as he made an appearance Friday night at a La Costa Canyon soccer game, according to his family’s online journal, which they’re using to track his progress.

As for the game, UCSB jumped out to an 8-1 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a 20-6 victory over the Trojans. Freshman attack Casey Mix, from Corona del Mar HS, had three goals and three assists for the Gauchos, and midfielder Carl Tilbury, a sophomore from England who had only two goals in 21 games last season, scored four goals. Senior attack Johnny Morgan, from La Costa Canyon, scored three times.

The Gauchos controlled possession — winning 16 of 26 faceoffs — and took nearly four times as many shots as the Trojans (49-13).

Ryan Kreston, a junior from Pennsylvania who led USC in scoring last season, had three goals and two assists for the Trojans, who were done in by a defense that had multiple communication breakdowns and simply couldn’t corral that Gauchos’ shooters.