Our Stories: This Is Soccer Heaven

On the eve of the 2010 College Cup in Santa Barbara ESPN.com writer Scott French described UCSB and Gaucho soccer in this way – They call it "Soccer Heaven" and the name fits.

UCSB is renowned nationally for an exciting brand of soccer, perfect weather and a soccer-crazed community. Head men’s soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg’s has built the Gauchos into one of the nation's most prominent college soccer programs -- with nine successive NCAA tournament appearances, two College Cup title-game appearances and the 2006 national championship.

UCSB fans have celebrated wins at 17,000-seat Meredith Field at Harder Stadium in droves since 2004, owning NCAA attendance records and leading the nation annually in total and average attendance (over 6,000 per match). Harder has seen four crowds of over 10,000-plus including 15,896 for a showdown with UCLA in 2010 shattering the NCAA on-campus record by almost 5,000.

All this winning is being done in a venue nestled between vistas of mountains and the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean.

ESPN’s Scott French, The Santa Barbara Independent’s John Zant and Goal.com have written several articles about the Gauchos’ national prominence in college soccer and “This is Soccer Heaven” theme.