• The Schedule
Friday, September 2, 2011, 4:30 p.m. (PT)
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (1-0) at No. 22 Duke (1-1)
at Koskinen Stadium
Series Record vs. Blue Devils: 3-0
Last Meeting: W, 2-0 (Oct. 15, 2010)
Sunday, September 4, 2011, 9 a.m. (PT)
UC Santa Barbara vs. NC State (1-0-1)
at Duke's Koskinen Stadium
Series Record vs. Wolfpack: 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 4-0 (Sept. 5, 2003)
• Eastbound, Definitely Not Down
UCSB will hit the road – or more accurately the air – this week for its first trip of the 2011 campaign. The Gauchos travel to the Tar Heel State to face Duke and NC State at the Duke/Nike Classic. UCSB is undefeated against this weekend's competition, sporting a 3-0 record in its series against the Blue Devils and a 1-0 record against NC State.
• Swell Start
Last year, it took four matches before the Gauchos hit their stride. They scored just three goals and posted a 0-2-2 record across the first four contests of the year. The 2011 Gauchos, however, quickly got the first-win monkey off their backs with a 3-1 victory over Seattle last Saturday. UCSB dominated the contest, out-shooting the Redhawks, 20-5, with the defense not allowing a shot throughout the opening 44 minutes of the game.
• Big David's Big Game
Sophomore David Opoku sparked UCSB to its season-opening victory with a two-goal performance. He scored in the 19th minute and then 30 minutes later, he struck again to give the Gauchos an early 2-0 lead. The forward had a team-leading seven shots, with three on-goal. For his standout play, he was named to both College Soccer News' and TopDrawerSoccer.com's National Teams of the Week. He was also selected as the L.A. Soccer News Men's Player of the Week and the UCSBgauchos.com Gaucho of the Week.
• Movin' On Up
After Saturday's convincing win, UCSB has seen upward movement in most of the national polls. UCSB is ranked No. 8 (previously No. 10) in the Soccer America poll, as well as College Soccer News and Soccer Times. The Gauchos have moved from No. 8 to sixth in the Top Drawer Soccer poll. The biggest jump was in the NSCAA poll, in which the Gauchos moved up five spots to No. 9, making them a consensus top-10 team. The NSCAA also released its first regional rankings this week and has UCSB at No. 3 in the Far West behind Cal and UCLA, respectively.
• Great Expectations
Junior forward Sam Garza is expected to have a big season in 2011. The Highland Village, Texas native has been named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The award is the highest individual honor in intercollegiate soccer. Additionally, he was named a Preseason Second Team All-American by College Soccer News. Garza led UCSB in goals and points (9 goals, 24 points) during the 2010 campaign. On Saturday, he had four shots, including two on goal.
• Assisted Living
Senior Peter McGlynn assisted two of the Gauchos' three goals against Seattle on Saturday. The Skerries, Ireland native crossed the ball to David Opoku for the first goal of the game and then took a shot from 40-yards out that was redirected by Peter Schmetz for the Gauchos' third goal. McGlynn and Opoku are proving to be quite a dynamic duo this season as they also connected for a goal in the preseason exhibition against Westmont (Aug. 20).
• Lights, Camera, Action
UCSB will once again have two of its home matches this season televised live nationally as part of the NSCAA College Game of the Week on Fox Soccer Channel. The Gauchos' first televised match will be their Oct. 5 pairing with defending NCAA champion Akron. UCSB will then welcome Fox Soccer back to Harder Stadium on Nov. 4 when the Gauchos host Blue-Green rival Cal Poly.
• Preseason Predictions
In the Big West Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Gauchos were tabbed to win the conference's regular season and received six of the seven first-place votes. UCSB, which has claimed three of the last five Big West regular season championships, received 48 points overall in the poll. The Gauchos will open Big West play on Sept. 28 when they travel to UC Riverside.
• The Vom Steeg File
In his 13th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is the winningest coach in Big West history. Vom Steeg has posted a 172-66-25 record at the helm of UCSB and a 151-48-24 record since the program rejoined the Big West in 2001. Vom Steeg is also the winningest coach in UCSB men's soccer history and has turned the Gauchos into an annual national title contender. The 2004 and 2006 NSCAA National Coach of the Year, Vom Steeg guided the Gauchos to the NCAA title in 2006 and the championship game in 2004. He has guided UCSB to five Big West titles in the past nine years and nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He won Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004, 2005 and 2010 and has produced 16 All-Americans.
To ensure you don't miss a minute of the 2011 soccer season, purchase your season tickets now by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or by clicking here.