October 4, 2011

No. 15 Gauchos to Host No. 3 Akron in FOX Soccer Channel Game on Wednesday

Oct. 5 Game Notes

• The Schedule 
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 7 p.m.
No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (6-3-1) vs. No. 3 Akron (7-0-2)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Series Record vs. Zips: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: W, 5-0 (Aug. 25, 2006)
Live Stats • Listen Live 

• Smile For The Cameras
UCSB remains at home this Wednesday to host defending NCAA Men's College Cup Champion Akron in the NSCAA Game of the Week, which will be televised by FOX Soccer Channel live. In Santa Barbara, FOX Soccer Channel can be found on Cox Cable's channel 265, Dish Network's channel 149 and Direct TV channel 613. The Gauchos will resume Big West Conference action on Saturday when they face UC Davis on the road. 

• Get Your Tickets!
To purchase your tickets to Wednesday's game, visit the Athletics Ticket Office inside the ICA Building on campus, call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.

• Fly Your Flag
In addition to having the opportunity to watch two of the nation's top teams in action, fans that attend Wednesday's match will also have the chance to receive a free "This is Soccer Heaven" flag. 

• Tune In
If you are unable to make it out to Wednesday's game and don't subscribe to FOX Soccer Channel, tune into AM 1290 KZSB, the Santa Barbara News-Press Radio Station, for a live broadcast of the game. Gerry Fall will be calling the play-by-play and Mark Patton will handle color commentary. AM 1290 will also air Saturday's game at UC Davis and all remaining games on the Gauchos' schedule, including all postseason play. To listen online, click here

• Insert Your Two Cents
Fans can vote for Player of the Match, take photos, and interact in real-time wherever they are watching from on Wednesday via the Screach app. The app is free for various Apple products, Android and Blackbery. For more information on Screach, click here

• For The Record
UCSB opened the Big West season with a bit of a thud last week as the Gauchos suffered consecutive losses to UC Riverside, 3-1, and then-ranked No. 7 UC Irvine, 2-0. With the pair of defeats, UCSB falls to 6-3-1 on the season and 0-2 in Big West play. This marks the first time since the 2000 season that the Gauchos have opened league play with a 0-2 record, that season UCSB opened 0-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The last time UCSB opened Big West play 0-2 was in 1988, when it also went 0-3 at the start of its league schedule. 

• Unfamiliar Territory
For most programs, a two-game skid would not be worth noting, but it's not a common occurrence in Santa Barbara. UCSB has not dropped two consecutive games in a single season since 2008 when it suffered consecutive losses to Rutgers (Sept. 12) and Columbia (Sept. 14). The last time the Gauchos dropped consecutive league matches in a single season was in 2004 when the Gauchos lost to Cal State Northridge (Oct. 16) and UC Irvine (Oct. 21). 

• Home Sweet Harder
The Gauchos saw their home unbeaten streak come to halt after last Saturday's loss to UC Irvine. The streak reached 16 games without a loss before it was snapped, as the Gauchos compiled a 14-0-2 record on Meredith Field between Sept. 10, 2010 and Sept. 25, 2011. This season, UCSB is 4-1-1 within the friendly confines of Harder Stadium and it has only allowed three goals across those six contests. 

• Taking On The Top-Five
If UCSB knocks off Akron – which is a consensus top-five team – it will mark the first time the Gauchos have defeated a top-five ranked program since they defeated third-ranked SMU on Sept. 14, 2007. UCSB won that game 2-1 in overtime.  

• UC vs. UC
UCSB's last four program losses, dating back to last season's NCAA Second Round, have all been to other UC schools: Cal (Nov. 21, 2010), UCLA (Sept. 16), UC Riverside (Sept. 28) and UCI (Oct. 1).  

• As Seen On TV
The Gauchos will host two FOX Soccer Channel games this season: Wednesday's game and their Nov. 4 pairing with Big West foe Cal Poly. UCSB is no stranger to playing on television and the program has compiled a 7-2-3 all-time record in TV games. The Gauchos own a 5-2 record in FSC contests and of their seven televised wins, six have been shutouts.  

• 35 Minutes Or Less
UCSB should open its own pizza chain, because the Gauchos sure know how to make a quick delivery. In eight of the Gauchos' 10 games, UCSB has posted its first goal within the first 35 minutes. 

• A Little About Our Leaders
Sophomore David Opoku and senior Luis Silva currently lead the Gauchos – and the Big West – in goals with five apiece. Silva's 0.56 goals per game also leads the league, while Opoku's 0.50 average ranks second. Opoku is the team-leader with 12 points (5 goals, 2 assists) and is second in the conference with three game-winning goals, meanwhile, Silva has 11 points (5 goals, 1 assist).  Three Gauchos are tied for third on the team with five points apiece: Machael David (1 goal, 3 assists), Sam Garza (2 goals, 1 assist) and Dom Sarle (1 goal, 3 assists).  

• André The Giant
Goalkeeper André Grandt has posted five shutouts, which leads the Big West, and has posted a 3.00 saves per game average to go along with a .732 save percentage.  

• Where We Stack Up
In the national statistics released on Monday, UCSB is ranked 28th in shutout percentage (.500), 37th in total goals (17) and 49th in scoring offense (1.7 goals per game).

• Pulse On The Polls
A week after being ranked seventh in four of the national polls, UCSB has dropped out of the top-10 in all of the major polls. The Gauchos are ranked No. 15 by College Soccer News and Soccer America, No. 17 by Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer Times, and No. 19 by the NSCAA. UCSB has also fallen from No. 2 to No. 6 in the NSCAA Far West rankings. Akron, meanwhile, is ranked No. 3 in four polls and No. 5 by College Soccer News. 

• The Vom Steeg File
In his 13th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is the winningest coach in Big West history.Steeg has posted a 177-69-26 record at the helm of UCSB and a 156-51-25 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. 

• Thank You Cox Communications!
UCSB Athletics would like to thank Cox Communications for serving as the game sponsor for Wednesday's contest between the Gauchos and Zips!