SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Seniors Luis Silva and James Kiffe were named the Big West Conference's Midfielder and Defender of the Year, respectively, it was announced Monday afternoon by the league. Seven total Gauchos were named to 2011 All-Big West teams.
Sam Garza, who earned 2010 Big West Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors and was named to the 2011 MAC Hermann Watch List, has garnered his second-straight First Team honor. The junior forward is second on the team with 20 points (eight goals, four assists) and leads the Gauchos and the Big West with his 77 shots. Garza scored five of his goals in Big West play and averaged 1.20 points per game in league contests. He led all conference players with three game-winners during Big West games.
Senior Tim Pontius has earned his first career All-Big West honor with his First Team placement. The defender is a critical component of the Gaucho backline this year. He has started in 18 games and has recorded seven points (three goals, one assist). He scored the game-winner in a critical victory over UC Davis, which began a season-best six-game win streak by the Gauchos.
Dom Sarle earns All-Big West Honorable Mention honors after a great first season with the Gauchos. The sophomore transfer is fourth on the team in points (14) and tied first in assists (8). The forward has been a playmaker for UCSB all season and is third in the conference in assists and fourth in assists per game (0.38). He has come up with big goals in big games, scoring against Duke, Akron and UC Irvine in last Saturday's Big West final.
Junior Josue Madueno has played in every game this season and has started 15. He has scored three goals for the Gauchos and posted one assist. The midfielder has helped the Gauchos immensely on the defensive end of the ball, as well, after several injuries plagued the UCSB backline.
Sophomore Peter Schmetz rounds out the Gaucho honorees. The defender is one of just three players to start and play in all 21 games and leads the squad with 1,850 minutes logged on the pitch this year. He has helped the Gauchos record seven shutouts this season and also provided a goal in the season-opening win against Seattle University.
The Gauchos posted a 14-6-1 overall record during the regular season and finished second in the regular season Big West standings and in the conference tournament.
UCSB has earned the No. 15 seed into the 2011 NCAA Division I Soccer Championship. With the national seed, the Gauchos received a First Round bye and will host a Second Round game on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. UCSB will play the winner of Thursday's First Round game between Providence (10-7-1) and Dartmouth (8-5-4).
UCSB and league champions UC Irvine represent the Big West Conference in this year's tournament bracket. The Anteaters are seeded eighth.
Tickets for Sunday's match are now on sale. Call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or click here to buy now. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth, high school and college students.
Students that have purchased Loco Passes can pick up their tickets in the Ticket Office anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are interested in becoming a Loco Pass member, click here or sign up at any of this week's home basketball games: men's basketball vs. Santa Clara (Tuesday), women's basketball vs. St. Mary's (Thursday), men's basketball vs. Westmont (Friday), and women's basketball vs. Loyola Marymount (Saturday).
Sunday's game will be broadcast live on AM 1290 KZSB, the Santa Barbara News-Press Radio Station. To listen online, click here.