Gauchos Head to Chicago to Face Northwestern and UIC

Mathew Glodack (Photo by Francis Lipinski)

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• The Schedule
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at 5 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Northwestern
at Lakeside Field in Chicago, Ill.
Overall record vs. the Wildcats: 2-0-0
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (11/25/06)
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com

Sunday, Sep. 1, 2013 at 11 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara at University of Illinois, Chicago
at Flames Field in Chicago, Ill.
Overall record vs. the Flames: 1-1-0
Last meeting: L, 2-1 (9/8/06)
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com

• Nice Start
The Gauchos commenced the 2013 campaign with a 3-0 exhibition victory over Montecito-based Westmont College last Saturday. Achille Campion started the scoring with a fourth minute header off a set piece. Despite dominating the play, UCSB didn't get on the scoreboard again until the last ten minutes, when a Paul Ehmann strike bounced off the crossbar onto the goalies back and into the net. An Andy Perez finish off an Adam Carn-Saferstein cross closed the scoring in the 88th minute. Montecito was held shotless over the first half, and only ended up with one in the entire game, a soft header in the second half. Austin Mansker and Josh McNeely each played a half in goal for UCSB, but neither were tested.

• Moving Out of State
Despite playing in just 20 out-of-state regular season away games during Tim Vom Steeg's tenure, the Gauchos have thrived in such contests, especially recently. Since the conclusion of the 2008 season, UCSB has gone 8-0-1 in those games, including a marquee overtime triumph over Duke in 2011. Overall, Vom Steeg has led his squad to a 13-6-1 regular season record in out-of-state matches.

• Goal Scoring Machine
Senior forward Achille Campion has lit up the scoresheets since his arrival at UCSB a season ago. With his first half tally against Westmont, the France national has scored in eight of his nine appearances with the Gauchos. Including his sophomore year at Belhaven, Campion has now produced 25 goals in his last 30 games.

• Lasting First Impression
A quintet of Gaucho freshmen had impressive debuts in their first official appearances with the team against Westmont. Drew Murphy collected a pair of assists – including one off a free kick – in the midfield before ably moving to left back late in the game. Fellow midfield/defense hybrid Nick DePuy offered a shutdown performance at right back and picked up an assist on Campion's goal with a clever header to the Frenchman off a set piece. Paul Ehmann scored one of the more memorable UCSB goals in recent history, while Andy Perez's poise in the box near the final whistle allowed the Gauchos to capitalize on their dominant play. Lastly, forward Ismaila Jome impressed in an advanced role. Despite not scoring, the Minnesota native operated fluidly on the flank and drew the foul that produced the opening goal.

• Filling the House
After drawing just under 50,000 fans into Harder Stadium last season, the Gauchos have now led the nation in attendance for six consecutive years, dating back to 2007. Last year's Cal Poly matchup saw 13,467 fans go through the Harder Stadium turnstiles, the most of any NCAA match in 2012. Overall, UCSB has four of the five highest on-campus regular season draws in NCAA history, including a record 15,896 against UCLA on Sep. 24, 2010.

• UCSB in Season Openers
The Gauchos have gone 10-2-2 in Tim Vom Steeg's tenure in season openers. Recently, they have only lost one season opener in the past seven years, a 1-0 overtime defeat at the hands of Cal State Bakersfield in 2010.

• Title Contenders
The Gauchos are again being picked to make noise in the Big West and in the NCAA by national publications in 2013. College Soccer News tabbed the Gauchos at No. 13 in their preseason rankings, while College Sports Madness has them at No. 31. While not cracking the top-25 in the NSCAA poll, UCSB received the most votes among Big West schools in all three publications.
 
• 2012 in Review
2012 was a tale of two seasons for the Gauchos. UCSB got off to a torrid start in going undefeated through their first 11 games. Achille Campion in particular lit up the field, scoring six times in seven appearances before succumbing to an ankle injury. However, after a double-OT win against UC Irvine on Oct. 5, the Gauchos went just 2-6 over their final eight games of the season, finishing with a North Division-worst 4-5-1 conference record. The finish snapped a 10 year streak of UCSB making the NCAA tournament.

• Hardware Hoarders
Five Gauchos received conference and national recognition after the 2012 season. Two of those five return in 2013: midfielder Fifi Baiden was a First Team All-Big West selection, while center back Daniel Welsh was a Second Teamer. Departed senior Josue Madueno was an All-Conference honorable mention, while fellow senior Nic Ryan–who led the squad with eight goals– took home All-Big West First Team, Conference Midfielder of the Year, and All Far-West Region Third Team honors. Ema Boateng–now a professional player in Sweden– was also an All-Conference First Teamer, while also being named the Big West Freshman of the Year and an All-Region Second Teamer.

• Preseason Publicity for Gaucho Players
In its yearly rankings of the top 100 players in collegiate soccer, Top Drawer Soccer recognized a pair of Gauchos in Fifi Baiden and Achille Campion. Baiden–who checked in at No. 38– was noted as one of the top defensive midfielders in the country, while the inclusion of Campion at No. 100 is especially impressive considering the forward has notched just six goals at the Division-I level. Earlier in the offseason, Baiden was also named to Top Drawer's "Top 10 Midfielders" list, and was the only defensive midfielder selected.

• Hello Paul
After a lengthy NCAA clearance period, German midfielder Paul Ehmann has finally been approved to compete with the Gauchos. Ehmann previously trained with the Borussia Dortmund academy. In the 2012-13 season, Dortmund's first team finished as the runners up in the UEFA Champions League as well as the Bundesliga. Ehmann made an immediate impact in his first game with the Gauchos, scoring in the 83rd minute after coming off the bench to start the second half. On the goal, he blasted a shot from just outside the 18-yard box. The Westmont keeper, Andrew Singer, was able to direct the ball to the crossbar with his fingertips, but the ball clanged off the woodwork, back onto Singer's back and into the net.

• Gauchos in the Community
UCSB soccer is proud to announce the inclusion of "Santa Barbara Soccer Club Night" to its schedule on Sep. 6 as part of a Gauchos doubleheader – the women will take on Pacific at 5 p.m. before the men have their regular season home-opener against Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. All SBSC players will be granted admission to both games free of charge. SBSC Night events will include a Coaches Game, tailgating party, a raffle prize drawing, and a special halftime recognition of the club.

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