September 19, 2013

Vom Steeg Goes for Career Win No. 200 Against Yale, New Mexico

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• The Schedule
Friday, Sep. 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Yale (1-3-0)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Overall record vs. the Bulldogs: Never played
Last meeting: N/A
UCSB Streak: Won 1
UCSB Streak vs. Yale: N/A
Yale Streak: Lost 2  
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Free video streaming available through Bigwest.org/tv

Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 14 New Mexico (3-1-1)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Overall record vs. the Lobos: 4-5-1
Last meeting: T, 1-1 (9/4/10)
UCSB Streak: Won 1
UCSB Streak vs. New Mexico: Tied 1
New Mexico Streak: Lost 1
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Free video streaming available through Bigwest.org/tv

• The Week in Review
The Gauchos split a pair of contests last week, falling 1-0 at UCLA on Friday night before rebounding for a 2-1 double overtime victory at home against Penn on Sunday. UCSB played the last half hour of the UCLA match with a man advantage, but was unable to create an equalizer despite registering a season-high 15 shots. Winger Ismaila Jome and forward Charlie Miller teamed up to create both goals in Sunday's victory. A 76th minute Jome cross found Miller at the back post, who headed it back to the far post, where Adis Islamovic tapped it in for a goal. After Penn equalized just two minutes later, Jome once again found Miller with a cross in double-OT, and this time Miller headed past the Penn keeper for a golden goal. It was the first overtime game of the year for UCSB.  

• Vom Steeg at 199 Career Wins
With Sunday's victory over Penn, UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg earned his 199th career Division I win. Thus, Vom Steeg has the chance to earn a milestone 200th win against Yale and extend his record as the winningest coach in program history. The Gauchos' coach since 1999, he has an over 100 win lead on the second winningest coach in the UCSB annals (Andy Kuenzli had 95 from 1981-89). Including his seven years at SBCC, Vom Steeg has a career overall record of 320-98-34. With his next win, he will become the third D-I coach this season to reach the 200 win plateau.

• Running into the Ivy
Despite downing Penn last weekend, UCSB has relatively little experience playing Ivy League opponents. With just seven matchups in program history against the Ivy League, the Gauchos have accrued a 5-1-1 record. Their only loss came at the hands of Columbia in 2008. This will be UCSB's first time facing Yale.

• Youth Movement
In each of the last two matches, UCSB has included five freshmen in the Starting XI. First year players have been a big part of the Gauchos strategy so far this season. Ismaila Jome, Drew Murphy, and Paul Ehmann are among just six UCSB players to start every match this season. Jome and Murphy have combined for three of the team's seven assists (Murphy had a pair of helpers in the Westmont exhibition as well), and keeper Josh McNeely has been making a name for himself in the cage as well.


• Rankings Roundup
After their 1-1 weekend, UCSB is featured in just one national poll. They are receiving votes in the NSCAA poll. Monday's opponent New Mexico slipped to No. 14 in the NSCAA rankings after being defeated by fellow Big West institution Cal State Northridge.

• Home Sweet Home
UCSB is in the midst of its longest stretch of home games since 2001, when they went 3-2-3 over an eight-game home swing. The Gauchos' all-time longest homestand was a 12 game span to open the 1975 season. UCSB is 35-10-3 at home since the start of the 2009 season.

• Miller Time
Sophomore forward Charlie Miller had a match to remember against Penn. Coming on as a sub in the 63rd minute, the Orange County native would go on to earn an assist and a game-winning golden goal in just 32 minutes of action. His four-point day earned him a Big West Offensive Player of the Week nomination. Miller scored three goals and added one assist in 15 matches as a freshman for UCSB.

• McNeely Steps Up
Highly touted freshman goalkeeper Josh McNeely – a product of the LA Galaxy academy – burst onto the scene last week with a pair of impressive performances against UCLA and Penn. McNeely made a pair of saves against a highly regarded Bruins offense before turning in a career-high six save performance against Penn. The first year keeper was effective in limiting the Quakers' wide game (they had six corner kicks and a large number of crossing opportunities) and had a save of the year candidate with a sliding stop of a Sam Hayward breakaway shot. UCSB keepers had just one six-save or better performance in 2012.  Additionally, his .833 save percentage ranks 40th in the nation.

• Hot out the Gate
So far in the young season, the Gauchos have shown the ability to flourish on offense early in the game. Four of UCSB's six team goals have come in the first half despite having just 18 first half shots (compared to two goals on 31 shots from the second half onwards).

• 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.

 • 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. 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 NCAA tourney appearances.

• Preseason Publicity for the Gauchos
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. 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. The Big West coaches poll picked the Gauchos to win the North Division.