October 2, 2013

Gauchos Open Up Conference Play with Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside

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• The Schedule
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Fullerton (3-5-0)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Overall record vs. the Titans: 28-23-3
Last meeting: T, 0-0 (9/30/12)
UCSB Streak: Won 1
UCSB Streak vs. CSUF: Tied 1
Cal State Fullerton Streak: Won 2
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Free video broadcast available through Bigwest.org/tv


Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Riverside (5-2-2)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Overall record vs. the Highlanders: 22-4-1
Last meeting: W, 3-1 (9/28/12)
UCSB Streak: Won 1
UCSB Streak vs. UCR: Won 1
UC Riverside Streak: Lost 2
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 home contests last week, falling in overtime to Stanford 2-1 on Friday before defeating Loyola Marymount 1-0 on Sunday. In Friday's loss, the Cardinal's Jordan Morris scored both of his team's goals, a first-half header off a free kick and an overtime deflection of a Ty Thompson shot. Despite the loss, UCSB had one of their best halves of the season in the second frame, getting a goal from Peter Schmetz – the second of his career – generating seven shots and the majority of the scoring chances. The Gauchos continued to produce offensive chances on Sunday despite scoring just one goal, a second half strike from Goffin Boyoko. UCSB put up a season-best 17 shots on the day, forcing LMU goalie Paul Blanchette to make eight saves, the most made by an opposing keeper so far this year.

• AM 1290 Broadcast Schedule Set to Begin
Beginning with Friday night's matchup against Cal State Fullerton, KZSB AM 1290 will carry every regular season men's soccer game for the rest of the year. As always, Gerry Fall – the Voice of the Gauchos – will be on play-by-play, with Santa Barbara News-Press senior writer Mark Patton providing color commentary for select home games. UCSBgauchos.com will have a simulcast of each AM 1290 broadcast.

• UCSB in Conference Openers
The Gauchos have thrived in the first game of the Big West schedule historically, putting together a 9-1-0 record over their last 10 conference openers. Their only loss came in a 1-0 defeat at Cal State Fullerton on Sep. 29, 2010. Charlie Miller, Ema Boateng, and Nic Ryan all scored a goal apiece in last year's 3-1 conference opener at UC Riverside.

• Extended Stay Santa Barbara
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 37-12-3 at home since the start of the 2009 season.

• Holding at Home against the Highlanders
The Gauchos have given UC Riverside a tough go of it at Harder Stadium since rejoining the Big West, compiling an 8-1-1 home record against the Highlanders in their 10 all-time matchups. UC Riverside was able to break through for a 3-2 win in 2011, their only win in Santa Barbara in program history.

• Jome Sweet Jome
Freshman winger Ismaila Jome has thrived on the left flank since arriving at UCSB, as he leads the team with four assists, twice as many as any other Gaucho. The speedy forward out of Minnesota ranks third in the conference with his four helpers and 24th nationally. His best game came against Penn, when he found Charlie Miller with a pair of perfectly placed crosses for a two-assist day.

• McNeely Rises
Freshman keeper and LA Galaxy Academy product Josh McNeely has quickly arrived on the scene as one of the most exciting young goalies in the country. McNeely currently leads the Big West Conference with a 0.833 goals against average, which also places him in the top-50 nationwide. McNeely's standout performances include a six-save game against Penn, shutouts against LMU and UIC, and a save-of-the-year candidate against Penn, when he made a sliding stop on a Quakers breakaway opportunity.

• Boyoko Bounces Back
After scoring three goals in the season's opening two games – earning Big West Offensive Player of the Week and CSN National Player of the Week honors along the way – senior striker Goffin Boyoko experienced a six-match goal-less streak. Boyoko snapped that streak with a right-footed finish against LMU on Sunday, his first goal since Sep. 1. The Frenchman leads the Gauchos with four goals, three game-winners, eight points, and a .286 shooting percentage (excluding Peter Schmetz' 1.000 clip on one shot).

• Miller Time
Despite being relatively unheralded coming into the season compared to his more experienced teammates at forward, sophomore Charlie Miller has made a name for himself so far in 2013. The Servite High School product has points in three of his last five games, and leads the team in minutes per point (42.67 minutes per point). Miller also has a pair of game winners under his belt this season, firing the Gauchos past Yale and providing a golden goal at home against Penn.

• 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. Last week's draw of 7,750 for the Stanford game was the largest crowd at Harder Stadium so far this season.

 • 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.