UCSB Hits the Road to Face CSUN, UC Irvine

Ismaila Jome (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Ismaila Jome (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule
Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at No. 4 Cal State Northridge (10-1-0, 2-0-0)
at Matador Soccer Field in Northridge, Calif.
Overall record vs. the Matadors: 19-15-5
Last meeting: L, 1-0 (10/7/12 @ UCSB)
UCSB Streak: Won 3
UCSB Streak vs. CSUN: Lost 1
Cal State Northridge Streak: Won 3
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Free video broadcast available through Bigwest.org/tv

Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine (6-3-2, 1-1-0)
at Crawford Field in Irvine, Calif.
Overall record vs. the Anteaters: 33-16-4
Last meeting: W, 2-1 (10/5/12 in 2OT @ UCSB)
UCSB Streak: Won 3
UCSB Streak vs. UCI: Won 1
UC Irvine Streak: Won 1
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Free video streaming available through Bigwest.org/tv

• The Week in Review
The Gauchos opened conference play last weekend with a pair of wins over rivals Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. In Friday night's match, Matt Glodack opened the scoring with a 26th minute finish off a rebound for his first career UCSB goal. Freshman midfielder Drew Murphy then picked up a pair of assists by delivering crosses to Peter Schmetz and Fifi Baiden. Goalkeeper Josh McNeely made four saves in the 3-0 shutout. The Gauchos scored just 37 seconds into their Sunday matchup against UC Riverside when Goffin Boyoko lobbed a perfect through ball to Achille Campion, who finished for his fourth goal of the season. UCSB went into defensive shutdown mode after the early goal, allowing just nine shot attempts the rest of the way. Ismaila Jome claimed his first goal of the year in the final 10 minutes of the match, while McNeely picked up another shutout by making five saves.

• AM 1290 Broadcast Schedule Set to Begin
As of the start of the conference schedule, KZSB AM 1290 will carry every regular season men's soccer game for the rest of the year. 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.

• McNeely Shines Between the Pipes
After allowing no goals and making nine saves over the weekend, freshman goalkeeper Josh McNeely received plenty of attention from the media. For his efforts, McNeely was named both the Big West Defensive Player of the Week and the College Sports Madness Big West Player of the Week. The Calabasas, Calif. native has been solid all season however, as he currently paces the conference in goals against average (0.65), save percentage (.812), and shutouts (tied four the lead with four). His GAA and save percentage also rank among the top-35 nationally as well (22nd and 35th, respectively).

• Rankings Roundup
Though they only appear on one national poll (receiving votes in the College Soccer News rankings), the Gauchos currently have the 16th best RPI in the NCAA. This ranks second only to CSUN (10th) among Big West schools. UCSB has done battle against a number of top RPI teams in the country so far this season, including UCLA (No. 6), Northwestern (No. 9), Stanford (No. 23), Gonzaga (No. 24) and New Mexico (No. 26). UC Irvine currently ranks 81st in the RPI.

• Gauchos and Eaters Double Down
Contests between the Gauchos and their rival UC Irvine have often gone down to the last minute in recent history. Of the last four showdowns, three have gone to double overtime, with UCSB holding a 2-1-1 record against the Anteaters over that time frame. Last year's game at Harder Stadium saw Nic Ryan score a golden goal with 24 seconds left in double OT, while Martin Hedevag sent the Gauchos to a
2OT victory over UCI in 2009.

• On the Road Again
After a seven-match homestand, the Gauchos will play their first road game in almost a month when they visit Northridge on Friday. UCSB opened the season with a pair of strong away wins against Northwestern and UIC before falling 1-0 at UCLA on Sep. 13. Though they don't own as dominant a record as they do in the confines of Harder Stadium, UCSB has been fairly successful on the road, going 24-15-6 since 2009 and 78-41-24 since rejoining the Big West in 2001 in away contests.

• Drew and Jome Draw Assists
Attackers Ismaila Jome and Drew Murphy have been racking up assists for the Gauchos as freshmen. Jome leads the team with five assists, which ranks him third in the conference and 15th in the nation. The speedy winger has collected points in five of the last seven games after being held off the scoresheet for the first four matches of the season. He also collected his first UCSB goal against UC Riverside with a second half strike. Not to be outdone, Murphy has accrued four assists this season, placing fifth in the conference and 115th nationally. The attacking midfielder played perhaps his best match of the season against Fullerton, recording his first official multi-point game (he also had two assists against Westmont).  

• Going Streaking
UCSB is currently riding a three-game winning streak, their longest so far in 2013. Keeping clean sheets in each of those wins, the Gauchos have now recorded three consecutive shutout wins for the first time since 2010. UCSB has maintained a streak of four consecutive shutouts six times in program history (most recently in 2009), while twice recording five shutouts in a row (also most recently in 2009).

• 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. This year's Sep. 27 draw of 7,750 for the Stanford game was the largest crowd at a Big West game 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 Campion was ranked No. 100. 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.