No. 10 UCSB Opens Up NCAA Tournament Play by Hosting Penn State, Tix On Sale Now

Photo by Francis Lipinski

Full Release in PDF Format

• The Schedule
Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
NCAA Tournament Second Round
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 16 Penn St. (12-5-2)
Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Overall record vs. the Nittany Lions: First Meeting
Last meeting: N/A
UCSB Streak/Form: Lost 1/TTTWL
Penn St. Streak/Form: Won 1/WLLTW
Free online broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Video streaming provided by Big West TV
For tickets, click here.

• Ticketing and Broadcasting Information
For Sunday night's game, general admission prices will remain at $12. Students, youth, and military members can purchase tickets for $5. Members of the Loco Rewards program can pick up a complimentary ticket to the game from the Athletics Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Gerry Fall will have a live audio broadcast of the game which can be heard over the air on AM 1290 or on UCSBgauchos.com. UCSB Athletics will also have a live video stream of the match, accessible through Big West TV or UCSBgauchos.com. To purchase tickets online, click here.

• No Artificial Noisemakers Allowed
Per NCAA rules, no artificial noisemakers – including but not limited to airhorns, vuvuzelas, and drums – will be allowed into Harder Stadium for the match. Please leave these items at home.

• Gauchos Back On the Dance Floor
After missing out on the NCAA tournament last year, the Gauchos clinched a postseason berth for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons when they received a No. 10 national seed from the NCAA Selection Committee this past Monday. It is the second highest national seed in program history behind 2004's No. 9 seed. That team was a finalist in the College Cup. UCSB's 2006 National Championship team was unseeded. The Gauchos have now received a national seed six times in school history.

• Handling the Opposition at Harder
With a solid 17-8-2 overall record in NCAA Tournament play, the Gauchos have been outright dominant when hosting tourney games at Harder Stadium. UCSB has put together an 11-1 record in home games of the NCAA tournament, with the program's sole loss a 3-2 defeat to Cal on Nov. 25, 2008. The Gauchos have since put together home wins over Wofford ('09), Denver ('10), and Providence ('11). The loss to Cal was also the only time in program history that UCSB failed to win their tournament opening game, as the Gauchos have gone 9-0 in their other openers.

• Hot Streak Snapped
UCSB's 3-2 loss to Cal State Northridge in the Big West Tournament Semifinals snapped an 11 game unbeaten streak, the fourth longest  in program history. The loss to the Matadors was also the first time this season that the Gauchos allowed three goals and just the fourth time in 2013 that they allowed multiple goals.

• Big West Beaters
This season, the Gauchos became just the second team in the Big West to go undefeated for an entire conference schedule since the league reinstituted men's soccer in 2001, ending the year with a 7-0-3 conference mark. The only other team to accomplish the feat was the 2002 UCSB team, who went 9-0-1 en route to a league title.

• UCSB Soccer Picks Up Academic Award
With a cumulative team GPA of 3.02, UCSB Soccer was honored by the NSCAA with the Team Academic Award, which is given to squad's with a team GPA above 3.0. It was the first time in school history that the program was bestowed with the honor.

• Gauchos Dominate All-Conference List
The Big West All-Conference Team was just unveiled this week, and the Gauchos were prominently featured. With nine members of the team being honored, UCSB had the most recipients of any team conference-wide and the most for the program since 2010. Headlining the honorees were Tim Vom Steeg (Coach of the Year) and Ismaila Jome (Freshman of the Year, All-Big West First Team, All-Freshman Team). Other Gauchos included on the list included forward Achille Campion (First Team), defender Peter Schmetz (First Team), midfielder Fifi Baiden (Second Team), forward Goffin Boyoko (Honorable Mention), defender Nick DePuy (Honorable Mention, All-Freshman Team), midfielder Drew Murphy (All-Freshman), and goalkeeper Josh McNeely (All-Freshman).

• Call Him Ismaila
Freshman winger Ismaila Jome has quickly made his name known around collegiate soccer. This year's Big West Freshman of the Year ranks third on the team with 11 points (two goals, seven assists). The Gambia native snapped a five game pointless streak with a second-half assist against Cal State Northridge.  He is the only UCSB player to have started every game this season, and has showed his increased comfort shooting the ball, as he has picked up multiple shots in each of the last four games. The Gauchos have now had the conference Freshman of the Year in four of the past five seasons.

• Unfamiliar Territory – Scouting the Nittany Lions
This will be the first ever matchup between UCSB and Penn State in men's soccer. In fact, the Gauchos have played just 13 games against Big Ten schools in program history, but have fared extremely well with a 10-2-1 record, including a 3-1 defeat of then-No. 19 Northwestern earlier this season. Penn State, the Big Ten regular season champs, enters the NCAA Tournament for the 31st time and sports a 26-29-1 all-time record in the tourney. A defensively-oriented team, the Nittany Lions are led by conference Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Wolverton and All-Big Ten First Teamer and German national Martin Seiler, who combined to post the second best goals against average in the conference and 30th best in the nation. They do not lack in the tactical department, as head coach Bob Warming was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second consecutive time last week. Jordan Tyler (five goals) and Eli Dennis (four goals, two assists) co-lead the team in scoring, while Connor Maloney is the primary goal creator with seven assists. Dennis's 37th minute volley of a Drew Klingenberg cross gave PSU a 1-0 win over Northeast Conference Tournament champion St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA tourney.

• Seven Gauchos Featured in College Soccer Madness All-Conference Team
Though the official Big West All-Conference Team grabbed most of the headlines, College Sports Madness honored five Gauchos in an All-Big West Team of their own. Tim Vom Steeg garnered Coach of the Year honors once again, while Peter Schmetz (Defensive Player of the Year) and Josh McNeely (Freshman of the Year) both received individual player honors. Achille Campion, Daniel Welsh, and Goffin Boyoko were both First-Teamers, while Fifi Baiden was named to the Second team.

• 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. This year, UCSB is leading the NCAA in attendance by a narrow margin, as its average draw of 3,648 is just ahead of second-place UConn's 3,610. With a draw of 12,805 for this season's Cal Poly matchup, UCSB has now hosted the highest attended regular season contest in each of the past five years. The Gauchos have now hosted the five highest attended regular season, on-campus games in NCAA history and have been either the home or away team for 13 of the 14 biggest regular season, on campus draws all-time.

• Looking Ahead
The winner of Sunday's game will go on to face the winner of the No. 7 New Mexico-George Mason match being played in Albuquerque, N.M. That game is slated for a 4 p.m. PST start, so the Gauchos and Nittany Lions may know what's on the line by the time they kick off. Should the Gauchos win, they would travel to New Mexico or host George Mason next Sunday, Dec. 1, depending on the victor.

• Best Coast
In 2013, it appears as if the road to the college cup will run through the west coast. Six coastally oriented teams (UCSB, UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal, Cal State Northridge, and Washington) received national seeds in the tournament, including three of the four regional bracket hosts, while another three (Loyola Marymount, Stanford, Seattle) made the 48-team field. Each of the 10 teams in the NSCAA Far West rankings made the NCAA Tournament, and the Big West Conference had three teams seeded for the first time in conference history

• You Win Some, You Lose Some
After missing UCSB's last four games, the Gauchos are hoping senior forward Achille Campion will be back in the fold on Sunday. He leads the team with 1.14 points per game. Senior defender Peter Schmetz is a game-time decision after missing the last four games with a ligament injury. Big West All-Freshman midfielder Drew Murphy and junior defender Kevin Garcia-Lopez will both sit out Sunday with red card suspensions.