Gauchos Open 2014 Season With Annual Westmont Exhibition

Paul Ehmann (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Paul Ehmann (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule
Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 7 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Westmont
at Harder Stadium
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (Aug. 24, 2013)

• A New Season Starts on Saturday
The UCSB men's soccer team will open a new campaign this Saturday when they host crosstown rival Westmont in an annual exhibition for the Bryant & Sons Cup.

• Season Tickets Still Available
Seats for the 2014 UCSB men's soccer season are still available! To purchase season tickets for UCSB men's soccer, or for additional information, please drop by the Athletics Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call (805) 893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.

• Last Time Out
In last year's season-opener against the Warriors, UCSB outshot the opposition 20-1 in a 3-0 win. Achille Campion opened the day's scoring with a fourth minute goal, then freshmen midfielders Andy Perez and Paul Ehmann both found the back of the net in the second half in their UCSB debuts. Drew Murphy gave a preview of what was to come in his freshman season by recording a pair of assists.

• Big West Respect
UCSB was a unanimous selection to win the Big West North Division in the annual Preseason Big West Coaches Poll, which was released on Thursday. Receiving all eight first place votes, the Gauchos have now been picked to win the conference in 13 consecutive seasons (North Division since 2012).

• Checking the Polls
The Gauchos have been ranked in each of the major national preseason polls that have been released as of today, coming in as high as No. 15 (College Soccer News). Elsewhere, they check in at No. 18 (NSCAA) and No. 23 (College Sports Madness, Top Drawer Soccer).

• AYSO Skills Day Set for Sunday
For the fifth straight year, UCSB will host the AYSO Skills Day this Sunday, Aug. 24, the day after the season-opening match against Westmont. Stretching from 2:30-6:30 p.m. at Harder Stadium, the AYSO Skills Day is free to all AYSO affiliated players, coaches, and parents and will feature skill clinics with UCSB players and coaching clinics with UCSB coaches. Participating teams will be able to learn new skills and tricks, have fun with the Gauchos, and receive promotional items and autographs.

• 2013 in Brief
The Gauchos recorded a 12-6-3 overall record in 2013, going 8-2-3 in the final 13 games of the season after opening the year with a 4-4 mark. UCSB hit its stride in conference play, going an undefeated 7-0-3 en route to the Big West North Division crown. Ranked as high as No. 3 in the RPI over the course of the season, the Gauchos received a No. 10 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, but were dispatched by Penn State in the second round in a 1-0 loss that featured a controversial sixth-minute red card to then-senior midfielder Fifi Baiden.

• Can't Touch This
With an undefeated 7-0-3 conference mark a season ago, the Gauchos became the second team to go without a loss in Big West play since the league reinsituted men's soccer in 2001. The only other team to accomplish the feat was also UCSB (2002).

• Filling the House
UCSB drew a total of 48,191 fans (3,707 per game) to Harder Stadium last season to lead the NCAA in total and average attendance for the seventh consecutive season.

• Jome Racks Up Off-season Accolades
UCSB sophomore midfielder Ismaila Jome picked up a number of awards ahead of the 2014 season, headlined by his inclusion on the 32-man MAC Hermann Award Watch List, the most prestigious individual award in collegiate soccer. He was also named a Preseason All-American by both College Soccer News and College Sports Madness and was named to the 11-man Preseason All-Big West Team, one of just two sophomores to be included. Jome is the reigning Big West Freshman of the Year and was the first conference freshman to receive All-Region honors since the league reinstituted men's soccer in 2001.

• Five Gauchos Earn Preseason All-Conference Honors from CSM
Headlined by Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Josh McNeely, five Gauchos were named to the College Sports Madness Preseason All-Big West Team. McNeely was joined by Jome on the First Team, while forward Charlie Miller and midfielders Drew Murphy and Nick DePuy were Second Team selections.