UCSB Hosts Cal Poly in Regular Season Finale on Saturday at 5PM

UCSB Hosts Cal Poly in Regular Season Finale on Saturday at 5PM

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The Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 27 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (9-6-1, 3-2-1) vs. Cal Poly (5-8-2, 1-4-1)
Harder Stadium - Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Mustangs: 46-20-10
Last Meeting: Sept. 30, 2018 - CP def. UCSB, 1-0
UCSB Form: W L T W W
CP Form: L L L W L
Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: KCSB.org

Big West Table

So What's the Scenario?
After UC Irvine was crowned the Big West regular season champion with a win over Cal Poly last Sunday, there is just one first round bye up for grabs in next week's Big West Tournament. UC Riverisde currently sits as the No. 2 seed with 12 points and can clinch a bye and semifinal home game with a win, tie or UCSB loss or tie. If the Gauchos win and UCR loses, UCSB snags the No. 2 seed. Riverside hosts Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. With wins over UC Davis, CSUN and Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos can not fall any lower than the No. 3 seed if a tiebreaker comes into play. 

Video Stream Available
Saturday night's Blue-Green Rivalry clash with Cal Poly will be available to watch through BigWest.TV with the Voice of the Gauchos, Gerry Fall, on the call. An audio broadcast produced by KCSB is also available with Arthur Wilkie handling play-by-play duties. 

College Cup Tickets on Sale Now!
UC Santa Barbara hosts the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer College Cup on Dec. 7 and 9 at Harder Stadium. College Cup ticket packages as well as UCSB season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by calling the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB.

Last Week in Review
The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team remained undefeated at home in 2018 with a 1-0 win over UC Davis followed by a 3-0 win over CSUN. Thibault Candia had his cross from the end line deflected up and into the net while the UCSB defense allowed a season-low three shots and just one on goal for the victory. Then, on Saturday, the Gauchos scored three goals within seven minutes early in the second half to flip the momentum of the match and run away with its biggest margin of victory this season. 

Scouting Cal Poly
Cal Poly has gone just 1-4-1 in Big West play this season but have been playing well in its past two matches. The Mustangs suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in the final seconds of double overtime against UC Irvine after beating Sacramento State 3-0. The Mustangs are led by senior forward Sean Goode (7g, 2a) and sophomore midfielder Emmanuel Perez (3g, 2a) and have been outscored by opponents 19-17, an average of 1.13 goals per game while allowing 1.27. 

Blue-Green Rivalry a Big Draw
Considered one of the greatest rivalries in college soccer, UCSB and Cal Poly meetings account for 16 of the top 20 largest-attended (on campus) matches in NCAA history. Earlier this season, the two teams played in front of a sellout crowd of 11,075 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, the highest-attended game in the NCAA this season. The highest-attended game ever between UCSB and Cal Poly took place at Harder Stadium on Oct. 24, 2015 with a crowd of 14,919, the second-highest in NCAA on-campus history. 

Home Sweet Harder
UCSB has had a history of success playing at Harder Stadium and this season is no different as the Gauchos are a perfect 8-0 at home while just 1-6-1 on the road. Last season, UCSB went unbeaten in eight of its 10 home matches during the regular season (4-2-4) and boasts a .730 winning percentage (146-46-25) all-time in the Tim Vom Steeg era (since 1999). This is the best start at home for UCSB since they went 10-0 during the 2002 season. 

Look at that Streak
The Gauchos are unbeatean in three games for the first time this season after putting together four separate two-game winning streaks. Speaking of streaks, with a win on Saturday, UCSB will have won 10 games in a season for the 17th time in 18 years. 

RPI Update
With two wins last week, the Gauchos have climbed the RPI rankings and come in at No. 46. They are one spot behind UC Davis while UC Irvine (No. 14) is tops in the Big West. 

Recognition for Roach
Freshman keeper Ben Roach was ranked No. 21 on Top Drawer Soccer's list of Top-100 Freshmen. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native and Santa Barbara HS product has been solid in goal all season for UCSB with flashes of brilliance at times. Roach leads the Big West with a goals against average of 0.78 while totaling 48 saves to go with five shutouts. 

Top Praise from Top Drawer 
UCSB was mentioned by TopDrawerSoccer.Com as one of 14 teams named as NCAA Division I title contenders in 2018. The Gauchos also had two players recognized among its National Top 100 list, with Faouzi Taieb coming in at No. 55 and Rodney Michael at No. 79. Within the Big West, Top Drawer ranks six Gauchos in the Top 20 with Taieb at No. 2, Michael at No. 3, Ignacio Tellechea at No. 5, Carson Vom Steeg at No. 9, Alan Carrillo at No. 10 and Adrian Adames at No. 19.

Vom Steeg Captures Career Win No. 250
Entering his 20th season at the helm of the UCSB soccer program, head coach Tim Vom Steeg needed just two wins to reach No. 250 for his career, and the Gauchos did not waste any time. With two convincing wins over opening weekend, Vom Steeg reached the milestone. "It was nice to get 250 on a night like tonight," Vom Steeg said on reaching the milestone after a 3-1 win over UC Riverside last Sunday. "I enjoyed the way our team played tonight and I liked our effort, so it's very rewarding. It is an incredible challenge to take a new group of players every single year - which we end up having to do quite a bit here at UCSB - and make it work. But for me, I'm hoping this year will be not 250, but 270. Our goal is to rack up as many wins as we can and keep this thing going."

He's One to Watch
Junior defender Faouzi Taieb (Marseille, France/St. Francis Brooklyn) was one of 32 players named to the prestigious MAC Hermann Watch List, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year. Before he has even played a game for UCSB, Taieb becomes the eighth Gaucho all-time to be named to the watch list joining Tyler Rosenlund (2005), Andy Iro (2006, 2007), Eric Avila (2007), Chris Pontius (2008), Sam Garza (2011), Ismalia Jome (2014) and Nick DePuy (2016). Taieb was a sensational defender the past two seasons for St. Francis Brooklyn, earning NEC Defensive Player of the Year accolades as a sophomore and NEC Rookie of the Year as a freshman.