SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – It will be an exciting 2019 season for the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer program as head coach Tim Vom Steeg announced the Gauchos' challenging fall slate on Thursday afternoon.
UCSB will play a host of big name schools, including six programs that competed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, while holding 10 matches at Harder Stadium, where the Gauchos went 9-0-1 last season.
Santa Barbara's non-conference opponents boast a 2018 combined record of 95-70-28 (.565) while nine of the Gauchos' 17 opponents won at least 10 games a year ago.
After kicking the season off with the 57th Annual Bryant and Sons Cup against Westmont on Saturday, Aug. 17, the Gauchos play their second exhibition at LMU on Aug. 24 before its regular season and home-opener against UNLV on Friday, Aug. 30.
Fresh off a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, formidable ACC foe Virginia Tech comes to Santa Barbara on Sunday, Sept. 1 followed by PAC-12 opponent Cal on Sept. 7.
The first road trip of the season will see the Gauchos head to the Pacific Northwest once again to face the likes of Gonzaga (Sept. 12) and Oregon State (Sept. 15).
UCSB will return to play three of its next four within the friendly confines of Harder Stadium, seeing a 2018 rematch with Seattle (Sept. 19) on their home turf while also hosting UMBC (Sept. 22) and winner of three of the past four NCAA Championships, Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Santa Barbara rounds out its non-conference schedule with road matches at Pacific (Sept. 25) and at San Diego (Oct. 1).
Before diving into the Big West schedule, the Gauchos will host its Blue-Green Rivalry clash with Cal Poly in a designated non-conference game at Harder Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 5.
From there, UCSB will host three games during the conference schedule, welcoming Sacramento State (Oct. 9), UC Riverside (Oct. 16) and UC Irvine (Oct. 19). Sandwiched in between its home stand is a match at Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 12, and the Gauchos will finish the season with three straight road games beginning at UC Davis (Oct. 23) and followed by CSUN (Oct. 26) and the regular season finale at Cal Poly on Nov. 1.
"The schedule was put together with the expectation that we would have a very, very good team this year. We're returning every starter except for one off of a team that went 10-6 and 9-0-1 at home. The schedule features some of the best teams in college soccer coming to Harder Stadium- Virginia Tech is going to be very good, and Berkeley and Stanford from the Pac-12 are going to be there good matchups as well," said UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg.
Season ticket packages will go on sale on Monday, Jun. 17 and are available online here or by calling the UCSB ticket office at 805-893-UCSB.