August 28, 2009

UCSB Hosts Bakersfield in Regular Season Opener

Aug. 28, 2009

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• The Schedule
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners
at UCSB's Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Game available on Gametracker
Broadcast by KCSB 91.9 FM

• Get Your Tickets!
Fans can purchase tickets for UCSB soccer games by calling (805) 893-UCSB, by visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or by clicking here.

• Getting Gaucho Tickets Has Never Been Easier!
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• 2009 Season Begins At Harder
The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team will open the 2009 regular season on Tuesday when they play host to non-conference foe Cal State Bakersfield. The Gauchos own a 1-0-0 record all-time against the Roadrunners. The only meeting between the programs resulted in a 2-0 win for the Gauchos on Sept. 7, 1986.

• Home Sweet Home
UCSB will play a total of nine regular-season home contests this season, including Tuesday's match-up with the Roadrunners. Since the program's inception in 1966, UCSB has posted a 219-117-40 record at Harder Stadium and in Tim Vom Steeg's tenure, the team has gone 73-20-12 at home. In fact, during the Vom Steeg era, UCSB has had just two seasons with more than two home losses.

• Gauchos Picked First In Big West Preseason Poll
In a vote of the Big West men's soccer coaches earlier this month, UCSB was predicted to win the league championship. The Gauchos garnered a total of 45 points in the poll and picked up four first-place votes. Defending conference champs UC Irvine claimed second-place in the poll with two first-place votes and 40 points. Cal Poly rounded out the top-three with 34 points.

• For The Record
In 2008, UCSB finished the season with a 10-7-5 overall record and made its seventh-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where the Gauchos ended the season with a 3-2 double overtime loss to Cal in the second round.

• Gaucho Newcomers Ranked Fourth In The Nation
In a poll by College Soccer News, UCSB's 2009 recruiting class was ranked fourth in the nation. The Gauchos have added a whopping 15 new players to the roster this season. The incoming group is comprised of nine freshmen and six junior college transfers.

• Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Three Gaucho freshmen earned further distinction when they were placed on College Soccer News' "100 Freshman To Keep An Eye On" list. Robbie Boyd, Rob Hoyle and Christian Ramirez were picked out as some of the top newcomers to college soccer this fall. Boyd was Wisconsin's Player of the Year, Hoyle was a member of England's U-18 International Boys Squad and Ramirez captained the Cal South Olympic Development Team.

• Exhibit A
If you wanted to make a case for the Gauchos' 2009 offense, looking towards their performance in the last 17 minutes of last Saturday's exhibition against Westmont could serve as pretty strong evidence for this season's potential. Trailing 1-0 in the second half, UCSB came roaring back with three consecutive goals. Including back-to-back goals by freshman Michael Nonni. During the contest, the Gauchos out-shot the Warriors 21-7 with nine of those shots on-frame. In addition to Nonni's two goals, senior Martin Hedevag posted the final goal of the contest in the 85th minute to give UCSB the 3-1 victory.

• A Walker To Remember
2008 All-Big West Honorable Mention David Walker returns to the pitch for his senior year. Walker, who scored a career-high three goals last season and also added an assist, is expected to be a leader for the Gaucho offense this season. In Saturday's exhibition, Walker was tied first on the team - with Michael Tetteh - with four shots, two of which were on goal. It was a deflected Walker shot that assisted Nonni's equalizer in the 73rd minute.

• Some Of The Big West's Best
Walker is not the only Big West Honorable Mention returning for the 2009 campaign, sophomore midfielder Luis Silva and junior defender Michael Boxall join the Gauchos for another season. Silva, who started 18 matches as a freshman, scored one goal and tallied four assists as a rookie. Boxall, a member of the 2008 New Zealand Olympic Team, started all but one game last season and assisted two goals.

• Last Line Of Defense
Three goalkeepers will be competing for the starting role in front of the net this season: sophomores Kristopher Minton and Trond Helge Takset and junior college transfer Sam Hayden. Minton started 14 games in 2008, recording a 1.43 goals against average. Helge Takset started the other seven matches and posted a 2.08 goals against average. It was newcomer Hayden - a two-time NJCAA Goalkeeper of the Year - that received the starting nod on Saturday while Helge Takset played the second half.

• Smile For The Cameras
The UCSB soccer team will get a chance to see if the cameras really do add 10 pounds - twice this season. Fox Soccer Channel will broadcast UCSB's game against Rutgers on Sept. 11 and its game against Indiana on Oct. 2 for its "Game of the Week". Santa Barbara is the only collegiate men's soccer program to have two games televised nationally this season. The Oct. 2 game will also serve as the five-year anniversary celebration of UCSB's 2004 College Cup Final appearance.

• The Vom Steeg File
Already the winningest coach in UCSB men's soccer history, Tim Vom Steeg has turned the Gauchos into an annual national title contender. The 2004 and 2006 NSCAA National Coach of the Year, Vom Steeg guided the Gauchos to the NCAA title in 2006 and the championship game in 2004. He has guided UCSB to five Big West titles in the past eight years and seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He has won Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005 and produced 15 All-Americans in his time at UCSB. During his 10 years with the program, he has compiled a career record of 140-56-20 (.694).

The Golden Scarf: A New Tradition

To reward and recognize our loyal soccer supporters, we will present the "Golden Scarf" to fans who have donated and/or purchased season tickets for five consecutive seasons. The scarves will be presented during a special halftime ceremony during the October 2 game vs. Indiana.

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