Kappa Klassic Kicks Off 2001 Men's Soccer Campaign This Weekend

Kappa Klassic Kicks Off 2001 Men's Soccer Campaign This Weekend

Aug. 29, 2001

The Schedule
Match No. 1 - The Kappa Klassic Friday, August 31, 2001 at 8:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Island University Blackbirds
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

Friday, August 31, 2001 at 9:00 p.m.
Illinois-Chicago Flames at Cal Poly Mustangs
(This is only match in tournament played at Cal Poly)

Match No. 2 - The Kappa Klassic
Sunday, September 2, 2001 at 2:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Illinois-Chicago Flames
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

Sunday, September 2, 2001 at 11:00 a.m.
Cal Poly Mustangs vs. Long Island University Blackbirds
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

Gauchos Selected Third In Big West Preseason Poll
The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team was selected to finish third in the Big West Conference in a poll of the league's coaches, it was announced Monday. The Gauchos received 27 points, one behind the second-place pick, UC Irvine. UCSB received one first-place vote. Cal State Fullerton, selected first, was given three first-place votes and a total of 32 points. UCI received two first-place votes and 28 points. 2001 will mark the first time that the Big West has sponsored men's soccer in several seasons. League play for the Gauchos begins on Friday, October 12, when they host Cal State Fullerton in a 7:00 p.m. match at Harder Stadium. The six league teams will play each other in home-and-home series for a total of ten conference matches.

2001 Big West Men's Coaches Poll
Pl.   Team (1st place votes)       Points
1     Cal State Fullerton (3)      32
2     UC Irvine (2)                28
3     UC Santa Barbara (1)         27
4     Cal Poly                     18
5     Cal State Northridge         14
6     UC Riverside                  7

Vom Steeg Update
Tim Vom Steeg is in his third season as head coach of the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer program. A former Gaucho player (1985-88), Vom Steeg was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's co-Coach of the Year in 1999. That year, he guided the Gauchos to a 13-7-0 record, an improvement of 10.5 games over the previous year, one of the most significant turnarounds in NCAA history. Last year, Vom Steeg guided the Gauchos to an 8-10-1 mark. His overall record at UCSB is now 21-17-1. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Vom Steeg coached seven seasons at Santa Barbara City College where he led the Vaqueros to a 121-18-4 record. In 1996, he was named California State Coach of the Year after guiding SBCC to the State Championship. In his final season, 1998, Vom Steeg led the Vaqueros to the State Final Four, their fourth trip, and he was selected Far West Region Coach of the Year.

Kappa Klassic Opens 2001 Season
UCSB will open the 2001 season with their own Kappa Klassic. Three of the four matches in the tournament will be played at Harder Stadium, with the fourth, Illinois-Chicago vs. Cal Poly, being played in San Luis Obispo. On Friday, the Gauchos host Long Island University at approximately 8:00 p.m. (or 20 minutes after the completion of the women's match against San Diego). Illinois-Chicago will play at Cal Poly in a 9:00 p.m. match. On Sunday, Long Island will take on Cal Poly at 11:00 a.m., and UCSB will play Illinois-Chicago at 2:00 p.m. Last season, Long Island finished the season with an overall record of 3-14-1, and they particularly struggled offensively, scoring just 15 goals. Illinois-Chicago had an outstanding 2000 season, finishing 18-4-2 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The Flames won their first round match in the tourney, 1-0 over Bradley, before losing to Stanford, 6-0.

Gauchos Enter New Season With High Hopes
With little question, UCSB enters the 2001 season with high hopes and high expectations. The Gauchos return several key players from 2000, but just as importantly they bring in one of the best recruiting classes in school history. The top returnees include forward Jaime Ambriz (14 goals in the last two seasons). Ambriz, however, has nursed a pulled hamstring all of training camp and his status for opening weekend is questionable. Two other returnees figure at forward as well, Gene Deering (one goal) and Joe Hubay-Dies (three goals). On the midfield, UCSB returns Steven Sosa (three assists). Although Sosa struggled through the 2000 season after an outstanding 1999 campaign, and the coaching staff expects him to rebound. Darren Doi (team-high four assists) and Matt Kubota (one goal and one assist) will also return. On the back line, the Gauchos will look to Reuben Bates (started all 19 games in 2000), Galen Donaldson and Kevin Maffris (had his freshman year cut short with injuries). The newcomers who stand to give the Gauchos the biggest boost, include junior forward Rob Friend, a transfer from Western Michigan who is on the Canadian National Team, sophomore defender Neil Jones and freshman defender Tony Lochhead, both members of the New Zealand Junior National Team, freshman midfielder Drew McAthy and freshman goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. "We are finally in a position, skillwise, to play a possession game," said head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "We now have great young players who will help us dominate the midfield, not just by being physical, but by holding onto balls."