UCSB Opens 2010 on the Road at Bakersfield, New Mexico

Aug. 31, 2010

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, 7 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara (0-0-0) at Cal State Bakersfield (0-0-0)
at Cal State Bakersfield's Main Soccer Field
Series record vs. Roadrunners: 2-0-0
Last meeting: W, 3-1 (Sept. 1, 2009)
Game available on Gametracker

Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, 6 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (0-0-0) at New Mexico (0-0-0)
Series record vs. Lobos: 4-5-0
Last meeting: L, 2-1 (Sept. 16, 2007)
at UNM Soccer Complex
Game available on Gametracker

• And We're Off!
After hosting a pair of exciting exhibitions, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team will officially open the 2010 season this week as the Gauchos hit the road for a pair of matches. UCSB will head to Cal State Bakersfield for a Wednesday evening tangling with the Roadrunners before traveling to New Mexico on Saturday for one of its two trips to The Land of Enchantment.

• 2009 Rewind
Last year, UCSB posted a 17-5-2 overall record and advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos won the Big West Conference regular season crown after going 8-1-1 in league play. Ten players were named to All-Big West teams, including eight returning players. Among the Gauchos' returners for the 2010 campaign are Big West Midfielder of the Year Danny Barrera, Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Sam Hayden and Big West Freshman of the Year Machael David.

• The Who's Who
UCSB returns 18 letterwinners from the 2009 squad, including eight starters. The Gauchos have also added 14 new players to the roster and among the newcomers are five battle-tested transfers. UCSB's crop of new players were recently rated as the No. 7 recruiting class by College Soccer News.

• The Vom Steeg File
In his 12th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is the winningest coach in Big West history. Vom Steeg has posted a 157-61-22 record at the helm of UCSB and a 136-44-21 record since the program rejoined the Big West in 2001. Vom Steeg is also the winningest coach in UCSB men's soccer history and 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 eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He won Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005 and has produced 15 All-Americans. He is the sixth winningest active Division I coach with his .700 winning percentage.

• Exhibitionists
Though Wednesday marks the official start of the 2010 campaign, the Gauchos have already played a pair of exhibitions this month. UCSB opened action with a match against cross-town foe Westmont on Aug. 21. The Gauchos scored twice in the first half on their way to the 3-1 win. Then, this past Friday, UCSB hosted the Mexico U-20 National Team. The teams battled to a 1-1 tie and Mexico defeated UCSB, 3-1, in penalty kicks.

• Great Expectations
Both College Soccer News and Soccer America have bestowed junior midfielder Danny Barrera with Preseason All-American honors. Barrera started every game last year and led the Gauchos with his nine assists and his 19 points are tops among returners.

• Players to Watch
Danny Barrera is not the only Gaucho that is on the national radar. Michael Boxall, Michael Nonni, Michael Tetteh, Machael David, Luis Silva, Waid Ibrahim, Sam Hayden and Barrera were all named to Top Drawer Soccer's list of top-20 Big West Players to Watch this season. This week, freshman goalkeeper Eric Reyes was selected as one of College Soccer News' 100 Freshmen to Keep An Eye On.

• Preseason Predictions
In all four preseason national polls that have been released, UCSB is a consensus top-10 team. The Gauchos have received their highest ranking from Top Drawer Soccer, which has them pegged as the nation's No. 4 team. Meanwhile, UCSB is ranked fifth by Soccer America, sixth by College Soccer News and eighth by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. In the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll, the Gauchos were picked to repeat as the conference champions and received six of seven first place votes.

• The Cup is Coming, The Cup is Coming!
UCSB is the proud host of the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. This marks the first time since the 2004 season that the Cup has been held on the West Coast. All-Session passes for the College Cup are currently available for purchase as a part of the 2010 soccer season ticket packages. Individual College Cup passes will be made available for purchase this Wednesday, Sept. 1.

If you would like to purchase your tickets for the 2010 soccer season, or for more information, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.

• Running Down The Roadrunners
Wednesday's match will also mark the season-opener for Cal State Bakersfield, which went 8-7-2 overall in 2009. This is the second consecutive year that the two teams have opened the season against one another. UCSB won last season's match-up via a 3-1 score and Michael Nonni scored two of the Gauchos' goals.

• Lobo Lowdown
UCSB will take-on New Mexico for the first time since the 2007 season on Saturday. The Lobos finished the 2009 season with a 12-7-1 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament First Round. During the team's last pairing on Sept. 16, 2007, the Gauchos fell 2-1. Senior Michael Boxall is the only current Gaucho that played in that contest. The Lobos will play Saint Louis on Wednesday before hosting UCSB.

• Coming Soon
After the Gauchos' road matches this week, they will return to Meredith Field for a duo of home matches against Creighton on Tuesday, Sept. 7 and Davidson on Friday, Sept. 10. In all, UCSB is slated to play seven non-conference opponents in September before opening Big West play on Sept. 29.

• Smile for the Cameras
UCSB will once again play in a pair of televised games this season. The Gauchos will host nationally-ranked Duke on Oct. 15 in a Fox Soccer Channel game. Just 12 days later, the Fox cameras will return to the Central Coast to broadcast UCSB's match at Cal Poly. The Gauchos have posted a 6-1-3 record in games broadcast on TV and own a 4-1-0 record in Fox Soccer Channel games. Of UCSB's six wins on TV, five have been shutouts.

• Boxall and Hayden in the Running for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior captains Michael Boxall and Sam Hayden have recently been named as two of the 30 men's soccer candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. UCSB was the only men's program to have two players named as candidates for the award and Boxall and Hayden are the only Big West players that have been selected.

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