12th Ranked UCSB Set to Take on Big East Foes Seton Hall and UConn

12th Ranked UCSB Set to Take on Big East Foes Seton Hall and UConn

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This Week's Schedule
Friday, September 10 • Saturday, September 11
at the UConn Huskie Classic
Morrone Stadium • Storrs, Connecticut

Friday • 4:30 p.m. EST
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (2-0-0) vs. No. 21 Seton Hall (2-0-1)

Saturday • 7:00 p.m. EST
No. 2 UC Santa Barbara (2-0-0) vs. No. 30 Connecticut (0-2-0)

Time to Prove It
For the most part the Gauchos remained steady in the national polls with the only movement coming in College Soccer News' Top 30 and Soccer Times' Top 25. UCSB's highest national ranking came in CSN's poll where it moved up from 13th to 12th. Santa Barbara also improved from No. 15 to No. 13 in the Soccer Times poll. But the next two weeks will truly tell just how good the Gauchos are as they face three consecutive nationally-ranked opponents, all on the road and East of the Rockies. UCSB has posted a 4-1 record in games played to the East of the Rockies since 2002.

Seton Hall Game Capsule
• With a high-ranking of 21st in the Soccer America media poll, the Pirates opened the season with a 2-0-1 performance, posting a pair of 3-0 shutout victories over Adelphi and Manhattan. SHU's tie came in its home opener against St. Peter's, ending in a 1-1 stalemate. With a team goals against average of 0.33 Seton Hall ranks tied for 20th in the nation after the first week of play. And offensively the Pirates are averaging 2.33 goals per game, good enough for a tie for 44th in the nation.

• Offensively, the Pirates are led by a trio of forwards. Matt Salotti and Mark Pedreiras pace Seton Hall with three goals apiece, and John Raus leads the team in assists with three. As a team the Pirates have racked up 72 shots in three games for an astonishing 24.0 per game average.

• Defensively, SHU has shown early on to be a difficult team to get going against, limiting its opponents to an average of 8.33 shots per game and having allowed just one goal. Between the pipes the Pirates have used a pair of keepers, Boris Pardo has posted both the shutouts for a perfect 0.00 GAA, and Ian Joyce gave up just one goal in their double-OT tie.

UConn Game Capsule
• After a difficult and uncharacteristic opened week, the tournament hosts for this weekend are going to be anything but hospitable. Ranked as high as tenth in the preseason polls, Connecticut now enters week two of the 2004 season clinging to a sole ranking of No. 30 in the College Soccer News poll after opening the year at 0-2-0. However, don't let their record fool you, both of the 2002 National Champions' losses were 1-0 affairs to Top 15 sides, Michigan and Washington.

• The Huskies open their tournament hoping to get back on the right track with a match against the University of Richmond on Friday before squaring off against the Gauchos who open with Seton Hall.

• Not having netted any goals during the regular season, UConn's Chukwudi Chijindu and William Osorio each tallied a pair in preseason action against Iona and Duke. In the regular season Willis Forko and Easton Wilson lead the Huskies with four shot apiece. In between the pipes Geoffrey Anatole has played all 180 minutes for UConn, making a total of seven saves in the two losses.

Battle of the "Bigs": Take Three
This weekend's match-up with Seton Hall and Connecticut will mark the first time that UCSB will have faced either of the two schools. However, the Big East Conference is not foreign ground for the Gauchos who hold a 1-1-0 all-time record against teams from the conference. Last season UCSB was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by conference front-runner St. John's, 3-2, in double-overtime in the Sweet 16. On the other side of the coin, UCSB defeated West Virginia by the same margin in 1999 in Las Vegas.

The Numbers 1 and 2
Entering week 2 of the 2004 season the Gauchos are sporting a perfect 2-0 record with 2 consecutive shutouts victories. UCSB's 2 wins are a result in large part to its outstanding defensive play, especially that of senior co-captain and reigning Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Dan Kennedy, who also happens to wear the number 1. Entering the season with 21 career complete game shutouts, Kennedy's two shutouts to open the season moved, a career first, moved him into 2nd all-time in school history with 23. Sporting a perfect 0.00 goals against average in 180 minutes played and 1.000 shutout percentage, Kennedy is 1st in the Big West in both, in addition to being tied for the top spot in the nation. And dating back to last season, Kennedy has not allowed a single regular season goal in his past 409:14 minutes played, and has posted shutouts in five of his last six matches overall.

Two Steps Closer
Not wasting anytime, senior forward Drew McAthy chipped off two more goals in his quest to become UCSB's all-time goal scoring champion. Entering the year third all-time in school history with 35, the Huntington Beach native improved his total to 37 to overtake the second spot from Eric Price (`78-`82) who finished his career with 36. But the title plays second fiddle for McAthy who finds it more important help his team win games, and that is just what he did, as both of his goals proved to be the game-winners, improving his All-Time Big West record to 17. Entering week two McAthy is tied for the conference lead and 28th in the nation, the same spot he finished last year, averaging 1.00 goals per game.

Servin' It Up and Sendin' It Home
Junior transfer Jonathan Davis quickly made his presence known at UCSB, tallying the game-winning assist in the Gauchos' season-opener at San Diego State. Since transferring from North Carolina, Davis looked strong in his return to collegiate soccer after spending a year out. Creating numerous scoring opportunities the Westchester finally found McAthy in the box near the end of the first half for his first point as a Gaucho. Although he was not finished their, in UCSB's home opener Davis netted the insurance goal from just outside the goal box on a Myles Davis cross to put the Gauchos up 2-0 in the 23rd minute. With three total points, Davis one point shy of the team and Big West lead and is currently alone in fifth in the conference averaging 1.50 per game.

Amongst the Rest
Although it is tough to compare teams after just one week of play, if week one was a sign of things to come UCSB will be in store for another good year. Currently leading the Big West in every offensive category with the exception of shots, which they rank third, the Gauchos were just one of 34 teams in NCAA Division I (with at least two games played) to walk away perfect start. Defensively as UCSB is tied for nation's and Big West lead with a 0.00 team goals against average and 1.000 shutout percentage.

Red and Yellow Curry
Santa Barbara will be without the services of sophomore defender Greg Curry in its match against Seton Hall because of a red card suspension sustained in the Gauchos match against Westmont after he was slapped with a yellow card earlier in the match.