Sept. 9, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8 pm
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (3-0-0) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-1-0)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel
Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM
Game available on Gametracker
Big West Live Twitter
Gauchos Ready For Their Close Up
After picking up a pair of wins in West Virginia over the weekend, UC Santa Barbara (3-0-0) returns to the friendly confines of Meredith Field at Harder Stadium this Friday for a match-up with Rutgers, which will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel as the "Game of the Week." Then, on Sunday, UCSB will remain home for a pairing with Loyola Marymount.
Where To Tune In
Fox Soccer Channel is on channel 265 for Santa Barbara Cox Cable subscribers. Tune into channel 149 on Dish Network or 619 on Direct TV. If you are not in Santa Barbara, contact your local cable provider for station information.
Jousting The Scarlet Knights
Rutgers enters this Friday's game with a 2-1-0 record. During their opening week, the Scarlet Knights defeated Towson, 4-3, and Saint Peter's, 1-0. Their loss came against Stanford on Friday by way of a 2-0 shutout. The Gauchos have faced Rutgers just once before on Sept. 12, 2008. UCSB dropped the match, 3-2 in New Jersey.
Taming The Lions
Loyola Marymount split its first two matches of the 2009 season, dropping a 1-0 game to Cal State Northridge on Sunday after picking up a 2-1 victory over San Diego State last Tuesday. The Gauchos hold an all-time series advantage of 17-11-2 over the Lions. The last meeting was on Sept. 7, 2008 and the Gauchos picked-up a 3-1 victory.
For The Record
The Gauchos won three straight last week to jump out to a 3-0-0 record. This marks the second straight three-win start to the season for the Gauchos, but this start does stand out. The wins over West Virginia and Pittsburgh marked the first time since the 2004 season that UCSB has won back-to-back matches against BCS level opposition. In 2004, UCSB downed Big East foes Seton Hall and Connecticut, then downed the Big Ten's Indiana for a third straight win. The Gauchos have the chance to equal that distinction this season with their Friday game coming against Big East program Rutgers.
What A Week For Walker!
Senior forward David Walker picked up a trio of accolades for his performance during the Gauchos' opening week. Walker led the Gauchos with three goals at the WVU/Nike Classic, tallying one in the 2-0 victory over host WVU and a pair in the 4-3 overtime win over Pitt, including the goal that tied the game in the 86th minute, sending the match into extra time. Walker was awarded with tournament MVP honors, was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com Men's Team of the Week and was also picked as UCSBgauchos.com Athlete of the Week. Walker's three goals this season already ties his total from 2008 and his two goals against Pitt marked the first multi-goal game of his collegiate career.
Nonni Is Canadian For Domination
Freshman Michael Nonni has had a brilliant start to his collegiate career. After tallying a pair of goals in the Gauchos' exhibition win over Westmont, the forward has not let down. He posted two goals and an assist in the match with Bakersfield on Tuesday and then supplied an assist in each of the two games at the WVU/Nike Classic. He leads the team with seven points.
Prior to the start of the season, head coach Tim Vom Steeg pointed out that senior Martin Hedevag's abilities in the air would be an asset to the Gaucho attack. In the first week of the season, Hedevag has proved Vom Steeg to be correct. The senior scored the game-winner in overtime against Pitt with a header. On Tuesday against Bakersfield, he scored the first goal of the contest on a header in the sixth minute. Hedevag has gone 2-for-3 on his shots this season.
The Firing Squad
UCSB has already outshot its opposition 44-19 this season with 17 shots on-frame. David Walker leads the team with nine shots while freshman forward Machael David has fired the ball seven times. In fact, eight players have already recorded three or more shots through the first trio of games.
Three Gauchos account for nine of the 10 assists recorded over the last week: freshman Michael Nonni and sophomores Danny Barrera and Luis Silva have each tallied three assists. Barrera had two in the game against Bakersfield and also assisted the game-winner against Pitt on Sunday. Silva had one helper in each of the contests last week. Machael David is the only other Gaucho with an assist so far, he assisted David Walker's game tying goal in the 86th minute against Pitt.
We're The Cream Of The Crop, We Rise To The Top
After starting the season with three wins, the Gauchos saw their position in the national polls rise from their initial preseason rankings. UCSB's highest current ranking is fourth in the Top Drawer Soccer poll, moving from the No. 10 poll position. The biggest jump was 10 spots in the NSCAA/adidas poll; the Gauchos moved from 16th to 6th; they also rank sixth in the Soccer Times poll, moving from the No. 14 spot. Soccer America had similar movement as the Gauchos ascended from 15th to 7th. The lowest poll position is College Soccer News' No. 14 ranking, which is still an improvement upon the preseason No. 19 position.
I Am Sam
Junior Sam Hayden has played every minute in goal for the Gauchos and has posted five saves. He has posted a save percentage of .556 and a goals against average of 1.28. He recorded his first shutout win against West Virginia on Friday.
Gauchos Picked First In Big West Preseason Poll
In a vote of the Big West men's soccer coaches in August, 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. The Gauchos will begin their 2009 Big West schedule when they host UC Irvine on Sept. 27.
Who's The Head Cheese?
It will be a battle of the cheese states next week when the Gauchos head to Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Panther Invitational. UCSB will play host Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday, Sept. 18 and then take-on Wisconsin for the first time in program history on Sunday, Sept. 20.
They'll Be Back
Friday's game is the first of two Gaucho home matches that will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. The Oct. 2 game against Indiana will also be televised nationally as the channel's "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.
Service Personnel Granted Free Admission On Friday
In honor of Patriot Day, UCSB Athletics is offering all service personnel (military, fire, EMS and police) free admission to Friday's game against Rutgers. Just present your respective work identification at the box office at Harder Stadium to receive free tickets for you and your immediate family.
Faculty Free Friday
UCSB staff and faculty can also get into Friday's game for free as part of UCSB Athletics' "Faculty Free Fridays" promotion. Just present your UCSB staff or faculty ID at the Harder Stadium box office to receive your free ticket.
Scarf It Up!
Fans that attend Friday's game will get the first look at the new UCSB soccer scarf that will be making its debut at the Gaucho Shop this weekend. Get one around your neck while supplies last!
Sunday Fun Day!
Sunday's game against Loyola Marymount is also Santa Barbara Soccer Club Night and also a Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College game. The Kids to College Program is designed to give local youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of athletics events at the collegiate level in person. All youth (eighth grade and under) are invited to attend the games for free. Call (805) 893-UCSB for more information.
Gauchos Add Exhibition With Under-17 Mexican National Team To 2009 Schedule
The Gauchos will host Mexico's U-17 National Team in an exhibition on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. The Mexican team, which won the U-17 World Championship in 2005, has qualified along with the USA for the 2009 U-17 World Championship to be held in Nigeria on Oct. 24. For more information, click here.
Get Your Tickets!
Tickets are now easier than ever to get your hands on. For the first-time, UCSB has also enabled fans to print their tickets at home. No waiting in line necessary! Tickets can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or by clicking here.