No. 25 Men's Soccer Puts Its Unblemished 3-0 Record On The Line This Weekend In St. Louis
This Week's Schedule at St. Louis Univerity Nike Classic St. Louis, Mo. Friday, September 13th James Madison 4:30 p.m. Sunday, September 15th Southwest Missourri State 10:00 a.m.
September 9th, 2002 was a day of firsts in the history of UC Santa Barbara athletics, capped by men's soccer's first ever national ranking in the 37 year history of the program. At the start of the 2002 season those people closely involved with the men's soccer program knew how successful this year's squad could be and that it was just a matter of time until the rest of the college soccer world would know as well. With its 3-0 start to the season against a trio of fairly reputatable soccer programs, UCSB broke into College Soccer News' Top-30, earning their ranking as the No. 25 team in the nation. The Gauchos are one of only five teams from the west coast which were considered to be top-30 material, Stanford and UCLA hold the top two spots, respectively. The other first came when sophomore Drew McAthy was named the Big West's Player of the Week for men's soccer, completing the Gauchos' first ever sweep of the conference's player of the week awards. Women's volleyball outside hitter Danielle Bauer and women's soccer's Krystal Sandza were UCSB's other two Big West Player's of the Week.
McAthy The Playa'
Sophomore forward Drew McAthy should consider opening a transmission shop upon graduation because the guy is clutch. Just three games into the season, McAthy has already scored two game-winning goals, including a sudden-victory game-winner, while playing a man down, at Michigan State. For his efforts the sophomore from Huntington Beach was awarded Big West Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. But his early accomplishments this season don't stop there. Although the Gauchos have only played three games in 2002, McAthy has scored a goal in every game this year, still a noble feat with three games played. He has netted three goals for six total points, tying him for second in the Big West in goals, and third in the conference in total points.
Not To Be Outdone
With so much success and noteworthy performances already this season it would be easy to overlook those things that were expected heading into 2002. But you can't forget about the big man, the reigning Big West Scoring Champion, senior forward Rob Friend. He might be the first to tell you that Drew McAthy isn't the only Gaucho to score in every match thus far this season, so has he, but that is expected when you are the incumbent Big West Offensive Player of the Year. And not only has the native of Kelowna, British Columbia scored three goals already in 2002, he has also assisted on two others for eight total points, tying him for both the team and conference lead with fellow Gaucho Dan Young.
I'm There For You Man
I wouldn't doubt that after the Gauchos first game this season the entire team said,"I am glad he's on my team!" referring to junior UNC-Charlotte transfer David McGill. In addition to his dominating physical presence in the midfield, already with two yellow cards, the guy can dish the ball. Playing on the right-wing he has moved himself into the early lead in the Big West assist race, serving up four in three games. McGill's 1.33 assist per game average over .50 per game more than next closest competitor But McGill isn't the only Gaucho spreading the ball around, Rob Friend, Tony Lochhead and Neil Jones each have two assists apiece, making Santa Barbara the only school with more than one player with multiple assists. The team as a whole has tallied 14 assists, twice as many as any other team in the Big West.
Dan Young...Enough Said!
Well he did it again. Apparently, senior Dan Young's two goals in the season opening win over Michigan wasn't enough of a statement for him, so he did it again. Young capped the 6-0 rout of St. Mary's by netting the final two goals of the game and his third and fourth of the year, and UCSB has only played three games. But here is the kicker, prior to this season Young had only scored three goals in 32 matches, he has surpassed his previous career total 1,000 times faster than it took him the established the career number. And not only is he the current scoring leader in the Big West, he is tied for tenth in the nation. In fact UCSB is tied with Michigan for the second highest scoring offense in the nation with 4.67 goals per game.
What Did I Tell Ya!
Prior to the start of the 2002 season, head coach Tim Vom Steeg said that if something happened to returning all-conference goalkeeper Danny Kennedy either one of his freshman keepers could step-in no problem. So when Kennedy was forced to sit out the game against St. Mary's due to a red card suspension, Vom Steeg called upon Kyle Reynish with little apprehenison. And Reynish did not disappoint, posting a shutout in his first ever collegiate start. But it was the freshman's performance in the Michigan State game where he made his mark, rejecting two shots in the second sudden-victory overtime, giving UCSB the opportunity to post the win. The Hart HS graduate currently leads the Big West with a 0.00 goals against average in 116:42 minutes played.
The Lowdown On The Nike Classic
The Gauchos travel to No. 25 Saint Louis University for the St. Louis Nike Classic this weekend,but even though they would probably up to the challenge, lucky for them they will not be facing the host school. Instead they get to open up Friday, Sept. 13 with a match against 4-0 James Madison, a program that has reached the NCAA Tournament seven out of the last ten years, reaching the quarterfinals in 1994 and 1995. The Dukes are lead by senior forward Filin Patrice who has three goals and an one assist. The Gauchos close-out the tournament against Southwest Missouri State which is currently 1-3 and coming off a season where they finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference. Sophomore forward Jed Hohlbein leads the Bears with three goals and one assist.
UC Santa Barbara made waves in East Lansing, Mich. and around the soccer community with its two wins over Big Ten schools Michigan and Michigan State in the opening weekend of the 2002 season. With two wins over programs from one of the best soccer conferences in the nation the Gauchos have put themselves into the eyes of the voting members of both the NSCAA and the national media. After opening the season unranked, UCSB moved into the 9th spot in the Far West rankings after its 5-3 season opening win over Michigan. The Gauchos then downed Michigan State 3-2 in double-overtime on Monday, playing a man down for the final 25 minutes to open the year at 2-0-0. Santa Barbara's appearence at the Michigan State Classic tournament marked the first time the Gauchos had faced a Big Ten school in the 37 year history of the program. UCSB is now a perfect 2-0 against the conference and will play its third match this year against a Big Ten program when it faces off with defending national champion, No. 9 Indiana, in October on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
How UC Santa Barbara Stacks Up Nationally
Team 1st(tie) Won/Loss % 1.000% 2nd(tie) Scoring Offense 4.67 Goals per game Individual 5th(tie) 1.33 Assists Per Game David McGill 10th(tie) 1.33 Goals Per Game Dan Young 15th(tie) 2.67 Points Per Game Rob Friend & Dan Young 20th(tie) 1.00 Goals Per Game Rob Friend & Drew McAthy