Sept. 15, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The inaugural Santa Barbara Challenge Cup will feature the last two men's soccer NCAA champions when UC Santa Barbara hosts Wake Forest on Sunday September 21 at UCSB's Harder Stadium.
UCSB, currently ranked as high as No. 14, won the NCAA title in 2006 and last season the Demon Deacons, currently ranked first in the nation in every poll, captured the College Cup Title. It was the first national championship in men's soccer for both schools.
Led by Pre-Season All-American Chris Pontius, who is also on the Hermann Trophy watch list, UCSB also features senior Nick Perera, named the College Cup Most Outstanding Player when the Gauchos took home the crown in 2006.
Wake Forest's Marcus Tracy, who has already earned a National Player of the Week award, is the one to watch for the Deacons. The senior was last year's Most Outstanding Player in the College Cup and along with Cody Arnoux and Sam Cronin, has been placed on the Hermann Trophy watch list.
Sunday's game will be the first of a yearly event for the Gaucho soccer program, with Indiana already scheduled to take part in next season's Challenge Cup. The Hoosiers defeated UCSB in the 2004 national title game in a penalty kick shootout.
The winner of the event will take home a trophy proclaiming them the Challenge Cup champion and following the game, a student-athlete from each team will be selected as their school's player of the game.
Tim Tremblay, from Tremblay Financial Services, will then donate $1,000 to UC Santa Barbara's general scholarship fund.