Defending National Champion and No. 1 Indiana Up First for No. 3 Gauchos at the UNM Invitational
Sept. 16, 2004
This Week's Schedule
at the UNM adidas/Crescent Financial Solutions Invite
UNM Soccer Complex Albuquerque, NM
Saturday, September 19 - Sunday, September 20
No. 3 UC Santa Barbara (4-0-0) vs. No. 1 Indiana (5-0-0)
Saturday, September 18 4:00 p.m. PST
No. 3 UC Santa Barbara (4-0-0) vs. Columbia (2-2-1)
Saturday, September 19 4:00 p.m. PST
Yet Another Milestone
It will be a Top 3 showdown this Saturday when 3rd ranked UCSB squares off with top ranked Indiana in the opening game of the UNM adidas/Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational on Saturday, September 18. Off to a perfect 4-0 start with four consecutive shutouts to start the season, the Gauchos leapt to No. 3 in Soccer America's Top 25, setting a new standard in the program's history. Just one of 21 undefeated teams in Division I, along with the 5-0 Hoosiers, UCSB is also ranked No. 9 by College Soccer News and No. 11 by the NSCAA and Soccer Times.
No. 1 Indiana Game Capsule
Santa Barbara is 3-1-0 all-time against teams from the Big Ten, with that lone loss coming at hands of then 4th ranked Indiana in 2002 at Cal State Fullerton by a 3-1 margin. The Gauchos won their meeting against a Big Ten opponent when they topped Michigan State in their home-opener last year. In fact, UCSB has posted an almost unheard of 20-3-1 record against non-conference opponents since 2001, excluding NCAA Tournament play. Including the loss to the Hoosiers, Santa Barbara's only other two losses in the last four years to a non-Big West team were both to Loyola Marymount, including last year's lone non-conference loss.
The last time that UCSB faced a team that was currently ranked No. 1 in the nation was in 1998. The Gauchos lost a 3-2 battle in Harder Stadium that saw one of the NCAA's strangest records set. After UCSB's Aaron Wellman scored a goal in the second half to knot the game at 2-2, the Bruins' Seth George took the ensuing kickoff straight to goal and sealed the win in less than three seconds marking the shortest elapsed time between opposing goals in history.
Columbia Game Capsule
Sunday's match with the Lions, as well as Saturday's against Indiana, can be followed live thanks to the UNM Media Relations staff on ucsbgauchos.com via the Gametracker function on the men's soccer schedule page.
Although ivy is a fairly common site in Santa Barbara, the Ivy League is not. When the Gauchos face Columbia on Sunday it will mark the first time they will face have faced a member institution of the Ivy League.
Entering this weekend's tournament at the University of New Mexico, UCSB will have history, at least recent history, on its side. Dating back to 2001, the Gauchos have gone a perfect 10-0 in regular season tournament play (i.e. not the NCAA Tournament). And as far as neutral sites go, Santa Barbara is 5-1-0 since 2001, with that lone loss being the 2002 affair in Fullerton against Indiana. UCSB has won its only two neutral sites games they have played in the last two years, most recently last weekend against No. 23 Seton Hall in Storrs, Connecticut.
It was no surprise when senior goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week this week after extending his school record shutout streak to start the season to four. Now in his fourth season with the Gauchos he has received the national honor three times. The first was as a freshman when he guided UCSB to a 0-0 double-overtime tie against UCLA while playing a man down for more than half of the match. His second was as a sophomore after he blanked San Diego in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament amidst a streak in which held opponents scoreless for 351:29 minutes, the third longest of his career. And now he has earned it a third time after posting his third and fourth consecutive shutouts to start the year, running his current scoreless streak to a perfect 360:00 minutes. Dating back to last season he has not allowed a single regular season goal in his last 599:14 minutes. In fact, with the exclusion of the Gauchos' loss to St. John's to knock them out of the NCAA Tournament in the round of 16, Kennedy has put up seven straight complete game shutouts to run his career total to 25, putting him two shy of tying UCSB's all-time record. Kennedy's longest consecutive scoreless streak stands at 454:58 minutes which he set between weeks three and five last year, during that stretch is when he first set his career-high of four straight shutouts.
Finally Getting His
As much as it was no surprise that Kennedy garnered national attention for UCSB's impressive 4-0 start sporting a nation's best 0.00 goals against average, the accolades received by senior defender Tony Lochhead were. Not because he didn't deserve them, but because very rarely do defenders get credit for doing just that, defending. Having been the cornerstone of the Gaucho defense for four straight seasons Lochhead has missed just three games in his career, all because of suspensions and national team duty. This past weekend he anchored the UCSB defense to its third and fourth straight shutout while holding Seton Hall, who had been averaging 24.0 shots per game, and Connecticut, who netted four goals the night before, to an average of just 3.0 shots on goal and 10.5 shots overall each. More impressive however is that throughout his four seasons with the Gauchos the Kiwi has led the Santa Barbara defense to 29 shutouts in the 64 matches he has appeared in, starting all 64 and sitting out just 15 of those 5785 minutes. In his career, excluding the three games he has not played in, the UCSB defense has given up more than two goals just five times and has limited the opposition to one goal or less in 49 of the 64. So although this week's recognition as the Big West Player of the Week and his naming to Soccer America's National Team of the Week are the first of the senior's career, he has been deserving of the honor numerous times in his career.
A Select Few
Another huge key to the success of the Gaucho defense is its consistency and its ability to function as a cohesive unit. Including Kennedy and Lochhead, UCSB has started four of the same six in all four matches, and five of the same six in three, and all six in two. Along with Kennedy and Lochhead, true freshman Andy Iro and junior midfielder Nate Boyden have started all four matches. Senior All-Big West defender Jon Apilado and sophomore Greg Curry have each made three starts and true freshman Myles Davis has made two. A major reason why this unit is yet to give up a goal this season is because they have held the opposition to an average of just 8.8 shots per game with only an average of 4.0 of them ending up on frame before being stopped by Kennedy. What is also remarkable about this defensive unit is that Lochhead and Apilado are tops on the team with 11 career assists apiece after Apilado whipped in a cross against UConn that worked its way into the back of the net in the Gauchos' 1-0 win.
Knockin' `M Off
When he blew up the back of the net against UConn for his third game-winning goal of the season senior Drew McAthy moved himself up Big West Conference's all-time scoring charts. Previously in fifth, he surpassed former Cal State Fullerton forward Hector Orellana to move into fourth all-time with 85 career points off of 38 goals and 9 assists. Should the Huntington Beach native pick up another point this weekend he will move into a tie for third with former UNLV player Doug Borgel. McAthy is already the conference's all-time record with 18 career game-winning goals and is currently tied for the Big West lead averaging 0.75 goals per game this season.