September 23, 2008

UCSB-Wake Forest Game Drew NCAA's Largest Crowd This Season

Sept. 23, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Over 7,000 fans were at Harder Stadium this past Sunday to witness the men's soccer battle between the past two NCAA champions when UC Santa Barbara and Wake Forest matched up, with the crowd setting a new standard for attendance this season.

The 7,408 fans at Sunday's match easily bested the 6,102 that saw a South Carolina-Clemson match, which had been this season's previous high.

It is the second straight season a Santa Barbara crowd has set an attendance record. Last season, 8,102 packed into Harder Stadium to see the Gauchos host Cal Poly, which set a record for the highest-attended Big West game ever. That mark is also UCSB's regular-season high, but the crowd that filled Harder Stadium on Sunday ranks second all-time in UCSB regular-season history.

Sunday's crowd is the fifth-largest men's soccer crowd in UCSB history, with three of those marks coming during NCAA Tournament play. All five attendance highs have occurred in the past five seasons.

"I'm not surprised we've already set an attendance high for this year," new Athletics Director Mark Massari said. "UCSB is strong because of its great coaches, players, students, and the community at large. We now need to build off last Sunday night's atmosphere."

The Gauchos' next chance to do so will be on October 8, the team's next home game, when they host Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or online at the Ticket Office page.