Sept. 27, 2004
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
Senior co-captain Neil Jones picked the perfect week to score his first goal of the season, and then his second, third, fourth, and fifth. Jones netted his first career hat-trick in UC Santa Barbara's debut as the top-ranked team in the nation against UC Riverside, kickstarting a weekend that earned the forward a spot of College Soccer News' National Team of the Week.
After accounting for all three Gaucho goals in its 3-0 win against UCR to start the Big West Conference season, Jones responded with another two tallies and a game-winning assist in UCSB's commanding 4-0 win over UNLV. With five goals on six total shots and one game-winning assist the Auckland, New Zealand native was also named the Big West Player of the Week for the second time in his career. It is the third week in a row that Gaucho has received the honor this season.
UCSB also moved one step closer to becoming the consensus No. 1 one week after earning the program's first-ever top-nod last week from Soccer America. The Gauchos maintained their No. 1 ranking in Soccer America's poll this week and moved into the No. 1 slot on CSN's Top 30, up from last week's 3rd ranking. UCSB now awaits the release of the Soccer Times and NSCAA/adidas coaches' polls to see if they will be the consensus No. 1. The Gauchos were ranked 2nd in both of those polls last week.
Jones and the rest of the UCSB squad return to action this Friday in San Francisco when they face USF on Friday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m.