Sept. 27, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A record 15,896 fans poured into Harder Stadium on the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday night and they were not disappointed as the Gaucho men's soccer team defeated visiting No. 7 UCLA by way of 2-0 score, avenging last year's season-ending loss to the Bruins in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament.
The crowd marked the largest ever at the Gauchos' home stadium, topping the previous school record of 11,214 set during a NCAA quarterfinal match against Virginia Commonwealth on Dec. 4, 2004.
Friday's crowd was the largest in NCAA regular season history at an on-campus site. The top-two attendances in NCAA history were recorded when St. Louis and SIU Edwardsville played at Busch Stadium in 1973 (20,112 attended) and 1980 (22,512 attended). The attendance figure from Friday now ranks 16th among all-time Division I crowds. It is one of only three matches in the top-16 - along with the two games played at Busch Stadium - that was not an NCAA semifinal or final game.
The match was also the most highly attended on-campus event in the last quarter century at UCSB.
Impressively, the attendance at the UCSB vs. UCLA game topped the turnout at three of the eight Major League Soccer matches played over the weekend: FC Dallas at Kansas City (10,385), Columbus at New England (13,533) and Houston at D.C. United (13,828).
UCSB has led the NCAA for attendance in each of the past three seasons and set the Division I single-season record in 2009 with its average of 4,335 fans per game. The Gauchos have played in five of the top-10 highest attended NCAA regular season matches and have hosted three of those games.
NCAA Top-10 Regular Season Attendances
* Played at Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals' ballpark)
UCSB has six more home matches remaining on its regular season schedule, including this Saturday's pairing with Big West foe UC Davis and an Oct. 15 game against Duke, which will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel.
To purchase tickets please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.
The Gauchos will open Big West play on Wednesday, Sept. 29 when they head to Cal State Fullerton for a 7 p.m. pairing with the Titans.
UCSB is the proud host of the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. This marks the first time since the 2004 season that the Cup has been held on the West Coast. All-Session passes for the College Cup can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.