September 29, 2003

Undefeated Gauchos Earn Highest National Ranking in Program History; Arzate Named to National Team of the Week

Sept. 29, 2003

Santa Barbara, Calif. - With today's release of the NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer received its highest national ranking in program history, claiming the No. 9 spot in the NCAA's primary poll. In addition to the team's recognition, senior playmaker Memo Arzate was named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week for the third time in his career after guiding the Gauchos to their seventh consecutive win, remaining undefeated on the season at 7-0-1.

Santa Barbara's 9th place ranking this week in the NSCAA poll ties the original high-mark set by UCSB's 1982 team that finished the year 16-2-4. However, the Gauchos' highest ranking this week came from College Soccer News, which tabbed UCSB as the seventh-best team in the nation, setting a new bar in the Gaucho record books.

"The team has earned the ranking it has recieved, although it is a process that started a few years ago," commented UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg. "Becoming a top ten team doesn't happen overnight by picking up a couple of wins. Obviously it is great for the program and for recruitting, but we still have a long way to go this season."

Despite loosing out on the Big West Conference's Player of the Week honors to Cal State Northridge's Edwin Miranda, who was also recognized this week by CSN, Memo Arzate garnered his first national team of the week accolades of the season today. Arzate finished this past week with two goals and two assists, including one game-winning goal and one game-winning assist. Thanks to his stellar play in the midfield, Arzate has helped UCSB's offense find a way to slice through the opposition's defenses that, this season, has consistently had eight to nine players stacked behind the ball.

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