Oct. 14, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Riverside (3-8-1, 0-3-0) at UCSB's Harder Stadium Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and streaming online at kcsb.org. Also available on Gametracker.
Friday, October 17, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly (8-3-2, 3-1-0) at Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium Game broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and streaming online at kcsb.org. Also available on Gametracker.
UCSB will be featured on Fox Soccer Channel this Friday, Oct. 17 when the Gauchos travel to Cal Poly. It is UCSB's second appearance on FSC this season, the first being a 1-0 victory over Kentucky on Sept. 5.
Rank and File
For only the second time this season, UC Santa Barbara went winless during a week, tying Cal State Northridge and losing to UC Davis. The Gauchos dropped in all five of the national rankings and the team's highest rank is 19 courtesy of Soccer America. UCSB is No. 22 in Top Drawer's poll and ranked 23rd by the NSCAA, College Soccer News and Soccer Times. UCSB is ranked sixth in the NSCAA Far West poll.
The Gauchos lost, 2-0, on Saturday to UC Davis, which was UCSB's first loss in Big West play in nearly a year. The last time UCSB lost in Big West play came Oct. 17, 2007 when they dropped a 2-1 decision to Cal Poly.
31 and Done
The shutout to UC Davis was the first time that UCSB had been held scoreless since Sept. 2, 2007 - ending a span of 31 matches with a goal scored. That streak had been the longest active run of goal-scoring in the country.
Packing It In
UC Santa Barbara has hosted two of the top-10 crowds in the NCAA this season after 4,007 people showed up to see the Gauchos play UC Davis on Saturday. Already with the highest single-game total of 7,408 - set on Sept. 21 when UCSB played Wake Forest in a battle between the past two NCAA champs - Saturday's crowd was the ninth-best total in the country this season. Through 12 games, UCSB is averaging 2,289 fans per match. At Harder Stadium, the Gauchos are averaging 3,360 fans per match. Both marks rank first among Big West schools.
Safe at Home
Harder Stadium has always been a friendly place to play for the Gauchos, with the team holding a 74-18-10 home mark under Tim Vom Steeg. However, the two losses at home already this season are one more than the Gauchos dropped last year. The last time UCSB lost two matches at home in a season was in 2006 when they finished 11-2-0. UCSB has not lost more than two matches at home since the 2000 season when they finished 3-5-1. Since 2005, in fact, the Gauchos are 28-6-6 at Harder Stadium.
In the first official release this season, UCSB's RPI ranked 11th in the nation as the Gauchos trail only UC Davis (fifth) among Big West schools. This week's opponents, UC Riverside and Cal Poly, rank 105 and 75, respectively. Helping the Gauchos' rank, along with UC Davis, is that Wake Forest (second) and Indiana (ninth) are each ranked in the top-10.
Points for Pontius
Continuing to etch his name in the UCSB history books is senior Chris Pontius, who scored his ninth goal of the season in the tie with Cal State Northridge. That gives the forward 24 for his career, tying him for eighth all-time. He has 54 career points, just three away from making the Gaucho top-10 in that category. The Hermann Trophy candidate leads the Big West in shots with 60 and ranks 24th in the nation in points per game (1.67) and 21st nationally in goals per game (0.75). Those two totals also rank him second in the Big West. Pontius' nine goals this year are only two short of his total from last season when he was named the Big West Offensive Player of the Year.
The UCSB soccer team would like to make you aware of a donation drive to bring needed sports equipment to Africa through two outreach organizations in Santa Barbara. Donations of new or used sports equipment, clothing or shoes are greatly appreciated. Items can be dropped off at any of the remaining Gaucho home games.
With 23 goals through 12 games, UCSB is tied for 30th in the nation in goals per game and tied for tops in the conference, averaging 1.92. Within the Big West, the Gauchos average the most points per game with 5.50, while their 204 shots are tied with Cal Poly for the most in the league. Defensively, the Gauchos are last in the Big West in goals allowed, giving up 24 while their goals against average is also last at 1.93. UCSB also leads the conference in yellow cards per game, averaging 2.08 per contest.
Forced to miss Tuesday's match will be freshman midfielder Michael Tetteh, who has started eight of the Gauchos' 12 games and has seen action in every match. Tetteh was one of six UCSB players to receive a yellow card on Saturday and it was his fifth of the season, meaning he will have to miss one game.
About the Highlanders
UC Riverside enters Tuesday's match with a 3-8-1 overall record and a 0-3-0 mark in the Big West. The Highlanders are led by junior midfielder Robert Cate, who has three goals and two assists this season. Other players to watch are senior defender Joel Crompton (three goals, one assist) and freshman forward Cesar Diaz (two goals, two assists). The Gauchos have a 17-3-0 overall record against UC Riverside and hold a three-match unbeaten streak vs. the Highlanders. In the last match, UCSB and UCR battled to a 1-1 double-overtime tie on Nov. 17, 2007 and the last time the Highlanders defeated the Gauchos came Oct. 11, 2006 when UCR won 1-0.
Cal Poly's lone game this week will be when they host the Gauchos on Friday in a game that will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel. The Mustangs, who are ranked fifth in the NSCAA Far West poll, one spot ahead of the Gauchos, are 14-1-1 at Spanos Stadium during head coach Paul Holocher's three years at the school. Cal Poly is 6-1-2 in its past eight matches and is led by senior midfielder Julian Alvarez, who has totaled 11 points (four goals, three assists). Sophomore forward David Zamora has put away a team-high five goals while freshmen Wes Feighner and Patrick Sigler each have scored four times. Senior goalie Eric Branaga-Franco is second in the Big West with five shutouts and ranks third in the conference with a 0.88 goals against average. Overall, UCSB is 38-13-2 vs. Cal Poly, winning the teams' last meeting 3-1 on Nov. 3, 2007 when the Mustangs were ranked No. 15.
Dish It Out
Senior Nick Perera is tied for second on the team with seven points, but the most notable part of that is the forward's three assists in his 10 games played. Perera, the 2006 College Cup's Most Outstanding Player, dished out just two assists in 21 matches last season and his career-high is four assists set in the 2006 season. Perera has scored two goals on nine shots this season, with his 22 percent efficiency second only to David Ponce's 33 percent on the team.
Little Big Man
Although he's listed at just 5-foot-4, Bryan Dominguez sure doesn't play like it. The midfielder has doled out a team-best five assists despite missing the past three contests with an injury and his seven points are tied for second on the team. Furthermore, Dominguez's 0.56 assists per game are tied for 15th in the country and he ranks rhird in the Big West in assists and second in assists per game. Dominguez and Danny Barrera, who had two assists in two games last week, were named to College Soccer News' Top 100 Freshmen to Watch.