UCSB Travels to Irvine for Battle Between the League Leaders

UCSB Travels to Irvine for Battle Between the League Leaders

Oct. 29, 2010

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• The Schedule
Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 8 pm

UC Santa Barbara (10-4-2, 6-2) at UC Irvine (13-1-2, 6-0-1)
Series record vs. Anteaters: 32-14-3
Last meeting: L, 4-1 (Nov. 14, 2009)
Streak vs. Anteaters: Lost 1
Game available on Gametracker
Broadcast LIVE on AM 1290 and UCSBgauchos.com

• Weekend Update
UC Santa Barbara will play its final regular season road contest this Saturday when it heads to UC Irvine to take-on the current Big West leader. The match is the only regular season meeting between the two squads, which have played for the conference championship in 2008 and 2009.

• For The Record
UCSB had its seven-match win streak - its longest since the 2004 season - snapped on Wednesday evening at Cal Poly. The Gauchos are now 10-4-2 overall and 6-2 in Big West play. UCSB has won 10 of its last 12 games.

• On The Road Again
The Gauchos have been very successful at home this season, posting a 6-1-1 mark inside the friendly confines of Harder Stadium and they have won six straight on their home pitch. UCSB has had a bit more of a difficult time in road matches, going 2-3-1. The Gauchos have won their last three regular season contests at UC Irvine and won last year's match-up at Anteater Stadium, 1-0, in double overtime. Their last loss at UCI was in the 2008 Big West Championship game on Nov. 15, 2008 and their last regular season loss on the Anteaters' home pitch was on Nov. 1, 2006.

• The Wild, Wild (Big) West
UCSB has fallen to second-place in the Big West standings after Wednesday's loss. UC Irvine defeated UC Riverside, 2-1, to take command of the top spot with 19 points. After Saturday's match, UCSB will play UCR to conclude its regular season Big West schedule. With their 18 points, the Gauchos are guaranteed to finish in the top-four of the conference and compete in the Big West Tournament for the third consecutive year.

• Working Overtime
UCSB went into overtime for the sixth time this season on Wednesday. The Gauchos have gone 1-3-2 in overtime contests this season. The last time UCSB played six overtime games in a season was in 2007.

• A Little About The Anteaters
UC Irvine enters this Saturday's match with a 13-1-2 overall record and has gone 6-0-1 in Big West games. The Anteaters are coming off of a mid-week win over UC Riverside, 2-1, and have won their last three matches. In fact, UC Irvine has not lost since Sept. 19 when they fell 2-0 to Sacramento State. Amani Walker leads the squad with 22 points (10 goals, 2 assists) and Spencer Thompson is second with 18 points (6 goals, 6 assists).

• The Series
UCSB leads the all-time series with UC Irvine, 32-14-3. This marks the first year since 2000 that the two teams will meet just once during the regular season. The Gauchos went 2-1 during the 2009 series with UCI, winning a pair of conference contests by a 1-0 score before falling 4-1 in the Big West Tournament Championship game.

• Boxall Named Big West Defensive Player of the Week
Senior Michael Boxall was selected as the Big West's Defensive Player of the Week after helping lead the Gauchos to shutout wins over UC Davis and Northridge. He led a defense that limited the Aggies to just two shots on frame and six overall. Then he helped shut down the Matadors, holding CSUN to just seven shots with four coming on goal. He played all 180 minutes over the two matches.

• Garza Picks Up Pair of National Honors
Sophomore Sam Garza was named to the Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News National Teams of the Week after recording a hat trick in Saturday's win over Northridge. Two of his three goals came within a minute of each other. His trio of goals were the first by a Gaucho since Chris Pontius notched a hat trick on Oct. 3, 2007 against UC Irvine. With the three strikes, Garza brought his team-leading total to nine goals.

• Pulse On The Polls
For the first time since the week of Sept. 6, UCSB is ranked in the top-25 of all five national polls. The Gauchos' highest rank is No. 13 in the Soccer America poll. UCSB had been unranked in the NSCAA poll for six consecutive weeks, but has re-entered as the No. 19 team this week, which may not be a good thing. While ranked by the NSCAA this year, UCSB has gone 0-3-2 versus its 10-1 record while unranked.

• Freshman Phenom
Forward David Opoku scored the Gauchos' lone goal on Wednesday night in the 20th minute, tying the game at one-all. The goal was his second in as many games; he scored the game-winner in Saturday's victory over Northridge just 4:29 into the match. The freshman now has five goals on the season and has posted two game-clinchers. He is second on the team for goals and for points with 13 (5 goals, 3 assists).

• Sam's Shutouts
Sam Hayden recorded his 22nd career shutout against Northridge, which ties him for fourth on the UCSB career shutouts list with Ryan Sparre (1988-91). He is two away from tying Kyle Reynish (2003-06) for third all-time. As of Monday, Hayden was ranked 21st nationally for goals against average and 30th for saves percentage. The senior has recorded a 0.75 goals against average during his two seasons with the Gauchos, which is on-pace to set a school record, surpassing Reynish's career average of 0.81.

• Garza Knows Goals
Sophomore Sam Garza currently leads the Gauchos for goals (9) and points (22). He is averaging 0.60 goals per game and 1.47 points per game. Appropriately, the Gauchos' No. 17 ranks 17th nationally for goals per game and total goals while ranking 20th for total points and 23rd for points per game.

• Luis Lights It Up
Junior midfielder Luis Silva has hit his stride lately, tallying points in the last five conference contests. He scored against Cal Poly (Oct. 12), UC Riverside (Oct. 17), and UC Davis (Oct. 20) and has assisted David Opoku's goals against Northridge (Oct. 23) and Cal Poly (Oct. 27) He is fourth on the team with 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists).

• Happy To Help You
Danny Barrera tallied his sixth assist of the season and 20th of his career on Sam Garza's third goal against Northridge. The helper ties him for ninth all-time on the UCSB career assists list with Michael Zawianski (1983-86) and ninth in the Big West record books. He is second on the squad with 12 points (3 goals, 6 assists).

• Gaucho Goals
As of Monday, UCSB was ranked 17th nationally among Division I programs for total goals and 20th for scoring offense with its average of 2.0 goals per game. In the last 12 games - 10 of which UCSB has won - the Gauchos have been averaging 2.33 goals per game. The last time UCSB finished a season with an average of two or more goals per match was in 2007 when they averaged 2.20.

• Taking Shots
The Gauchos are currently averaging 15.9 shots per game and have out-shot their opposition in every contest this year. UCSB's current .480 shots on goal percentage is the best recorded by the program in the last six seasons.

• Defensive Behavior
The Gauchos have limited their opposition to an average of 0.81 goals per match, which ranks as the fifth lowest all-time in the UCSB record books. Meanwhile, their opponents are averaging 8.4 shots per game.

• RPI Report
The NCAA's third Ratings Percentage Index report was released on Tuesday and it has the Gauchos 35th on the list. UCSB has the top RPI in the Big West; UC Irvine is currently 46th on the list. The RPI, which is updated throughout the season, factors into the seeding and selection for the NCAA Tournament.

Sam Hayden Named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Sam Hayden was selected as a top-10 finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award is given annually to seniors that have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. Voting to determine the winner has begun and will run through Nov. 14. To vote for Hayden, click here.

• Coming Soon
The Gauchos have just one contest on the docket next week: a Saturday meeting with UC Riverside at home. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Prior to the contest, UCSB will honor seniors Michael Boxall, Joe Eubanks and Sam Hayden.

• The Vom Steeg File
In his 12th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is the winningest coach in Big West history. Vom Steeg has posted a 167-65-24 record at the helm of UCSB and a 146-48-23 record since the program rejoined the Big West in 2001. Vom Steeg is also the winningest coach in UCSB men's soccer history and has turned the Gauchos into an annual national title contender. The 2004 and 2006 NSCAA National Coach of the Year, Vom Steeg guided the Gauchos to the NCAA title in 2006 and the championship game in 2004. He has guided UCSB to five Big West titles in the past eight years and eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He won Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005 and has produced 15 All-Americans.

• College Cup Tickets On Sale
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.