The Big West Conference Title Is On The Line As No. 15 Men's Soccer Gears Up For Cal State Northridge And UC Riverside

The Record: Overall 13-2-1 Big West 5-0-1

This Week's Schedule
Wednesday, November 6th
#15 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors
7:00 p.m. at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium

Saturday, November 2nd
#15 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders
1:00 p.m. at UC Riverside's Lower Field

National Rankings

NSCAA/adidas		15th
College Soccer News 19th
Soccer Times 20th
Soccer America 25th

No. 1 vs. No. 2
The 15th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team can clinch its second consecutive Big West Conference title this weekend with a sweep over Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside. Sporting a 5-0-1 conference record, the Gauchos 16 championship points give them a three point lead over second place Cal State Northridge, who is the lone blemish on UCSB's record after the two battled to a 0-0 double-overtime tie three weeks ago in Northridge. If the Gauchos beat regionally sixth-ranked CSUN on Wednesday it will give them a six point lead in the standings and leave them with a magic number of one, with three games remaining. With the tie earlier this year, and a split of last season's meeting's, the Matadors have proven to be one of the biggest thorns in the sides of the Gauchos as the series is tied at an even 8-8-3 heading into Wednesday's decisive 20th meeting between the two.

Making History
Currently holding the largest scoring margin in school history at +2.13 goals per game, third-best in the nation, the 2002 Gauchos are just four goals away from setting UCSB's all-time scoring record. Santa Barbara's offense, sixth in the nation at 3.13 goals per game, has scored five or more goals in game four times this season; while they have only been held to less than three goals four times. But the success of the Gauchos' offense has a lot to do with the success of the team's defense, or so the old adege goes. With a Big West second-best 0.97 team goals against average, the UCSB defense has only given up more than one goal to an opponent once over the last ten matches, and that was to then No. 1 Indiana. This season Santa Barbara has outscored its opponents by three or more goals 50% of the time.

Double-Barrelled Shot-gun
Forwards Rob Friend and Drew McAthy have been burning the back of nets this season at record pace for the Gauchos. Friend, who broke UCSB's single season shot record of 79 previously held by Matt Arya and Scott Grassinger, is tied for 11th in the nation with 15 goals on the year, needing just three goals to tie Santa Barbara's single season scoring record. Drew McAthy, currently second in the Big West in goals, points and shots behind Friend, netted three goals this past weekend to move into a two-way tie for fifth all-time at UCSB with 13 on the year. Friend's 26 career goals are more than any other two-year player in Gaucho history, and McAthy, now with 17 career goals, is just two goals shy of UCSB's career top-ten himself. McAthy, a sophomore, has scored ten goals in the last 12 games and leads the Big West with five game-winning goals in 2002. While Friend has scored in 12 of UCSB's 13 wins, he set the NCAA record earlier this year for the fourth longest streak of consecutive games with a goal at 12. So no matter which barrell of the gun UCSB opponents look down, they aren't going to like what they see.

Hats Off To You
In the Gauchos' 4-1 victory over UC Irvine last week, junior midfielder David McGill recorded his first-ever hat trick at any level, tally three assists. Now tied for ninth in the nation averaging 0.63 assists per game, McGill has shown to be one of the Gauchos' most well-rounded players on the pitch. A physical pressence in the midfield, the Dubliner's experience, tenacity and skill has forced opponents to account for him, opening up the field for Santa Barbara's numerous other offensive threats. Assisting on five goals in the last six games, McGill now has ten on the year, tying for ninth most by a Gaucho in a single season. He currently sits second on the team, and in the Big West, behind linemate Memo Arzate who has 14 assists and is ranked second in the nation averaging 0.93 per game.

Ivy On The Walls: Part II
Expanding on the section last week regarding UCSB's home field advantage in Harder Stadium, Tim Vom Steeg's teams have compiled a home record of 22-9-4, holding their opponents to one goal or less in 29 of the 35 matches, posting 19 shutouts. Since Leo Chappel took over the assistant job in 2001 they are a remarkable 14-2-3, unbeaten in their last 12. This season the Gauchos are a perfect 3-0 at home in conference play, extending their streak of Big West home games without a loss to the maximum eight games. A perfect 7-0 in at home this year, UCSB has given up just three goals at home, posting five shutouts, for a home GAA of 0.21. Santa Barbara on the other hand has netted 27 goals at home in 2002, outscoring its opponents by a 9:1 ratio.

Highlander Hype
Santa Barbara travels to UC Riverside on Saturday for their second meeting of the year. The Gauchos crushed Riverside 5-0 at home in the first week of Big West play. Since then the Highlanders have lost four straight as they sit in fifth place in the Big West. Last year, UCSB beat UCR 4-0 in Riverside marking their largest margin of victory in 2001. Santa Barbara has dominated the all-time series 7-1-0. However the Highlanders's goalkeeper turned forward, Luc Harrington, currently leads the Big West with 2.25 points per game in conference play.

Best In The Big West
With his 12th career shutout this past weekend over Cal Poly, sophomore goalkeeper Danny Kennedy moved into a tie for seventh all-time on the Big West's career shutouts list. Kennedy, who is yet to complete his second season at UCSB, has had more shutouts over the last two seasons than any other netminder in the Big West. He is also currently sporting the lowest career goals against average in UCSB history at 1.01 with 3017 minutes played. His 12 shutouts are the sixth most ever by a Gaucho.

A 1-2-3 Punch
Not to be outdone by his fellow teammates, junior midfielder Matt Kubota has crawled his way into third in the Big West with seven assists. Kubota has tallied four assists in conference action, tying teammate David McGill for the league lead.

Rank in the Nation...Statistically Speaking
3rd +2.13 Scoring Margin
6th Scoring Offense - 3.13 goals per game
7th 50 Total Goals
7th 0.844 Won/Loss %
1st Most wins to start the season - 8 games

Memo Arzate
2nd 0.93 assists per game
3rd 14 Total Assists
8th (t) Assists in a game (3) -twice

Rob Friend
12th (t) 1.00 goals per game
11th (t) 15 Total Goals
12th 2.13 points per game
14th (t) 34 Total Points

David McGill
9th (t) 0.63 assists per game
10th (t) 10 Total Assists
8th (t) Assists in a game (3)

UCSB Leads The Big West In:

Shots		308
Shots per game 19.28
Points 155
Points per game 9.69
Goals 50
Goals per game 3.12
Assists 55
Assists per game 3.44
Scoring Margin +2.1
Shutouts 6
Shutouts per game 0.38

Big West Statistics

Points		Per Game (rk)
1. Friend 34 2.12 (1)
2. McAthy 27 1.69 (2)
4. Arzate 20 1.33 (4)
5. Deering 19 1.19 (5)
6. McGill 14 0.88 (7)

Goals Per Game (rk)
1. Friend 15 0.94 (1)
2. McAthy 13 0.81 (2)
4. Deering 7 0.44 (4)
10. Young 4 0.27 (11)

Assists Per Game (rk)
1. Arzate 14 0.93 (1)
2. McGill 10 0.63 (2)
3. Kubota 7 0.44 (3)
7. Deering 5 0.31 (8)
8. Friend 4 0.25 (11)

Goals Against GAA
2. Kennedy 16 1.08 (2)