Nov. 24, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
No. 19 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 9 Cal (11-3-5) at UCSB's Harder Stadium
Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and streaming online at kcsb.org
Game available on Gametracker
Lucky No. 7
UCSB received a first-round bye and a No. 15 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, their seventh-consecutive trip to the NCAA's. That is the seventh-longest active run by a team to the tournament. They will face Cal, a 3-0 winner over San Francisco. The Golden Bears are making their eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Home Sweet Home
UCSB has never lost a home match in the NCAA Tournament. Since 2002, the Gauchos are 8-0 at Harder Stadium in the tournament, including a 2003 victory over Cal.
UCSB is 11-14-3 all-time vs. Cal with the teams last facing each other on Sept. 2, 2005, in a 2-0 Cal victory. The last time UCSB defeated the Golden Bears came Nov. 26. 2003 in a NCAA Tournament Second Round game at Harder Stadium. The Gauchos won that game 2-0.
The Gauchos' current five-game winless streak is the team's longest since Sept. 13-Sept. 26, 2000 when they dropped five matches in a row.
Senior Chris Pontius was named to Top Drawer's Team of the Season after leading the Big West with 32 points. The forward was the lone Big West player to be honored on Top Drawer's First Team.
Hall Calls Vom Steeg
Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg will be inducted into the California Community College Coaches Hall of Fame on Dec. 4 during the State Final Four. Before landing at UCSB, Vom Steeg led Santa Barbara Community College to the 1996 State Championship and amassed a 121-18-4 overall record. He led the Vaqueros to four Final Fours and five Western State Conference Championships. Vom Steeg, in his 10th year at UCSB, was also a five-time WSC Coach of the Year and was named the State Coach of the Year in 1996.
Despite notching the most points in the Big West with 32, Chris Pontius did not repeat as the conference's Player of the Year. The honor went to UC Davis' Quincy Amarikwa, who had 15 goals but only one assist to Pontius' 14 goals and four assists. Pontius was the only Gaucho to make the All-Big West First Team despite UCSB finishing second in the conference. Alfonso Motagalvan and Nick Perera were named to the Second Team while Michael Boxall, Luis Silva, Michael Tetteh and David Walker were Honorable Mention.
With his 14th goal this season in the Big West Tournament final loss to UC Irvine, senior Chris Pontius continues to etch his name in the UCSB history books. The goal, which set a career-high, ties him for sixth all-time for goals in a season. That gives the forward 29 goals for his career, leaving him in sole possession of fifth place in UCSB lore. Pontius has 67 career points, which is seventh all-time in Gaucho history. Pontius has taken 108 shots this year, tied for the most in a single season with Rob Friend, who took that many in 2002. Pontius' 188 career shots is fifth all-time in the UCSB annals.
Nick Perera set career-highs this season in goals with eight and points with 19, finishing fourth in the Big West in goals and sixth in points. The senior from Madrid, Spain scored three goals in the Gauchos' final two regular season games.
Points for Pontius
Chris Pontius, a Hermann Trophy candidate, ended the regular season ranked 19th nationally in goals per game (0.67) and 26th in the nation in points per game (1.52). Both of those marks ranked second in the Big West. Pontius paced the Big West in shots per game with 5.14 and tied for third in game-winning goals with three. He surpassed his goal and points totals (11 and 24) from last season when he was named the Big West's Offensive Player of the Year.
Hard Luck at Harder
UCSB has lost three games at home this season, the most defeats at Harder Stadium since the 2000 season when they went 3-5-1. Overall the Gauchos are 75-19-13 at home under Tim Vom Steeg and despite the 4-3-3 mark there this year, UCSB holds a 29-7-9 home record since the start of the 2005 season.
With 39 goals through 21 games, UCSB ranks 31st in the nation in goals per game and finished second in the conference, averaging 1.86. Within the Big West, the Gauchos trailed UC Irvine for the most goals, finished second in points per game with 5.19, and the team's 31 assists were third in the league. UCSB's 370 shots easily led the Big West.
UCSB's RPI - last released on Nov. 10 - is No. 9 in the nation, which is the highest mark among all Big West schools. Cal's RPI, released in the same poll, is 22nd in the nation.