SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Non-conference matches against Stanford, Cal and Minnesota, and Big West contests against defending league champion Long Beach State and rival Cal Poly will highlight the 2019 UC Santa Barbara women's soccer home schedule. one of the most impressive and challenging in program history, it was announced Friday.
"This might be the best home schedule we've had in my time at UCSB," said Paul Stumpf, who will be in his 21st season as the program's head coach in 2019. "Stanford coming to our place is huge. They were in the College Cup last year and are going to be very good again. To also get another Pac 12 team and a Big Ten team, that's also big for us and our fans."
The Gauchos and Cardinal will square off in Harder Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15. In 2018, Stanford went 21-1-2 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of the season, going unbeaten until falling in the College Cup semifinal to Florida State, 2-0.
UCSB will be playing a rematch of one of its biggest wins of the 2018 season when it hosts Cal on Friday, Aug. 30 in a 5:00 p.m. match. On Sept. 2, 2018 in Berkeley, Madeline Gibson scored an overtime goal to give the Gauchos a 3-2 win, capping a comeback from a 2-goal deficit over the final 35 minutes of the match.
The Gauchos will open the regular season home schedule on Thursday, Aug. 22 against Big Ten member Minnesota. In 2018, the Golden Gophers advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The other non-conference home matches will be played against San Jose State (Aug. 25), Grand Canyon (Sept. 13) and Fresno State (Sept. 20).
Santa Barbara will begin Big West Conference play on Sunday, Oct. 6 when it hosts the defending Big West champions, Long Beach State, in a 1:00 p.m. match. In 2018, LBSU defeated the Gauchos 2-0 in the Big West Tournament title match.
Following a pair of road matches, UCSB will return home to host Blue-Green rival Cal Poly at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. The Gauchos will complete their home slate on the final weekend of the regular season when they host UC Riverside (Nov. 1) and UC Irvine (Nov. 3).
UCSB will return several key players from a team that went 13-7-1 overall and 5-2-1 in the Big West in 2018. Included among the returnees is forward Shaelan Murison, the team's leading scorer with 10 goals and four assists for 24 points.
Season ticket packages will go on sale on Monday, Jun. 17 and are available online here or by calling the UCSB ticket office at 805-893-UCSB.
To view the entire 2019 Gaucho women's soccer schedule online, home and road, click here.