Gaucho Preview Day Two: Simon Leads Deep Midfield Into 2010

Aug. 18, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On Tuesday, we previewed UCSB's deep and talented group of defenders and its young goalkeepers. Today, we take a look at the Gauchos' midfield. On Thursday, the forwards will be previewed as the run-up to Friday's season opener against Cal State Northridge looms on the horizon. The game against the Matadors will kickoff at 7:00 p.m. at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

As is the case with most other positions, the 2010 UCSB women's soccer midfield will be defined by its experience and depth.

Any discussion about the Gauchos' midfield has to start with Jacqui Simon. A two-time First Team All-Big West choice, Simon was second on the team in goals (four), assists (five) and points (13) as a junior. In her last two seasons, the senior from Torrance, Calif., has scored 10 goals and 13 assists.

"Jacqui kind of makes us go," Stumpf said. "She is the glue in the center and her experience is invaluable."

Joining Simon among holding center midfielders will be senior Nicole Romanowski and junior Cory Yoshida. As a junior, Romanowski earned Second Team All-Big West recognition as a central defender. This year, she will move back to her more familiar spot in the midfield. Yoshida started 18 times in 2009 and will once again be in the mix.

"Romo (Romanowski) did a good job for us last year and she will be even better at her natural position in the midfield," said head coach Paul Stumpf. "Cory will also be a big factor. She really emerged last year and I expect that to continue this season."

Also expected to contend for time as holding center midfielders will are senior Stacy Myrick and freshman Lindsay Gankema (Irvine, Calif./Northwood HS), the twin sister of defender freshman Paige Gankema.

The attacking center midfielders will include senior Erica Seidman and freshman Erica Shelton (Bakersfield, Calif./Stockdale HS).

"Seidman has really made herself into a factor," Stumpf said. "She has worked incredibly hard over the last year to become an important part of this team. In terms of style, they (Seidman and Shelton) play alike and they also look alike. They are good playmakers and can score goals."

Stumpf believes that the depth among midfielders and on the team in general will pay dividends in a variety of ways.

"Our depth will help us. When you play in a Friday-Sunday pattern, the depth may not help you on Friday, but it might help you late in a game on Sunday," he said. "In the big picture, using a lot of people and keeping them fresh will also help us in games 16, 17, 18, 19 and so on because we haven't killed our players with too many minutes."

The Gauchos will begin their quest for a third straight Big West title and NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday, August 20, when they host Cal State Northridge in a non-conference match. The game against the Matadors, the first regular season game, will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

Season tickets for the 2010 Gaucho men's and women's soccer season are on sale now and this year's packages include tickets for the 2010 College Cup, being hosted by UCSB on Dec. 10-12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Season tickets start at just $75 and include one ticket to all home men and women's regular season games and one College Cup All Session ticket. UCSB staff and faculty can purchase their season tickets for a reduced rate of $50.

For more information about soccer season tickets, click here.

The One Donation is Gold system allows donors to purchase priority/premium seating and parking at UCSB games across several sports in addition to other benefits. For more information on One Donation is Gold click here .