New-Look Gauchos Open 2005 at Fresno State Friday, Return Home for UCF Sunday Afternoon

Aug. 25, 2005

The Schedule Match No. 1
Friday, August 26, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Fresno State Bulldogs
at Fresno State's Bulldog Field

Match No. 2
Sunday, August 28, 2005 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UCF Golden Knights
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

Gauchos Open 2005 Season With Two Games This Weekend
The UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team opens its 2005 campaign with a pair of matches this weekend. The Gauchos open the regular season Friday night when they travel to the Central Valley to take on Fresno State. On Sunday, UCSB returns home for its first Harder Stadium appearance of the season, a 1:00 p.m. match against UCF.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters the weekend with a record of 0-0, a phenomenon caused by the fact that the Gauchos have yet to play a regular season game. Last season, Santa Barbara posted a 13-6-2 overall record, winning the Big West's regular season crown before losing in the Big West Tournament title game. UCSB has posted winning records in each of the last five seasons, the first time the program has achieved that feat since 1988-91.

UCSB Picked To Tie For Third In 2005 Big West Race
In a poll of the Big West coaches, UCSB has been tabbed to finish in a third-place tie in 2005. The Gauchos and Long Beach State each received one first-place vote and 42 total points in the poll. Cal Poly, the league's defending tournament champion, earned the most points in the poll (57), but had just two first-place votes. Cal State Fullerton, on the other hand, received the most first-place votes, four, but had just 54 points.

Co-Stars Hope To Play Leading Roles
Last year, the focal point of the Gaucho offensive attack was forward Jennifer Borcich. A three-time Big West Offensive Player of the Year, four-time First Team All-Big West choice and the league's all-time leading scorer, Borcich scored 15 goals for UCSB in 2004. While she was certainly not alone, Borcich definitely had the starring role. In 2005, the co-stars will be expected to step-up. Junior forward Allie Kueny scored five goals as a sopohomore. She was one of the team's sparkplugs, but this year, as the Gauchos' top returning goal scorer, she will be expected to carry more of the load. Junior forward Chandi Bickford led UCSB in assists last season with 10 and she was second in points with 16. In 2004, Bickford made just four starts but if she is healthy she will likely be in the starting lineup from the start in 2005. An injured knee is likely to sideline her for the first few weeks of the season. Junior midfielder Darci Gwartz had a pair of goals and six assists last season and this season she will be expected to direct the Gaucho attack. A notable absence from the returnee list is three-time All-Big West midfielder Kristyn Bright. A senior, Bright injured her knee during the spring season and will miss the 2005 campaign. She is expected to redshirt and return in 2006. A key addition, however, will be sophomore Kandice Mclaughlin (West Hills, Calif.), a transfer from Michigan. As a freshman, McLaughlin started all 22 matches for the Wolverines. She will likely make the shift to the midfield at UCSB.

The Other End Of The Field
Although UCSB will need to replace plenty of scoring, the defensive side of things looks pretty bright. Senior Katie Cooper, a Second Team All-Big West choice in 2004 anchors a group that also includes sophomore Jessie Steinberg. Cooper was one of just two Gauchos to start all 21 matches last year and Steinberg played in all 21 and started 20. Sophomore Katie Dwyer, who played in 17 contests in 2004, will get an opportunity to start as well. A duo of transfers are also expected to have an immediate impact on the backline. Katrina Wright (West Vancouver, B.C.) was a starting defender at UNLV last season, helping lead the Rebels to the Mountain West Conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth. She earned Far West All-Freshman Team honors following the year. Another possibility is junior Nikki Huber (Upland, Calif.), a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College.

A Real Con Job
Jamie Considine has been UCSB's starter at goalkeeper in each of her first three seasons. Despite battling injuries last season, she started, and completed, 15 of the team's 21 matches. Considine also had six shutouts and a 1.13 goals against average. In her career, she has now played in 55 matches, starting 52, and she has a goals against average of 1.05 with 23 shutouts. In 2005, Considine is expected to be the starter again. She will be backed up by a trio of freshmen, led by Kelly Soler (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS).