UCSB Continues Season-Opening Road Trip, Travels to San Diego State Sunday

Aug. 30, 2006

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The Schedule
Match No. 3
Sunday, September 3, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at San Diego State Aztecs
at SDSU's Sports Deck

Match No. 4
Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Loyola Marymount Lions
at LMU's Sullivan Field

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its matches this week with a record of 0-1-1. The Gauchos opened the 2006 season on Aug. 25 with a scoreless tie at No. 21 USC and then dropped a 2-0 decision at the University of San Diego on Aug. 27.

On The Stumpf
Paul Stumpf is in his eighth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. He enters this week's action with a record of 74-53-12. His total of 74 wins ranks second on UCSB's all-time list. Prior to last season, he had led the Gauchos to four consecutive seasons of double-figures in wins, the first time the program had accomplished the feat since 1988-91. Last season, he guided a young and injury-riddled UCSB team to a 9-10-0 record. Prior to the 2005 campaign, Stumpf had coached the Gauchos to five straight seasons of .500 or better, a feat that had last been accomplished more than a decade ago. In 1999, Stumpf's first season as the head coach at UCSB, he took a team that was selected to finish last in the conference, but instead posted an 8-9-1 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the Big West. Following the season, he was chosen as the Big West's Coach of the Year. Before arriving in Santa Barbara as an assistant coach in 1998, Stumpf spent two seasons as an assistant at Humboldt State. In addition, the San Diego native spent several years coaching club teams in the Santa Rosa area.

Season-Opening Road Trip Continues
UCSB will continue its season-opening road trip this weekend and early next week. The Gauchos will play at San Diego State on Sunday, Sept. 3 and at Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, Sept. 5. SDSU opened the season with a pair of wins at the Purdue Boilermaker Challenge Cup. In fact, on Sunday, the Aztecs won the championship at the event with a 4-0 shellacking of No. 21 Purdue. LMU is 0-0-1. The Lions opened the season with a 1-1 tie against San Jose State but their second game, scheduled for Sunday at Kansas, was cancelled because of weather-related problems.

The Wright Stuff
Junior goalkeeper Katie Wright wasted little time impacting UCSB soccer fortunes. The 5-foot-10 transfer from Nebraska started both weekend games for the Gauchos and in the season-opener at 17th-ranked USC, she made her mark. Wright, who started every match for the Cornhuskers during her sophomore season in 2004, faced 14 USC shots, nine of which were on frame, and she had eight saves. UCSB had one team save and Wright was credited with the first shutout of her Gaucho career. The eight saves recorded by Wright were one short of her personal best, set in the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament against Kansas. On Sunday, she allowed two goals to a talented University of San Diego team, but she posted one more save. Wright enters her second weekend as a Gaucho with a goals against average of 0.90 and a save percentage of .818.

Goal Setting
In 2005, UCSB had trouble scoring goals. The Gauchos tallied 24 goals in their 19 matches last season, an average of 1.26 per game. They particularly had trouble early in the 2005 campaign. After notching a pair of goals in a season-opening win at Fresno State, Santa Barbara was shutout in three straight. The Gauchos have started the 2006 season in similar fashion, going scoreless in their first two matches. In Friday night's opener at USC, UCSB had seven total shots, two of which were on goal, and on Sunday the Gauchos had 11 shots, six on goal. In fact, they outshot the Toreros 11-9 in the 2-0 loss. While the team is off to a slow start on the offensive end, prospects are not bleak. The Gauchos have returned their top four scorers from last season, although senior forward Allie Kueny is still rehabilitating a knee injury, and they have added several talented new players, including Ohio State transfer Heather Young and freshman midfielder Erin Doherty, who leads the team with four shots in the first two games.

Looking At The Bright Side
Clearly a bright spot for the Gauchos in their first weekend of play was the return of senior midfielder Kristyn Bright. A two-time All-Big West selection, including a first team choice in 2003, Bright missed the entire 2005 season with a knee injury. A native of Glendora, Calif., she started the matches at USC and San Diego over the weekend, marking the first time she had played for UCSB since the 2004 season. In her first three seasons as a Gaucho, Bright played in 62 contests, starting 60. She entered the season with six career goals and five career assists for 17 points. In the first two matches of the season Bright did not attempt a shot, but she assumed her regular role as a playmaker in the midfield.

More Happy Returns
Kristyn Bright wasn't the only player making a return to regular duty for the Gauchos over the weekend. Sophomore defender Jessie Steinberg, who redshirted the 2005 season after playing in the first three games, made her return as well. Although Steinberg came off the bench in the games at USC and San Diego, she will undoubtedly be a regular in UCSB's defensive rotation. Two other players who missed most of 2005 also returned. Senior forward Chandi Bickford, who had three goals and 10 assists in 2004 but was limited to seven appearances last season because of a knee injury, started both weekend matches and is second on the team with three shots. Sophomore forward Michelle Russell, who severely sprained her ankle in the fifth game of the 2005 season and did not return, also played in both weekend matches, attempting one shot.

Fit To Be Tied
In 2005, UCSB had a record of 9-10-0. It was the first time since 1995 that the Gauchos did not record at least one tie and, if the final six games of the 2004 season are included, it was a streak that reached 25 matches. Santa Barbara didn't waste any time in ending the streak as it tied USC in the season-opener, 0-0.

On The Horizon: A Homecoming
When UCSB's season-long run of four consecutive road games ends at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 5, the Gauchos will return home for three straight. Santa Barbara will make its first home appearance on Friday, Sept. 8 when it hosts Wisconsin in a 5:00 p.m. match at Harder Stadium. The match against the Badgers will be the opener of a doubleheader and will followed by a UCSB men's match against Illinois-Chicago. The Gauchos will remain at home for a Sunday, Sept. 10 afternoon match against Tulsa and a Friday, Sept. 15 contest against Arizona State.