September 7, 2006

Gauchos Break Even on the Road, Return Home to Host Wisconsin Friday

Sept. 7, 2006

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The Schedule
Match No. 5
Friday, September 8, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Wisconsin Badgers
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

Match No. 6
Sunday, September 10, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its home-opener on Friday with a record of 1-1-2. The Gauchos, ranked 15th in the West by Soccer Buzz Magazine, opened the year with four consecutive road games, including two against ranked teams (USC and San Diego State) and two against teams from the powerful West Coast Conference (San Diego and Loyola Marymount). After tying USC and dropping a 2-0 decision to San Diego in the opening weekend, UCSB recorded a 2-0 win over 29th-ranked San Diego State on Sept. 3 and a 1-1 tie at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 5.

The Gaucho Record
Following a run of four straight games on the road, the Gauchos return home for longest home stretch of the season, three games. On Friday, UCSB will take-on Wisconsin in the first meeting between the schools since 1991. The Gauchos are 2-1-2 against the Badgers, including a victory in the first round of the 1989 NCAA Tournament. The last time the teams met, in Santa Barbara at the end of the 1991 season, Wisconsin posted a 1-0 win. The Badgers are currently 1-1-1 on the season. Sunday will mark the first meeting between UCSB and Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane is 3-2 on the year.

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 75-53-13. 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.

Defense Keys Road Success
A difficult four-game road trip to open the 2006 season could have ended in any number of ways, most of them negative. Instead, UCSB will open the home portion of its schedule on Friday with a 1-1-2 record, not bad considering the first four opponents of the season. The primary reason for the Gauchos' survival on the road has been the team's outstanding defense. Through four contests this season, two of which have gone to overtime, UCSB has allowed just three goals. With the overtime minutes factored in, the Gauchos are sporting a goals against average of 0.68. They have allowed 58 shots in the four matches, 33 of which have been on goal.

Minding The Goal
Junior Katie Wright and freshman Tammy Lenham have given UCSB an outstanding one-two punch at the goalkeeper position. Wright started the first three matches of the season and in 290 minutes she allowed just two goals, both at the University of San Diego. She posted a pair of shutouts as well, blanking 17th-ranked USC in a scoreless tie and then 29th-ranked San Diego State 2-0. The win over the Aztecs was the Gauchos' first of the season. In the win over USC, Wright had eight saves and in the win over San Diego State she was even better, recording a career-high 12 saves. Lenham made her first start of the year on Sept. 5 at Loyola Marymount. In her 110 minute overtime appearance, Lenham had eight saves and allowed just one goal. Combined, the Wright-Lenham duo has posted 30 saves and a glistening save percentage of .857.

Worthy Goals
UCSB struggled to find offense in the first two matches of the year. In fact, the Gauchos not only struggled, they didn't find any, going scoreless through the first 200 minutes. In the last two contests, however, Santa Barbara was credited with three goals, two of which it scored and one that its opponent, Loyola Marymount, scored for them. Thus, if you subtract the own goal by the Lions, UCSB has two goals in its four matches, an average of 0.5 goals per outing. The Gauchos have attempted 38 shots in their four matches, an average of 9.5 per game. Of the 38 shots, 20 (52.6%) have been shots on goal. Their opponents have taken 58 shots, an average of 14.5 per game, and 33 (56.9%) have been on goal. UCSB has been outshot in three of its four matches this season. Ironically, the one game in which the Gauchos outshot their opponent they lost. UCSB had 11 shots to San Diego's nine in an Aug. 27 loss.

The Bickford Files
Senior forward Chandi Bickford suffered through an injury-plagued 2005 season. A knee injury limited her to just seven appearances. As a sophomore in 2004, Bickford had three goals and a team-leading 10 assists for 16 points. Last season she had one and no goals. assist. In Sunday's win at San Diego State, the Maui native scored her first goal since the 2004 season and then she assisted on a goal by Genelle Ives. Through four matches, Bickford's three points and seven shots lead the Gauchos and her reemergence is a key to the team's success in 2006.