Gauchos Carry Two-Match Unbeaten String into Thursday Night Encounter at Cal State Bakersfield

Sept. 18, 2007

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The Schedule
Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Bakersfield
at CSUB's Main Soccer Field (2,500)

Sunday, September 23, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego State
at UCSB's Harder Stadium (17,000)

The Week Ahead
UC Santa Barbara will split the week with one road game and one home game. On Thursday, the Gauchos will travel to the southern part of California's Central Valley for a game at Cal State Bakersfield. The Roadrunners are a transitional program, making the jump from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I and the teams have never met. Bakersfield enters the week with a 2-4 record having defeated St. Mary's and, most recently, Idaho. On Sunday, UCSB returns home to face San Diego State and an old friend. The Aztecs are coached by Mike Friesen who, for several years, was Paul Stumpf's assistant coach on the Gaucho staff. SDSU enters Wednesday's game at San Jose State with a 2-2-2 record. The Aztecs' wins have come over Cal Poly and Creighton.

The Gauchos Hit 25
The 2007 season is the the 25th intercollegiate campaign for the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer program. The Gauchos first laced up their shoes as an intercollegiate program in 1983. Prior to 1983, UCSB had been a club program.

On The Record
UCSB enters play this week with a record of 1-3-2. After opening the season with a 1-0 win over Loyola Marymount on Aug. 31, the Gauchos dropped three in a row before posting a pair of home ties last weekend. On the heels of a tough weekend in which it lost ta pair of one-goal matches in a tournament at Wisconsin, UCSB rebounded with a couple of gritty home ties. The Gauchos played 110 scoreless minutes against Denver on Friday, Sept. 14, and then they scored a late goal on Sunday to tie UNLV, 1-1.

On The Stumpf
Paul Stumpf is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. He enters this week's action with a record of 82-62-19. His total of 82 wins ranks second on UCSB's all-time list. Last season, he guided the Gauchos to a 7-7-6 overall record, including a 5-1-1 record in the Big West, good enough to tie for the regular season championship. Stumpf has led the program to records of .500 or better in six of the last seven seasons, including four straight seasons of 10 or more victories, the first time the program accomplished that feat since 1988-91. 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. He has, in fact, guided the Gauchos to a top-three league finish in six of the last seven seasons. 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.

Half Full Or Half Empty?
You can look at Santa Barbara's most recent consecutive ties in two ways. The ties extend the Gauchos' winless streak to five matches in a row. In other words, the glass is half empty. On the other hand, Friday's tie against Denver ended a three-game losing streak and Sunday's tie against UNLV extended a two-game unbeaten string. It's all in how you look at it.

Depleted Gauchos Continue To Scrap
UCSB is playing with a relatively makeshift lineup, particulary up front, but with consecutive ties against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2006, the results were too bad last weekend. Playing without defenders Katie Dwyer, Katie Smith and Jessie Steinberg, starting midfielder Linda Allen and starting forward Genelle Ives, the Gauchos used several freshmen and other relatively inexperienced players in last weekend's two matches. With a defense that is mostly intact, UCSB was able to stay in the matches and force the ties.

Ives Will Redshirt
Junior forward Genelle Ives, a First Team All-Big West choice in 2006 and a Second Team All-Big West honoree in 2005, will redshirt the 2007 season with a knee injury, head coach Paul Stumpf has announced. Ives, the Big West co-Freshman of the Year in 2005, has either led or tied for the team-lead in goals each of her first two seasons. In her two years, the Dana Point, Calif., native has 13 goals and 10 assists for 36 points.

Katie Has The Wright Stuff
Senior goalkeeper Katie Wright was a Second Team All-Big West choice in 2006 and despite a lingering knee injury, she has again had some outstanding moments. Wright is the only keeper that the Gauchos have used this season. She enters the week with a 1.06 goals against average. She has allowed just two goals in the last 310 minutes. On Sunday, with the score tied early in the first overtime, Wright made a leaping, game-saving block of a shot that would have ended the match and sent the Gauchos home with a loss. When a ball was turned over near the top of the penalty box, a UNLV player drove a powerful shot towards the upper-middle of the goal. Wright reacted quickly and punch the ball over the crossbar, preserving the tie. The transfer from Nebraska and native of Mission Viejo, Calif., has two shutouts this season and eight in her UCSB career. Her current career goals against average of 0.92 ranks tied for second on the Gauchos' all-time list. Wright's eight shutouts rank tied for eighth on the school's all-time list.

Simon Says, Nice Timing On First Goal
Freshman Jacqui Simon (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union HS), a transfer from UCLA, is actually a midfielder by trade but due to a variety of injuries and illnesses, she has been forced to make the shift to forward for the 2007 Gauchos. On Sunday, Simon picked a good time to score the first goal of her career and UCSB's fourth of the season. With her team trailing 1-0 and riding a scoreless streak of more than 300 minutes, Simon poked home a Sami Svrcek pass in the 78th minute to give Santa Barbara a 1-1 tie with UNLV. The game remained tied through overtime. Simon ranks second on the team with eight shots. Svrcek leads the team with 11 shots through six games.

Give Speace A Chance
The loss of several players has forced the UCSB coaching staff to make some major lineup adjustments early in the season. While the impact has been felt mostly in the offensive production, the loss of a trio of defenders has force a change on the backline as well. After playing sparingly through the first four matches, freshman Julia Speace (San Clemente, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) was inserted into the starting lineup on Friday night against the University of Denver. In the game against the Pioneers, she was part of a defensive crew that allowed just four total shots, only one of which was on goal, in 110 minutes. Sunday, against UNLV, the Gauchos allowed 12 shots. In all, in Speace's two starts, Santa Barbara gave up just 16 shots, seven on goal, and one score in 220 minutes.

Half Empty Or Half Full II
UCSB has attempted just 54 shots through six matches this season, an average of 9.0 per outing. On the bright side, after failing to record double-figures in shots in any of the first four games, the Gauchos hit the mark in each of their two games last weekend. In the tie with Denver, UCSB had 11 shots, which was a season-high at the time. In Sunday's tie with UNLV, Santa Barbara had its second straight season-high when it attempted 13 shots. In the two weekend contests combined, the Gauchos averaged 12.0 shots per game while the opposition managed just 8.0 per game. It was a small step, but it was progress.

On the Horizon
Following Sunday's home game against San Diego State, UCSB will go on the road for its next two game. The Gauchos travel to the Pacific Northwest for matches on Sept. 28 at Washington State and then Sept. 30 at Gonzaga.