In Key Big West Weekend, Gauchos Travel to Pacific Before Playing Home Finale Sunday Against UC Davis

In Key Big West Weekend, Gauchos Travel to Pacific Before Playing Home Finale Sunday Against UC Davis

Oct. 25, 2007

The Schedule
Friday, October 26, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Pacific
at Pacific's Stagg Field

Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 12:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

The Week Ahead
The UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team will try to get back on track this week when it travels to Pacific on Friday and then returns home on Sunday to host UC Davis. The match against UC Davis will be the final home contest of the year for the Gauchos. UCSB has played Pacific 11 times over the years. The Gauchos hold a 6-4-1 edge over the Tigers, but the teams battled to scoreless tie in 2006. Santa Barbara has a 5-1-1 lifetime record against Davis. The teams tied 1-1 in 2006.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters the week with an overall record of 5-8-3 and a Big West record of 2-2-0. Since winning consecutive games to open league play, the Gauchos have gone winless in their last four games overall, two of which were Big West contests. In the last four, UCSB has gone 0-3-1, losing to UC Irvine, Cal Poly and Pepperdine, while tying nationally-ranked Santa Clara.

UCSB Tries To Get Back Into Big West Race
The Gauchos enter the weekend trying to get back into the race for the Big West Tournament. At 2-2 in league, UCSB currently has six points, one back of UC Riverside and three behind Cal Poly and UC Irvine, the teams tied for third in the Big West. Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State each have a league-leading 12 points. While the Gauchos are on the outside looking in right now, they do have one advantage over a few of the teams in front of them. UCSB has played just four league games and has four left. UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton have each played six Big West games while Long Beach State has played five. Like Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and Cal Poly have each played four times. The Gauchos have four Big West games remaining, including three against teams that are below them in the league standings, to mount a comeback.

Injuries Continue To Ravage Gauchos
While UCSB started a senior-laden lineup in it last game, a 1-0 loss to Cal Poly, it only did so because it was senior night. After starting, seniors Jessie Steinberg, Kathleen Prieto and Katie Dwyer were quickly substituted for and the Gauchos were once again using the freshman-laden lineup that has become the norm because of injuries and illness. Senior starts excluded, UCSB continues to play without defenders Katie Dwyer, Katie Smith and Lexi Eaton, midfielders Linda Allen, Kathleen Prieto, Kaylyn Woolsey and Erin Doherty, forwards Genelle Ives and Michelle Russell and goalkeeper Tammy Lenham. It is conceivable that Russell could return for Sunday's game against UC Davis, but more than likely she will available the final week of the season when the Gauchos travel to Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State.

Bright Spots
Although injuries have definitely taken their toll on UCSB, some positive has come of them. A number of freshmen who would have seen only limited playing time if everyone were healthy, have gained valuable experience. Among the players who have benefited the most from additional playing time are forwards Kailyn Kugler, Jacquie Simon and Brook Salyer, and defender Julia Speace. Each of the four has made at least eight starts and three have started at least 10 games. On the offensive end, Kugler remains the Gauchos' leading scorer with six goals and a pair of assists for 14 points. Two weeks ago she was named the Big West Player of the Week, a first for a UCSB player this season. Simon has a pair of goals and one assist for five points while Salyer has one goal and ranks second on the team with three assists. Speace has joined a veteran defensive group and has generally been outstanding.

Searching For Goals
Since a four-goal outburst on Oct. 7 against UC Riverside, UCSB has struggled to score. The Gauchos scored one goal in each of the two games following the performance against the Highlanders. In the last two games, they have been scoreless. In fact, with a double-overtime tie against Santa Clara included, Santa Barbara has gone scoreless for 255 minutes.

On The Horizon
UCSB will complete the 2007 regular season with what could be a vital road trip next week. The Gauchos play at Cal State Northridge on Friday, Nov. 2, and then at Big West-leading Long Beach State on Sunday, Nov. 4.