Gauchos Host Long Beach State in First-Place Showdown Friday
Oct. 28, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State
at UCSB's Harder Stadium
Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Irvine
at UCSB's Harder Stadium
This Week: A First-Place Showdown
UC Santa Barbara will host Long Beach State and UC Irvine in the final regular season weekend of Big West play. Friday's match against Long Beach will be a battle for first-place in the conference. The Gauchos enter play this week with a league record of 4-1-1, good for 13 points, while the 49ers are 5-0-1, good for 16 points. A win on Friday would pull UCSB into a tie for first-place with one match to go. A Long Beach win would clinch the regular season title and give them the top-seed in the Big West Tournament. The first and second-place teams in the league standings will host first round matches in the tournament on Nov. 6. The highest remaining seed will host the title game on Nov. 9. While the Gauchos have not clinched a spot in the tournament, they are close. With two matches to play, they lead the fifth-place team, UC Irvine, by five points. Those two teams will meet on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium. UCI will also play at Cal Poly on Friday night and a Mustang win, or a tie, would guarantee UCSB a spot in the tournament. Tickets are available for this weekend's games at the Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office in the ICA Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.
The Gaucho Record
As mentioned above, the Gauchos enter the week with a 4-1-1 record in Big West Conference play. They are 11-5-1 overall and they have a season-long four-match unbeaten streak entering Friday's showdown with Long Beach State, as well as having gone 5-1-1 in the last seven. The 11 wins are the most by a UCSB team since 2004 when they won 13. This season also marks the fifth time that a Paul Stumpf-coached Gaucho team has won 10 or more games. Since the program began in 1983, there have been 15 seasons with 10 or more victories.
Gauchos Nearly Double-Up Opponents
UCSB has scored 33 goals on the season, 14 more than it scored last season. Even more impressively, the Gauchos have nearly doubled-up on its opponents this season, outscoring them 33-17.
Gauchos Among The Leaders
There are four UCSB players ranked among the Big West's top-10 in scoring. Junior forward Genelle Ives, who has eight goals and six assists for 22 points, ranks second. Sophomore midfielder Jacqui Simon, with five goals and six assists for 16 points is tied for fifth, and sophomore forwards Kylie McDonald (four goals and six assists) and Kailyn Kugler (five goals and four assists) are tied for ninth with 14 points. Ives and Kugler are third and ninth respectively in goals, with Ives leading the way in shots, way in shots, and three Gauchos, Ives, Simon, and McDonald, are tied for the league lead in assists.
McDonald Makes Her Mark
Sophomore forward Kylie McDonald was Honorable Mention All-West Coast Conference following her freshman season at Pepperdine in 2007, so it wasn't too much of a surprise that she was able to step into an important role with the Gauchos immediately. McDonald has played in all 17 matches for UCSB, starting 13, and with a goal and an assist in last weekend's 2-0 win over UC Davis, she now has four goals and six assists for 14 points. The six assists ties McDonald for first on the team and in the Big West.
A Cut Above
Freshman goalkeeper Ali Cutler continues to be a pleasant surprise in goal for the Gauchos. Playing in place of an injured Tammy Lenham, Cutler has been solid. In last weekend's 2-0 win at UC Davis, she had eight saves. In the game prior to that, a 4-2 win at Cal Poly, she set a career high with nine saves. Cutler now has 42 saves on the season, including 17 in the last two games. She has logged nearly 867 minutes, has a goals against average of 0.73, a save percentage of .857, and three complete game shutouts. In addition, she has played at least half of the match in three other shutouts.
Ives Continues To Lead Junior forward Genelle Ives enters the week with eight goals and six assists for 22 points. While her three-game goal-scoring streak ended at UC Davis, she did have an assist, extending her point-scoring streak to four matches in a row. Ives now has 21 goals and 16 assists in her career, a total of 58 points. She ranks ninth all-time in goals and 11th all-time in points, six away from 10th.
In Defense Of The Gauchos
Lost in all of the offensive numbers is the fact that UCSB is playing some fairly stellar defense in 2008. The Gauchos have allowed 17 goals in 17 matches and have a solid 0.98 goals against average. Senior Rachael Ritchey and sophomore Julia Speace have been the mainstays, but freshmen Alexa Stringer, Alyssa Oldham, and Danika Johnson, and sophomore Stacy Myrick have also contributed. The Gauchos have allowed just 181 shots, 82 on goal, in 17 games.
On The Stumpf
Paul Stumpf is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. He enters this week's action with a record of 98-74-22. His total of 98 wins ranks second on UCSB's all-time list. This season marks the fifth time that Stumpf has guided the Gauchos to at least 10 wins. Last season, he guided the Gauchos to a 6-10-4 overall record, including a 3-4-1 record in the Big West. Stumpf has led the program to records of .500 or better in six of the last eight seasons, including, at one point, 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 eight seasons, and twice he has led the program to regular season championships. 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.