UCSB Continues Conference Play on the Road at UC Riverside and UC Irvine

UCSB Continues Conference Play on the Road at UC Riverside and UC Irvine

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The Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (7-5-0, 1-1-0) at UC Riverside (3-8-1, 1-1-0)
UC Riverside Soccer Stadium - Riverside, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Highlanders: 26-5-2
Last Meeting: Aug. 26, 2018 - UCSB def. UCR, 3-1
UCSB Form: W W L L W
UCR Form: L W W L W
Audio: KCSB.org

Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (7-5-0, 1-1-0) at UC Irvine (8-4-1, 2-0-0)
Anteater Stadium - Irvine, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Anteaters: 37-17-5
Last Meeting: Oct. 7, 2017 - T, 1-1 (2OT)
UCSB Form: W W L L W
UCI Form: W L L W W
Audio: KCSB.org

Listen Here
Tune in to both Wednesday and Saturday's match via a live audio stream produced by KCSB with Arthur Wilkie on the call. The audio broadcast can be found on-air at KCSB-FM 91.9 or by streaming online at KCSB.org. The pregame show will begin at 6:45 p.m. with kick-off at 7:00 p.m.

College Cup Tickets on Sale Now!
UC Santa Barbara hosts the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer College Cup on Dec. 7 and 9 at Harder Stadium. College Cup ticket packages as well as UCSB season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by calling the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB. 

Last Week in Review
Last Wednesday, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team opened up Big West play at Sacramento State and fell to the Hornets 1-0. UCSB had been unbeaten in its previous six conference openers prior to the loss and it was just the second time in the Tim Vom Steeg era (Since 1999) that the Gauchos lost to Sac State. 

UCSB got back on track with its 15th consecutive regular season home victory over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night after Noah Billingsley converted a golden goal in the 92nd minute. Scoreless after 90, the Gauchos went in to their first overtime of the year while the Titans were in their eighth. It didn't last long as Rodney Michael broke free down the center of the pitch, dished to Carter Clemmensen on his right, who sent the ball across the box to Billingsley who slotted one in the near post from 10 yards out for his first of the year. 

Riverside Revisited
The Gauchos continue conference play on the road this Wednesday, Oct. 10 when they travel to UC Riverside. UCSB and the Highlanders faced off earlier this season in a non-conference meeting where the Gauchos came away with a big 3-1 victory behind goals from Faouzi Taieb, Carter Clemmensen and Migel Gomez. UCR has won all three of its matches in its past four games and is coming off a 1-0 win at Cal Poly. The Highlanders are led by Daniel Aguirre (4g, 1a) and Dusan Keca (3g, 1a). UCR has been outscored by its opponents 28-16.

Scouting the 'Eaters
UC Irvine is coming off a pair of wins, 3-1 over UCR and 2-0 over Sac State, to open conference play as the only team with two wins. The Gauchos have dominated the all-time series historically, holding a 37-17-5 advantage and the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in Irvine last season. The Anteaters are led by forward Jose Ortiz, who ranks second in the league with seven goals, and Ivan Canales who has five assists to go along with four goals of his own. UCI has outscored its opponents 25-12 and is 5-1 at home. 

Conference Play Underway
After the opening week of conference play, UC Irvine leads the pack with a 2-0 start while CSUN is also unbeaten with a 1-0-1 record. UCSB, Sac State and UCR are all 1-1-0 while UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly are 0-1-1. 

On the Road Again
The Gauchos will be tested this week with a pair of conference road matches on the schedule. So far in 2018, UCSB has been a different team on the road than at home. At Harder Stadium, the Gauchos are a perfect 6-0 and have gone just 1-5 on the road. 

RPI Update
After a 1-1 week to start conference play, the Gauchos slid down to No. 56 in the latest RPI rankings. UC Davis, dropped from No. 14 to No. 30 after an 0-1-1 start, while UC Irvine (No. 35) and CSUN (No. 37) saw big jumps. Cal State Fullerton at No. 87 rounds out the Big West schools in the Top-100.

Top Praise from Top Drawer 
UCSB was recently mentioned by TopDrawerSoccer.Com as one of 14 teams named as NCAA Division I title contenders in 2018. The Gauchos also had two players recognized among its National Top 100 list, with Faouzi Taieb coming in at No. 55 and Rodney Michael at No. 79. Within the Big West, Top Drawer ranks six Gauchos in the Top 20 with Taieb at No. 2, Michael at No. 3, Ignacio Tellechea at No. 5, Carson Vom Steeg at No. 9, Alan Carrillo at No. 10 and Adrian Adames at No. 19.

Vom Steeg Captures Career Win No. 250
Entering his 20th season at the helm of the UCSB soccer program, head coach Tim Vom Steeg needed just two wins to reach No. 250 for his career, and the Gauchos did not waste any time. With two convincing wins over opening weekend, Vom Steeg reached the milestone. "It was nice to get 250 on a night like tonight," Vom Steeg said on reaching the milestone after a 3-1 win over UC Riverside last Sunday. "I enjoyed the way our team played tonight and I liked our effort, so it's very rewarding. It is an incredible challenge to take a new group of players every single year - which we end up having to do quite a bit here at UCSB - and make it work. But for me, I'm hoping this year will be not 250, but 270. Our goal is to rack up as many wins as we can and keep this thing going."

All in the Family 
Carson Vom Steeg, a current USA youth international player, 2017 NCAA Champion at Stanford and son of UC Santa Barbara head coach Tim Vom Steeg, will return home and play for the Gauchos this fall. The second eldest of Tim Vom Steeg's four sons, Carson will carry on the family tradition as the third Vom Steeg to play for UCSB. He will follow in the footsteps of his older brother Justin, who led the Gauchos to the Round of 16 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and is currently playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, as well as his father/coach Tim, who was a four-year letterwinner from 1985-88. Carson played in 18 games as a freshman defender at Stanford and is currently a member of the US Men's National Team U20 player pool.

He's One to Watch
Junior defender Faouzi Taieb (Marseille, France/St. Francis Brooklyn) was one of 32 players named to the prestigious MAC Hermann Watch List, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year. Before he has even played a game for UCSB, Taieb becomes the eighth Gaucho all-time to be named to the watch list joining Tyler Rosenlund (2005), Andy Iro (2006, 2007), Eric Avila (2007), Chris Pontius (2008), Sam Garza (2011), Ismalia Jome (2014) and Nick DePuy (2016). Taieb was a sensational defender the past two seasons for St. Francis Brooklyn, earning NEC Defensive Player of the Year accolades as a sophomore and NEC Rookie of the Year as a freshman.  

Preseason Poll
UCSB was tabbed to finish second in the Big West this season after the annual Preseason Coaches' Poll was released in August. The Gauchos received 55 points and three first-place votes, coming a close second to reigning Big West Tournament champion Cal State Fullerton, who received 57 points and four first-place votes. CSUN (47) came in third, while UC Davis (40) was picked fourth and received the lone remaining first-place vote. UC Irvine (30), Sacramento State (23), UC Riverside (21) and Cal Poly (15) rounded out the rest of the poll. After being split into the North and South divisions for the past six seasons, the Big West will return to a single division for 2018 and beyond.