Gauchos Debut in Saturday Exhibition vs. Westmont

Christine Maurer (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Christine Maurer (Photo by Tony Mastres)

The Schedule
Exhibition Game
Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Westmont College Warriors at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
At UCSB's Harder Stadium 

Game No. 1
Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Sacramento State Hornets
At Peter Johan Field – UNLV 

Season Tickets Available
Season tickets for UCSB women's and men's soccer matches are available now. There are several affordable packages. For information or to purchase season tickets, call 805-893-UCSB, stop by the ticket office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or click here. Remember, UCSB hosts the 2018 NCAA Men's Soccer College Cup on Dec. 7 and 9.

Gauchos Open With Annual Exhbition vs. Westmont
UCSB will debut its 2018 team with its annual exhibition game against local opponent Westmont College. The Gauchos will open the regular season with a trip to Las Vegas. They will play Sacramento State on Friday, Aug. 17 and Illinois-Chicago on Aug. 19 with both games being contested at UNLV. UCSB will makes its regular season home debut on Friday, Aug. 24 when it hosts Boise State in a 5:30 game. The Santa Barbara men's team will host St. Johns in the second game of the Aug. 24 doubleheader.

A Quick Look Back
The 2017 UCSB women's soccer team finished the year with an overall record of 6-8-5 and a Big West mark of 2-4-2. The Gauchos jumped out to a 3-1 record before closing the season by going 3-7-5. 

Stumpf Returns for 20th Season
UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf returns for his 20th season. Stumpf has the most women's soccer coaching victories in school history and he will enter the regular season opener against Sacramento State with an overall record of 175-156-44. He is a two-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year (1999 and 2015) and he guided the Gauchos to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Maurer is Top Returning Scorer
Christine Maurer had a standout first season at UCSB and was named to the Big West's All-Freshman Team. She finished the year second on the team with six goals and 13 points. Maurer's six goals were the most by a Gaucho freshman since 2015. She also ranked second on the team with 44 shots and 21 on goal. 

More Top Scorers Return
Despite losing Amanda Ball, its leading scorer from 2017, UCSB returns eight of its top 10 scorers. In addition to Christine Maurer (6 goals, 1 assist, 13 points), the Gauchos welcome back Lynsee Voss (1 goal, 3 assists, 5 points), Madeline Gibson (1 goal, 2 assists, 4 points), Mallory Hromatko (3 assists, 3 points), Sydney Magnin (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 points), Colby Parker (2 assists, 2 points) and Amaya Zabalza (2 assists, 2 points). 

UCSB Adds Offensive Firepower
In addition to its returnees, Santa Barbara will add to its offense with newcomers. Leading the charge are freshman forward Jessica Wright (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines HS/Los Angeles Galaxy SD) and Katherine Sheehy (Altadena, Calif./La Cañada HS/L.A. Premier/Santa Barbara City College). Wright is a tall (5-9) and athletic player who Paul Stumpf likened to Genelle Ives, a former Gaucho who was Big West Offensive Player of the Year. Sheehy scored 25 goals and 15 assists in her two seasons at Santa Barbara City College. In 2017-18, she was named Second Team All-American, First Team All-West Region and Western State Conference North Player of the Year. 

Getting Defensive
The Gauchos also return several of their top defensive players from a year ago. Sophomore Amaya Zabalza, junior Colby Parker, junior Sophia Dertorossian and senior Ryan Kokoska combined to make 44 starts in 2017 and each should be back in the mix in 2018. There are a pair of defensive newcomers who will factor in as well in Jillian Arriola (Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes HS/Beach FC) and Lauryn Payne (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills HS/California Blues/Washington State). 

Goalkeeper Competition Heats Up
There is no clear-cut leader in the competition for the starting goalkeeper position. The Gauchos will be relying on a trio of players who have never played collegiately. Junior Hanna DeWeese has been on the roster for two seasons but has yet to enter a match. Natalie Hill (Palo Alto, Calif./Gunn HS/Mountain View Los Altos SC) and Mackenzie Hatanaka (Woodland, Calif./Woodland HS/Davis Legacy SC), a pair of freshmen, will also compete for playing time. According to Stumpf, Hill is "very good with her feet" and is "a good shot-stopper." Hatanaka is tall (5-9) and athletic.