Gauchos Head to the Desert to Open 2018 Regular Season Friday

Shaelan Murison had two goals and an assist in UCSB's 5-1 exhibition win over Westmont. Murison and the Gauchos open the regular season this weekend in Las Vegas. (Photo by Patrick Gee)
Shaelan Murison had two goals and an assist in UCSB's 5-1 exhibition win over Westmont. Murison and the Gauchos open the regular season this weekend in Las Vegas. (Photo by Patrick Gee)

The Schedule
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  

Game No. 2
Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Illinois-Chicago Flames
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 Roll to 5-1 Exhibition Win Over Westmont
UCSB jumped out to a 4-1 first half lead and cruised to a 5-1 exhibition win over visiting Westmont College on Aug. 11. Shaelan Murison notched the team's first score of the match in the 11th minute and then bookended scores by Madeline Gibson and Katherine Sheehy with another in the 44th minute, making it 4-1 at the break. Sydney Magnin added an unassisted goal in the 69th minute to make it 5-1. Santa Barbara outshot the Warriors 19-1, including 14-2 on goal. 

UCSB Opens Regular Season in Las Vegas
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's Peter Johan Field. 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. 

Murison, Sheehy Get Offensive in Exhibition Win
Junior forwards Shaelan Murison and Katherine Sheehy proved to be an explosive offensive combination in UCSB's 5-1 exhibition win over Westmont on Aug. 11. Murison, who produced a hat trick in a game as a freshman, tallied a pair of goals and one assist, while Sheehy had a goal and two assists. Murison was the Gauchos' third leading scorer as a sophomore with three goals and three assists for nine points. She enters her third campaign in Santa Barbara with seven goals, five assists and 19 points. Against the Warriors, the Santa Clara, Calif., native produced a game-high six shots, including four on goal. Sheehy is a transfer from Santa Barbara City College where she had 25 goals and 15 assists for 65 points in her two seasons. 

Climbing a Hill in Goal
Based on the fact that she started and played 77:48 of the exhibition game against Westmont, it would seem that freshman Natalie Hill has, for the time being, won the starting goalkeeper spot. Hill faced two shots against the Warriors and had one save. A 5-foot-7 native of Palo Alto, Hill played forward and midfield at Gunn High School, but she was a standout goalie for the Mountain View/Los Altos Soccer Club, starting four years in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). 

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 Maurer and Murison (mentioned earlier), 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).  

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).