Gauchos Ranked 3rd in West, Travel to Weber State, Utah State

Madeline Gibson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Madeline Gibson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

The Schedule
Game No. 8
Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. (PDT)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Weber State Wildcats
At WSU's Wildcat Soccer Field in Ogden, Utah

Game No. 9
Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. (PDT)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Utah State Aggies
At USU's Chuck & Gloria Bell Soccer Field in Logan Utah 

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. 

Road Stretch Ends in Utah
UCSB will play the final two games of a five-game road stretch this weekend. The Gauchos will play at Weber State on Friday evening and at Utah State on Sunday. They are getting used to playing away as they have already played three true road games and two neutral site games. When UCSB returns home for its Sept. 21 game against Pepperdine, it will have played seven of nine games away from home. 

The Opponents
UCSB has an all-time record of 3-0-1 against Weber State and Friday's game will be the first meeting between the schools since 2013. The Gauchos are 7-1-1 against Utah State and the teams last played in 2016.

Gauchos Equal 2017 Win Total
UCSB enters its Friday game at Weber State with a record of 6-1 overall and 2-1 in true road games. With their six wins, the Gauchos have equaled their win total from all of 2017 when they posted a 6-8-5 overall record. Santa Barbara's only loss of the season came on Aug. 31 at the University of San Francisco but since then they have defeated Cal (3-2 in overtime) and Fresno State (2-1). The 6-1 start to the season is among the best in school history. The 6-1 start to the season equals the third best in school history. In 1989 UCSB began the year with a 12-0 record and in 2016 it opened at 8-0. The Gauchos also had 6-1 starts in 1987, 1991 and 1993.

UCSB Ranked Third in West Region
For the second consecutive week, the Gauchos are ranked third in the West Region rankings in the United Soccer Coaches poll. Santa Clara, which will visit Harder Stadium on Sept. 23, is ranked No. 1 in the region while Long Beach State is ranked No. 2.

The Comeback Kids
On Sept. 2 at Cal, UCSB overcame a 2-0 second half deficit to rally back for a 3-2 overtime win. It was an improbable comeback and one of the program's best wins in recent years. On Sept. 6, the comeback wasn't quite as dramatic, but the Gauchos overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit en route to a 2-1 victory at Fresno State. Senior defender Ryan Kokoska scored the equalizer in the 51st minute and junior Shaelan Murison tallied the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 75th minute. 

Murison Continues Goal-Scoring Binge
Junior Shaelan Murison is off to an outstanding start to the 2018 season. Murison enters Friday's game at Weber State with six goals and two assists for 14 points. She paces the Big West Conference in goals and points. Prior to going without a goal in UCSB's 2-0 loss at San Francisco on Aug. 31, she had scored at least one goal in three consecutive games. On Sept. 2 at Cal, Murison scored the game-tying goal in the 81st minute, sending the contest into overtime and on Sept. 6 at Fresno State, she scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick. She has now scored at least one goal in five of the last six matches. Murison has now scored 13 goals and seven assists for 33 points, a figure which ties her with Jen Codington and Lisia Telk for 25th on the school's all-time scoring list. Her 13 goals are tied for 17th in UCSB history.

Kokoska Scores First Career Goal at Opportune Time
Senior Ryan Kokoska picked a good time to score her first career goal, doing so in the 51st minute of UCSB's 2-1 come-from-behind win at Fresno State on Sept. 6. Kokoska, a defender, came into the match against the Bulldogs with no goals and four assists in her first 58 career games. In fact, in seven 2018 matches, the native of Carmel, Ind., has not only scored one more goal than her three previous seasons combined, she has also equaled her previous career totals for assists and shots. Kokoska entered the year with two assists and two shots in her career, this year she has already notched two assists and two shots. 

Seven Goal Outburst is Largest in 14 Years
The seven goals that UCSB scored in its 7-0 win over Illinois-Chicago on Aug. 19 were the most since an 8-2 victory over UNC-Charlotte on Sept. 10, 2004 and it was just the 11th time in school history that the Gauchos have scored seven or more goals in a game and just the fifth since the 1991 season. Also, the seven-goal margin was the program's largest since an 8-0 win over Idaho on Oct. 31, 2003.

Scoring Depth
Through just seven games, UCSB has had 10 different players score at least one goal and four have scored two or more. In addition to Shaelan Murison (6), Christine Maurer (2), Jessica Clegg (2) and Jessica Wright (2) have scored multiple goals. Also, eight different players have assists, led by Mallory Hromatko with five. Murison, Katherine Sheehy and Ryan Kokoska each have a pair of assists. In all, 12 different Gaucho players have scored at least one point this season.

The Stumpf File
UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf is in his 20th season at UCSB. Stumpf has the most women's soccer coaching victories in school history and he will enter Friday's game at Weber State with an overall record of 181-157-44. 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.