Big West Play Gets Underway, Gauchos Host UC Davis Friday

Mallory Hromatko (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Mallory Hromatko (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

The Schedule
Game No. 12
Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (PDT)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
At UCSB's Meredith Field at Harder Stadium 
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Game No. 13
Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 at 7 p.m. (PDT)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters
At UCI's Anteater Soccer Stadium

Gauchos Open Big West Conference Play
UC Santa Barbara's non-conference portion of the schedule is complete and it will open Big West Conference play this weekend at home as it hosts UC Davis in a 7:00 p.m. game on Friday, Sept. 28. The Gauchos will play just one contest in the opening weekend of the 2018 league schedule. Next week, they will travel south to play UC Irvine (Oct. 5) and UC Irvine (Oct. 7). 

The Opponents
UCSB and UC Davis have played 18 times in a series that dates to 1983 with the Gauchos holding an 11-6-1 advantage. Last season, UCSB posted a 1-0 win over the Aggies. Santa Barbara and UC Irvine have played 32 times with the Gauchos holding a 20-10-2 edge. Last season, the Anteaters recorded a 4-1 win at Harder Stadium. 

Gauchos Surpass 2017 Win Total
UCSB's 2-1 win over Utah State on Sept. 16 was its seventh win on the season, a total that surpasses the win total that the 2017 Gauchos posted when they finished 6-8-5. A pair of defeats to powerful West Coast Conference teams Santa Clara (2-0) and Pepperdine (1-0) last weekend gives UCSB a 7-4-0 record as it enters league play this weekend. 

UCSB Ranked Sixth in West Region
Despite losing a pair of matches last weekend, the Gauchos are still ranked No. 6 in the United Soccer Coaches West Region poll. Santa Clara, which UCSB lost to 2-0, is ranked No. 1. Long Beach State (No. 2) and UC Riverside (No. 3) are other Big West schools ranked ahead of the Gauchos. 

Gauchos Close in on Goal Total From 2017
UCSB has scored 22 goals in its first 11 matches of the 2018 season, 2.00 per game. The Gauchos lead the Big West Conference in scoring and have been shutout just once this season. In addition, they have scored two or more goals seven times after having done so just four times in 2017. In fact, UCSB scored 24 goals in 19 contests last season and need just two in the eight remaining regular season matches to equal that output. 

DeWeese Seizes Her Opportunity
For a little over two seasons, junior goalkeeper Hanna DeWeese bided her time on the Gauchos' bench. Now, midway through her third year on the roster, DeWeese has moved into a starting role. The Carlsbad, Calif., native has played in six consecutive contests, including the last five as a starter. She has allowed seven goals in her 501:51 and she has 21 saves, including nine in last weekend's matches against fourth-ranked Santa Clara and Pepperdine. DeWeese has recorded wins over Cal (0 goals in 50:51), Fresno State (1 goal in 90:00) and Utah State (0 goals in 90:00). 

Murison Continues to Lead UCSB in Scoring
Through 11 games, junior Shaelan Murison continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West Conference in goals and points. Most recently, Murison scored a goal in UCSB's 3-2 loss at Weber State on Sept. 14 and she enters Friday's game against UC Davis with seven goals and three assists for 17 points. She has at least one goal in six of the last 10 matches after going scoreless in the season opener. The Santa Clara, Calif., native has now scored 14 goals and eight assists for 36 points, a figure that ranks her 23rd on the school's all-time list. Her 14 goals are tied for 16th in UCSB history. 

Deuces are Wild
Shaelan Murison has scored a team-leading seven goals for UCSB this season while six different players are tied for second with a pair apiece. Sydney Magnin, Christine Maurer, Jessica Clegg, Madeline Gibson, Jessica Parque and Jessica Wright have each scored two goals through the season's first nine matches. By contrast, last year's Gaucho team had just three players with two or more goals, including Maurer (6) and Murison (3).

General Assistance
While 10 different UCSB players have scored goals this season, eight have recorded at least one assist. Senior Mallory Hromatko leads the Gauchos and the Big West with five assists in her 11 matches. Senior Ryan Kokoska and junior Shaelan Murison are tied for second in the league with three assists apiece. Junior Katherine Sheehy has  a pair of assists while four others have posted one. 

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.

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 against Pepperdine with an overall record of 182-160-44. 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.