Gauchos Return to Harder, Host San Diego and Sacramento State

Gauchos Return to Harder, Host San Diego and Sacramento State

Sept. 23 Weekly Release

• The Schedule 
Friday, September 23, 2011, 7 p.m.
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (4-1-1) vs. San Diego (3-3-0)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Series Record vs. Toreros: 9-6-0
Last Meeting: W, 1-0 (Nov. 22, 2009)
Radio Broadcast • Live Stats • Live Streaming 

Sunday, September 25, 2011, 5 p.m.
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (4-1-1) vs. Sacramento State (3-2-1)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Series Record vs. Hornets: 5-3-1
Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (Sept. 28, 2003)
Radio Broadcast • Live Stats • Live Streaming  

• This Week In Gaucho Soccer
Eighth-ranked UCSB returns home this week to host a pair of non-conference contests at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. The Gauchos face San Diego on Friday before hosting soon-to-be Big West Conference member Sacramento State on Sunday. 

• Tune In
Fans unable to make it to Friday's match can tune into AM 1290 KZSB, the Santa Barbara News-Press Radio Station, for a live broadcast of the game. Gerry Fall will be calling the play-by-play and Mark Patton will handle color commentary. This match is the second of 13 scheduled men's soccer broadcasts this season. AM 1290 will also air the Oct. 5 pairing against defending NCAA Champion Akron, all home and away Big West Conference matches and all postseason play. You can listen online here. Both of this weekend's games will also be streamed live on BigWest.TV and Sunday's match will be broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and

• For The Record
After suffering their first loss last Friday at UCLA, the Gauchos drop to 4-1-1 on the season. UCSB's five game undefeated streak to open the year marked its best start since 2004, when it went unbeaten through its first 12 games. The Gauchos will look to extend their 14 game home undefeated streak this weekend. 

• Pulse On The Polls
With their first loss, the Gauchos have slipped in the national polls. Four polls still rank UCSB as a top-10 team: College Soccer News (8), Top Drawer Soccer (8), Soccer America (9) and (9). The Gauchos dropped from sixth to 13th in the NSCAA poll and from seventh to No. 11 in the Soccer Times poll. UCSB is ranked as the No. 4 team in the Far West by the NSCAA, after being ranked second last week and No. 1 two weeks ago. 

• James Be Jammin' 
Senior James Kiffe was given free range to run on Friday and he took full advantage, scoring his first goal of the season in the 35th minute. He also drew a penalty inside the box leading to the Gauchos' second goal - a converted penalty kick by Sam Garza. Kiffe's goal against the Bruins was the second of his career at UCSB. 

• Big David's Big On Goals
Sophomore David Opoku, the 2010 Big West Freshman of the Year, has gotten off to a great start this season, scoring a team-leading four goals across six games, including three of the squad's four game-winners. Opoku is just two goals away from tying his total from the 2010 campaign and leads the Big West in game-winning goals and goals per game (0.67). He is also second in the league with an average of 3.67 shots per game. Opoku ranks 40th nationally among all Division I players in goals and ranks 42nd in goals per game. 

• 35 Minutes Or Less
UCSB has proven it can deliver fast. In five of the Gauchos' six matches, they have scored in the first half. In fact, the Gauchos' first goal in each of those contests has been scored in the first 35 minutes. 

• Getting Defensive
Despite having their three-match shutout streak snapped by the Bruins, the Gauchos rank 25th nationally with their .50 shutout percentage. Goalkeeper André Grandt strung together 353:22 shutout minutes before UCLA's Chandler Hoffman poured in a hat trick. That marked the first time since the Oct. 17, 2010 game against UC Riverside that the Gauchos allowed three goals in a game - a span of 14 games. 

• Offensive Behavior
UCSB ranks 44th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 1.83 goals per game, which is nearly identical to its 1.82 goals per game average from the 2010 campaign. Meanwhile, the Gauchos have out-shot their opposition 90-66 with 41 of those shots coming on-frame. UCSB is averaging 15 shots per game.

• Dynamic Duo Trio
Speaking of UCSB's offense, the majority of the Gauchos' output thus far is coming from a trio of 2010 All-Big West performers: Opoku, Sam Garza and Luis Silva. The three have combined for eight of the team's 11 goals and have also taken 55 of the Gauchos' 90 shots, including 27 of the 41 shots on-goal. 

• Kick In A Box
Through just six games, UCSB has already earned three penalty kicks and converted two of those. In each of the last seven seasons, the Gauchos have never earned more than three PK's in a year. The last time they exceeded that total was in 2003 when UCSB converted a whopping seven out of seven PK opportunities. 

• Lights, Camera, Action
UCSB will once again have two of its home matches televised live nationally as part of the NSCAA College Game of the Week on Fox Soccer Channel. The Gauchos' first televised match will be their Oct. 5 pairing with defending NCAA champion Akron. UCSB will then welcome Fox Soccer back to Harder Stadium on Nov. 4 when the Gauchos host rival Cal Poly. 

• The Vom Steeg File
In his 13th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is the winningest coach in Big West history. Vom Steeg has posted a 175-67-26 record at the helm of UCSB and a 154-49-25 record since the program rejoined the Big West in 2001. Vom Steeg is also the winningest coach in UCSB men's soccer history and has turned the Gauchos into an annual national title contender. The 2004 and 2006 NSCAA National Coach of the Year, Vom Steeg guided the Gauchos to the NCAA title in 2006 and the championship game in 2004. He has guided UCSB to five Big West titles in the past nine years and nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He won Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004, 2005 and 2010 and has produced 16 All-Americans. 

• UCSB Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
UCSB Athletics is proud to once again celebrate diversity through its "Gauchos Give" community outreach commitment by promoting awareness of Hispanic Heritage Month. The national celebration runs every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. 

1,500 free tickets have been set aside for Hispanic businesses or charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Clubs of Goleta and Santa Barbara, Casa De La Raza, Santa Barbara High School, Querencia, the Goleta Homework Club, Hispanic Business Magazine, the Children's Museum, The Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Spanish Soccer League, Marborg Industries, Univision, Santa Cruz Market, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic, Citrix Online, Deckers, Hayward Lumber and the City of Goleta. The tickets will be for home men's soccer matches on Sept. 23 (Univ. of San Diego), Sept. 25 (Sacramento State), Oct. 1 (UC Irvine), Oct. 5 (defending national champions Akron) and Oct. 11 (Cal State Fullerton).