SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's 2012 recruiting class, which includes Ema Boateng, the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year and Dion Acoff, a transfer from Creighton where he was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, has been ranked 10th in the nation by College Soccer News, it was announced today.
Boateng, a native of Ghana, helped Cate School to a 30-1-1 record over two seasons, including a perfect 22-0-0 mark last season. Boateng was named the CIF Division 7 Player of the Year after tallying 26 goals and 18 assists in the Rams' run to the championship. He was ranked No. 9 on College Soccer News' list of top recruits.
Acoff comes to Santa Barbara to close out his collegiate career. In 2011 the forward helped the Bluejays to a College Cup appearance and a 21-2-1 overall record. Acoff is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference honoree and was the league's Freshman of the Year in 2009. He garnered NSCAA All-Midwest Region Second Team honors as a sophomore. The Upland, Calif. native has played in 58 Division I contests and has posted 16 assists, five goals and 26 total points during his three seasons at Creighton.
UCSB also adds two other NCAA Division I transfers in junior defender Daniel Welsh (University of Maryland-Baltimore County) and freshman Brandon Brockaway (Redshirted at Oregon State in 2011). The Gauchos also welcome a duo of NAIA transfers in junior midfielder Goffin Boyoko (First Team All-NAIA at Auburn University Montgomery) and junior forward Achille Campion (Belhaven University).
UCSB will also add freshman goalkeeper Nick Savino (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown HS) as well as community college transfers forward Javier Castro (Mt. San Antonio College) and midfielder Cesar Castillo (Cerritos College).
Santa Barbara opens its season with an exhibition game against crosstown rival Westmont College on August 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium. After beginning the regular season with a trio of road games, the Gauchos will play their first home game on Friday, Sept. 7 against Valparaiso. In their second home game, they will host UCLA on Friday, Sept. 21. Two years ago, the two schools met at Harder Stadium and shattered the NCAA record for single game attendance. The Bruins open the season ranked second in the NSCAA/Continental poll. Big West Conference rival UC Irvine, which visits Harder Stadium on Oct. 5, starts the season ranked 13th in the nation. North Carolina is ranked No. 1 in the season's first poll.
To ensure that you don't miss a minute of the 2012 campaign, purchase your season tickets now. The popular Family Plan includes five tickets for just $178. This year, the plan will also serve as a Flex Plan with either two season passes and three GKids memberships or five tickets – it's your call! GKids remains the best value in town for kids with access to every regular season game in every sport while wearing your GKids t-shirt. Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here to purchase your season tickets.