Gauchos Return Home to Host UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge

Dion Acoff (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Dion Acoff (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Weekly Release No. 7

• The Schedule 

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 7 p.m.
No. 4 UC Santa Barbara (7-0-3, 1-0-1) vs. UC Irvine (3-7-1, 0-2-0)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
All-time record vs. Anteaters: 32-16-4
Last meeting: L, 3-2 (Nov. 12, 2011)
Broadcast live on KZSB AM 1290
Gameday Central: Video • Audio • Live Stats • Chat  

Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 5 p.m.
No. 4 UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Northridge (7-4, 1-1-0)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
All-time record vs. Matadors: 19-14-5
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (Nov. 1, 2011)
Broadcast live on KZSB AM 1290
Gameday Central: Video • Audio • Live Stats • Chat

• Home Sweet Home
The fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team returns to Meredith Field at Harder Stadium this weekend for its first pair of Big West Conference home contests. The Gauchos will face defending league champion UC Irvine on Friday at 7 p.m. before hosting Cal State Northridge on Sunday at 5 p.m.

• Get Your Tickets 
Fans can purchase their tickets to this week's games by visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.   

• Watch or Listen Live
Both of this week's games will be broadcast live on KZSB AM 1290, the Santa Barbara News-Press radio station. The Voice of the Gauchos, Gerry Fall, will be on hand to call all of the action for fans that can't make the trip out to Harder Stadium. Both matches will also be streamed live on where UCSB fans can also join in on a live chat during the match. 

• For The Record
Entering the seventh week of the season, UCSB remains unbeaten with a 7-0-3 overall record. The Gauchos opened league play last week with a win at then-ranked No. 24 UC Riverside, 3-1, before settling for a 0-0 double overtime tie at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday. The last time UCSB went undefeated through its first 10 games was in 2004 when it posted a  9-0-1 record to start the year. That team played 12 matches before suffering its first loss. UCSB is the lone West Coast program that has yet to lose this season.

• Pulse on the Polls
Following Sunday's draw, the Gauchos suffered a slight drop in most of the national polls. In the NSCAA and Soccer Times polls, UCSB fell one spot to No. 4, but remained the No. 1 Far West team in the former's rankings. The Gauchos also dropped from fifth to sixth in the Soccer America poll and from fifth to ninth in the rankings. UCSB's ranking by College Soccer News remained remained unchanged, which ranked the Gauchos No. 7 for consecutive weeks. 

• Cheers to Charlie
Redshirt freshman Charlie Miller had a big day last Friday. Making his first career start for the Gauchos, the forward played a part in each of Santa Barbara's goals in the 3-1 win at UC Riverside. He first assisted Ema Boateng's goal in the 13th minute. Then, in the 70th minute with the game tied at 1-1, he fed Nic Ryan the ball on a play the resulted in the eventual game-winning goal. To cap the evening off, Miller scored his second goal of the season to give UCSB extra insurance in the final minutes of the game. For his efforts, he was named the LA Soccer News Player of the Week. 

• Gauchos Know Goals
UCSB ranks 14th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 2.3 goals per game and 14th in total goals (23). The Gauchos also rank 16th in total points (65). Prior to Sunday's shutout at Fullerton, UCSB had scored a goal in its previous 22 games; Sunday marked the first time it was blanked since  UC Irvine handed the Gauchos a 2-0 loss on Oct. 1, 2011. In 15 of the last 19 games, the Gauchos have scored multiple goals. Junior Achille Campion, who is expected to return this week following an injury, leads the Big West in goals per game with an average of 1.83 and points per game with 0.83. 

• Getting Defensive
They say defense wins championships and if that is the case, the Gauchos could play into December. UCSB currently leads the Big West with the fewest goals allowed (8) and the best goals against average (0.75). Goalkeeper Austin Mansker's 0.69 goals against average also tops the league and ranks 24th nationally. UCSB's defense will be a man short on Friday when junior Daniel Welsh is forced to sit out due to a red card incurred during Sunday's match at Fullerton. 

• The Series
UCSB will be looking to break a two-match losing skid against UC Irvine on Friday. In fact, the Gauchos have not beaten the Anteaters since a 1-0 double overtime victory on Halloween in 2009. Since then, UCSB has gone 0-3-1 against UCI. Conversely, UCSB has won the last four straight against Cal State Northridge and has lost only twice in the last 11 meetings, posting an 8-2-1 against the Matadors since 2006.  

• Nationwide Leaders
UCSB has led the nation in men's soccer attendance the past five seasons and this season they may just do it again. The Gauchos' Sept. 21 crowd for the game against UCLA is the largest nationally so far this season. A total of 7,542 fans poured into Harder Stadium to watch the match with the Bruins.