Gauchos Gear Up For Sacramento State With Playoff Spot on the Line

Charlie Miller and the Gauchos celebrate a golden goal (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Charlie Miller and the Gauchos celebrate a golden goal (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Sacramento State (2-8-3, 0-5-0)
Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Overall record vs. the Hornets: 8-3-1
Last meeting: W, 2-1 (10/31/12 @ Sac St)
UCSB Streak: Won 6
UCSB Streak vs. Sac St.: Won 6
Sac State Streak: Lost 5
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• Handling the Hornets
Historically, UCSB has the upper hand in the series with Sacramento State. The Gauchos have won each of the last six matchups. The Hornets' last win came all the way back in 1997. Things have been even tougher for Sac St. at Harder Stadium. Since losing the first matchup ever between the two teams in 1992, UCSB has gone 5-0-1 against the Hornets at home.

• Rankings Roundup
After their win over UC Davis on Saturday, the Gauchos moved up one spot in the NCAA's RPI, from No. 3 to No. 2. It is believed to be the highest ranking in program history. The Gauchos were also ranked in both national polls that were released on Monday, coming in at No. 17 in the College Soccer News rankings and No. 18 in Top Drawer Soccer's listings. The NSCAA, Soccer America, and College Sports Madness all release their polls on Tuesday.

• Playoff Potential
UCSB will be able to clinch a spot in the Big West Tournament with either a win or draw against Sacramento State. If the Gauchos do so, they will be a postseason team for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.

• Hot Streak
The Gauchos are in the midst of a six-game win streak, their longest since 2010. The Gauchos have outscored their opponents 13-4 during the streak. The last time UCSB had a seven game winning streak was also in 2010. At six games, they currently have the longest unbeaten streak in the Big West Conference.

• Conference Killers
UCSB's 5-0 start to conference play matches a program record, which was accomplished in 2009. That team went on to finish with an 8-1-1 record in the Big West. UCSB has never won it's first six league games. A win or draw against Sac St. will give the team its best ever start to conference play. The last time UCSB had a five game conference win streak was in 2011, while their last six game streak came in 2010.

• Working Overtime
The Gauchos have won three straight matches in overtime. It is just the third time in program history that UCSB has participated in three straight OT games, and only the second time that the Gauchos have won three consecutive games in overtime (2004). The Gauchos have never played four consecutive overtime games.

• Conference Honors
With today's announcement that Drew Murphy won the Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week award for his three-point night against the Aggies, the Gauchos have had a Player of the Week honoree in each of the last three weeks. Peter Schmetz and Josh McNeely were the previous recipients.

• Gauchos on the Leaderboards
Here are some notable UCSB ranks in Big West overall team stats: points (third, 70), goals (third, 23), assists (third, 24), goals against (first, 13), shutouts (fifth, four), fouls (first, 257), corner kicks (third, 71).

• Filling the House
So far this season, UCSB is leading the conference in both home (3,161 fans per game) and overall (2,282 per game) attendance. 25,286 fans have gone through the Harder Stadium turnstiles so far this season.

• Finding Form
In Big West conference play, UCSB leads all teams in goals scored (12, three ahead of second place Cal State Northridge) while ranking second in goals allowed (four, one more than first place CSUN).

• Nationally Notable
Here are some notable UCSB ranks among all teams in the NCAA: goals (29th, 23), win percentage (22nd, .714%), total assists (20th, 24).

• Schmetz the Scorer
With three goals in his last seven appearances, senior center back Peter Schmetz leads all UCSB defenders in scoring. He had just one career goal entering the 2013 season.

• Garcia-Lopez Climbs Into the Side
Junior fullback Kevin Garcia-Lopez has appeared in each of the last six games after only entering play in two of the team's first eight games. He scored the game-winning golden goal at UC Irvine on Oct. 13. It was his first career goal.

• Murphy Making a Name
Freshman midfielder Drew Murphy was named the Big West Offensive Player of the Week for his one goal, one assist performance at UCD. The goal the first of his career. He has points in four of the last five games, totaling seven points over that span. He ranks first in the conference and 11th nationally with his seven total assists. He is tied for second among Big West players with seven points in conference play.

• Campion Continues Strong Play
Senior striker Achille Campion has been on a nice run of form lately, notching goals in three of his last four games and picking up points in four of his last five. He is two-for-two on penalty kicks this season. He ranks third in the Big West in goals (six), while also appearing in the top-10 for points (fourth, 14) and shots (6th, 33). In conference play, he tied for the lead among all Big West player in goals (three) and game-winning goals (two) while tying for second in points (seven). His six overall goals are ranked 48th in the country. The Gauchos are 5-0 when Achille scores a goal. Campion has registered a shot in every game but one so far this season. Overall, he has tallied 12 goals in 21 appearances as a Gaucho.

• McKenna Cracks the Scoresheet
Junior winger Reed McKenna scored his first career goal on Oct. 13 at UC Irvine after being held off the scoresheet in two years at UCLA. Though he didn't receive an assist due to a deflection, McKenna created Murphy's goal against UCD with a cross from the right wing.

• Miller Time
Both of sophomore forward Charlie Miller's two goals this season have been game-winners.

• Brockway Play
Sophomore defender Brandon Brockway has played in two of the last three games after missing eight of the team's prior 11 games due to injury.

• Jome Party
Freshman winger Ismaila Jome ranks fourth in the Big West and 49th in the country with his five total assists. Though he has no points in his last three games, he had picked up points in each of the three games prior. He scored his first career goal on Oct. 6 at home against UC Riverside.

• UCSB Marshall
Sophomore defender/midfielder Marshall Cazares snapped a six-game appearance streak against UC Davis as he sat out with a red card suspension. He is expected back in the lineup against Sacramento State.

• Dependable DePuy
Freshman defense/midfield hybrid Nick DePuy has featured in all 14 of the Gauchos games this season as a true freshman.

• McNeely Stands Out in Goal
With a personal record of 9-3, freshman goalkeeper Josh McNeely ranks first in the conference in goals against average (0.79), second in shutouts (four), and third in save percentage (.778, just .011 behind leader Cesar Castillo). His GAA places him 33rd in the NCAA.

• Boyoko There When It Counts Most
Senior forward Goffin Boyoko's strike against UC Davis snapped a four game goalless streak. The Frenchman's four game-winning goals are tied for the lead among all players in the Big West. His five goals are good for 87th in the NCAA. UCSB is 4-0 this season when Boyoko scores a goal. He also has the highest shooting percentage (.263) among UCSB forwards.