November 5, 2013

Gauchos Head North to Tangle With Sacramento State

• The Schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. Sacramento State (3-10-3, 1-7)
Overall record vs. the Aggies: 9-3-1
Last meeting: W, 2-1 (2OT, 10/22/13 @ UCSB)
UCSB Streak/Form: Tied 2/WWWTT
UCSB Streak/Form vs. UC Davis: Won 7/WWWWW
Sacramento StateStreak/Form: Lost 1/LLLWL
Free online audio broadcast available at UCSBgauchos.com
Free video coverage available through Big West TV


• Handling the Hornets
Historically, UCSB has the upper hand in the series with Sacramento State. The Gauchos have won each of the last seven matchups. The Hornets' last win against UCSB came all the way back in 1997.

• Listen Live
Tomorrow afternoon's game at Sacramento State will be broadcasted live on both AM 1290 – Santa Barbara News-Press Radio – and UCSBgauchos.com. A link to the online broadcast can be found here.

• The Blue-Green Rivalry Continues This Saturday
UCSB will conclude their regular season schedule in a big way, as they will welcome the Cal Poly Mustangs to Harder Stadium for a showdown that will be televised nationally by Fox Sports on Saturday night. UCSB-Cal Poly matchups have produced some of the biggest crowds in NCAA history, including seven of the 12 highest attended regular season, on-campus games all-time. Last year's matchup at Harder Stadium drew 13,467 fans, the highest attendance for any match nationwide, while this year's clash at Cal Poly drew 11,075 fans, the most of any Division I match so far this season. Mark Rogondino and Jon Herz will have the call on Prime Ticket starting at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for the game and can be purchased here.

• Gauchos on Top
Though last month's tie with Cal Poly snapped a season-high seven game winning streak, UCSB still remains unbeaten in its last nine matchups. It is just the second time since 2008 that the Gauchos have gone eight straight without a loss, the other being last year's 11 game streak to open the season. UCSB hasn't lost in a over a month, with their last defeat coming on Sep. 27 to Stanford.

• We are the (Division) Champions
UCSB officially clinched the Big West North's top spot when Sacramento State beat UC Davis two weekends ago. It is UCSB's first league crown since 2009, and the 11th time in the last 12 seasons that the team will reach the postseason. As the top seed in the North, the Gauchos earn a bye in the first round of the conference tournament and the right to host at least their semifinal match.

• Poll Vaulting
With their recent form, the Gauchos have caught the attention of coaches and media nationwide. Tim Vom Steeg's squad is ranked higher then they have been all season in each major poll, with every publication listing UCSB in its top-15. Additionally, the Gauchos are ranked No. 5 in the NCAA RPI rankings, which is tops among all Big West schools. They have been as high as No. 2 in the RPI this season, which is believed to be the best ranking in program history.

• Last Time Out Against Sacramento State
Freshman winger Ismaila Jome scored his second career goal and assisted on another to lead No. 17 UC Santa Barbara to a 2-1 win over visiting Sacramento State on Oct. 22, becoming the first team to clinch a spot in the Big West Tournament while extending their best ever start to conference play with a sixth straight league win. Operating in space to the goalkeeper's right, the forward made a couple nice moves to get down the flank before whipping a cross into the box. His cross was deflected out by a Hornet, but Jome regrouped and snatched the ball back before it could be cleared. After juking past one Hornet, he sent a low shot past the diving keeper. Jome was heavily involved in the game's opening goal as well. Moving down the right touchline in the 22nd minute, Kevin Garcia-Lopez found himself swarmed by Hornets defenders, so passed to senior midfielder Fifi Baiden. Working in the central midfield, Baiden switched the play and sent a long ball down the left side to Jome, who dashed down the wing before playing a ball through the box to senior forward Goffin Boyoko. The French forward met Jome's pass with a first touch left footed shot into the corner on the near post.

• Filling the House
After drawing just under 50,000 fans into Harder Stadium last season, the Gauchos have now led the nation in attendance for six consecutive years, dating back to 2007. Last year's Cal Poly matchup saw 13,467 fans go through the Harder Stadium turnstiles, the most of any NCAA match in 2012. Overall, UCSB has four of the five highest on-campus regular season draws in NCAA history, including a record 15,896 against UCLA on Sep. 24, 2010.  This year's draw of 7,750 for the Stanford game was the largest crowd at Harder Stadium so far this season.