• The Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge (5-5-1, 0-1-1)
Performance Soccer Field - Northridge, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Matadors: 23-16-5
Last meeting: Oct. 8, 2016 - UCSB def. CSUN 2-1
UCSB form: W W W W
CSUN form: L L L T
Video / Live Stats
Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine (5-4-2, 0-1-1)
Anteater Stadium - Irvine, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Anteaters: 37-17-4
Last meeting: Oct. 6, 2016 - UCSB def. UCI 1-0
UCSB form: W W W W
UCI form: W L L T
• Big West Begins with a Bang
UCSB picked the right time to start a winning streak and made it four-in-a-row with wins against Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside while opening Big West action. After scoring just five goals through the first eight games of the year, the Gauchos exploded for eight goals in two games, topping Cal State Fullerton 5-2 and UC Riverside 3-1. Against the Titans on Thursday, UCSB got a boost from the return of students to campus and thus a large crowd on hand at Harder Stadium. After trailing by a goal at two separate stages in the game, the Gauchos put together an incredible second half with four goals, including two goals just 19 seconds apart to regain the lead. Derek Kryzda, Sahid Conteh and Adrian Adames scored their first career goals for UCSB while Ignacio Tellechea and Rodney Michael each added to their team-high goal tallies. The win was the 14th straight regular season victory over the Titans at Harder Stadium.
Against the Highlanders on Saturday, UCSB rallied from another deficit to win 3-1 behind a season-high 25 shots and 13 shots on goal. Senior defender Alex Liua netted the equalizer in the 38th minute before Noah Billingsley and Michael tacked on a goal apiece in the second half. With the win, the Gauchos extended their unbeaten streak to six (4-0-2) against UCR.
• Matadors Matchup
The Gauchos will ride its four-game winning streak into Northridge on Thursday for a matchup against the Matadors. CSUN is coming off of a 1-1 draw with UC Davis after starting Big West play with a 1-0 loss at Sacramento State. The Matadors are 2-1 at home while the Gauchos have yet to win a match on the road this season (0-3). CSUN is led by All-Big West senior forward Emmanuel Usen Jr., who leads the team with five goals and two assists. Freshman forward Daniel Trejo has four goals and one assist this season. Henrik Regitnig has seen all but 24 minutes in goal this year and has tallied 41 saves with one shutout and a 1.36 goals against average.
• Anteaters Preview
UC Irvine is coming off of a 3-3 draw against Sacramento State in which they scored the equalizing goal in the 90th minute to force overtime. The Anteaters trailed 3-1 in the match before taking advantage of a Hornets red card in the 83rd minute. In its Big West opener, UCI dropped a 2-0 match at the hands of UC Davis. The Anteaters are averaging 1.82 goals per game while allowing 1.36 and are led by senior midfielder Giovanni Godoy, who has six goals and one assist. Junior Ivan Canales has contributed five goals and Daniel Crisostomo leads the team with six assists.
• Michael Making his Mark
Freshman phenom Rodney Michael continues his stellar play and earned Big West Offensive Player of the Week after tallying two goals and two assists in the opening week of conference play. The Freetown, Sierra Leone native and Dunn School product assisted twice and scored a goal in a 5-2 offensive breakout win over CSF before tacking on the final goal in a 3-1 win over UCR. The goal was an impressive one, as Michael sprinted through the defense from 40 yards out going untouched before rifling a shot into the left corner of the goal. The fleet-footed forward is tied with Tellechea for team-high honors with four goals this season and ranks third in the Big West with 11 points (four goals, three assists).
• Home Sweet Home
UCSB just completed a perfect stretch at Harder Stadium by winning all five of its matches, including an exhibition against Club América U-20, after not having any wins entering the homestand. The Gauchos have fared much better at home this season and are unbeaten in six of their seven matches (4-1-2) while having lost all three of its matches on the road. Historically, UCSB has been dominant at home, with a winning percentage of .729 (138-44-23) in the Tim Vom Steeg era (since 1999).
• Kings in the North
The Gauchos find themselves in a familiar place, alone atop the Big West North Division standings. While early, UCSB is 2-0 with six points while Sacramento State (1-0-1) and UC Davis (1-0-1) have four and Cal Poly (1-1) has three. Overall, the North Division combines for 17 points while the South has just five, with CSF being the only school with a win.
• RPI Ranking
The NCAA released its men's soccer RPI rankings on Sunday and the Gauchos come in at No. 94. Second in the Big West only to Cal Poly, who sits at No. 54. UCSB is three slots ahead of Cal State Fullerton (No. 97) while UC Irvine is the fourth-ranked team in the conference at No. 105.
• Tale of Two Septembers
After starting the season 0-4-2 and losing its first four matches in September, the Gauchos finished the month on a four-match winning streak, and five-in-a-row if you include a 2-1 exhibition win over Club América U-20. It is the second consecutive season that UCSB has had both a four-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak. Prior to the last two seasons, that had not happened since 1994.
• Big West Dominance
The Gauchos are seeking their fifth straight Big West North Division title and they have dominated the conference with a 26-5-9 record over the past four seasons. With its big win over Cal State Fullerton last week, UCSB improved its record in conference openers to 5-0-1 over the past six years.
• He's a Keeper
Freshman goalkeeper Alan Carrillo has made an immediate impact for the Gauchos in his debut season, leading UCSB to four shutouts so far. The La Mirada, Calif. native and St. John Bosco High School product has played all but one half in goal, for a total of 895 minutes, and leads the team with 28 saves. Carrillo earned Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors after an impressive first week of the season where he recorded two shutouts. He tallied a career-high eight saves against San Diego earlier this year and totaled four in two matches this past week.
• Injury Report
The Gauchos will be without star midfielder Kevin Feucht for the 2017 season after the reigning Big West Midfielder of the Year suffered an ACL injury during the first day of training camp. Feucht, a two-time First Team All-Big West and NSCAA Far West All-Region selection, led UCSB with 11 goals while adding two assists during his junior year.
• Don't You Noah?
Sophomore New Zealand native Noah Billingsley was selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference team alongside Kevin Feucht, and is the only active player on the roster to have scored a goal during the 2016 season. Billingsley, an All-Big West Freshman Team selection, finished last season with two goals and three assists and figures to see an increased role on the offensive end in 2017.
• Incoming Impact
The Gauchos incoming class was ranked as the No. 15 recruiting class in the nation by College Soccer News. California Gatorade Player of the Year from Dunn School, Rodney Michael, leads the group of signees and will factor in prominently on the attacking front. Michael was also named to Top Draw Soccer's Preseason Best XI Freshman Team. In the exhibition against Westmont, UCSB featured a defense full of newcomers that included goalkeeper Alan Carillo, Adrian Adames, Frazer Poulter and Kavian Kashani. At forward, Ignacio Tellechea will be a factor as well after transferring from West Virginia Tech, where he scored 20 goals last season.
• Big West Preseason Poll
For the fifth consecutive season, UCSB was selected by the eight conference head coaches to repeat as Big West North Division Champions. The Gauchos have yet to let any of the voters down as they have claimed the title each of the past four seasons and will look to continue the trend in 2017. UCSB earned six-out-of-eight first place votes and garnered a total of 28 points while UC Davis was picked to finish second with 25 points and one first place vote. Cal Poly received the only other first place vote and ranked third with 17 points while Sacramento State rounded out the poll in fourth with 10 points. Cal State Northridge tallied 30 points and six first place votes to lead the South Division Poll.