UCSB Travels to Sac State Wednesday; Hosts UC Davis Saturday as Big West North Race Heats Up

Randy Mendoza (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Randy Mendoza (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 3:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at Sacramento State (7-6-1, 3-2-1)
Hornet Soccer Field - Sacramento, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Hornets: 13-4-3
Last meeting: Oct. 26, 2016 - UCSB def. CSUS, 1-0
UCSB form: W W T L T
CSUS form: T W L W L 
Video / Live Stats

Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis (7-6-2, 4-1-1)
Harder Stadium - Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Aggies: 22-9-5
Last meeting: Oct. 11, 2017 - UCD def. UCSB, 3-0
UCSB form: W W T L T
UCD form: T W L W W
Video / Live Stats

• Video Stream Available
UCSBGauchos.com will offer a live video broadcast through Big West TV. Gerry Fall, Voice of the Gauchos, will be on hand for play-by-play duty while Dylan Murphy will provide color commentary. A link to the broadcast can be found on the UCSB men's soccer schedule page or by clicking here

• Last Week in Review
UC Davis snapped the Gauchos six-match unbeaten streak on Wednesday in Davis, Calif. behind a 3-0 shutout victory. The Aggies scored an early goal in the 16th minute and added two more in a span of a nearly one minute in the second half to pull away. The loss is the second in-a-row to UC Davis dating back to last season. The Gauchos have never lost three straight to the Aggies. 

In the most anticipated match of the season, UCSB battled Cal Poly to a scoreless draw in front of 10,293 fans at Harder Stadium on Saturday night to kick off the Blue-Green Rivalry. It was the fifth straight season the game aired on Fox Sports Prime Ticket, and the fourth consecutive year the game has ended in a draw. It was also the second straight season the match ended in a scoreless draw. UCSB freshman keeper Alan Carrillo came up with three huge saves to help the Gauchos to their sixth shutout of the year. 

• History with the Hornets
UCSB has a dominant history against Sacramento State, holding a 13-4-3 all-time advantage against the Hornets. Last year, the Gauchos settled for a 1-1 tie at home before topping the Hornets 1-0 on the road. Sacramento State last beat UCSB in 2015, with a big 5-2 win at home. The Hornets are coming off a 2-0 loss to division leader, UC Davis, and sit just one point behind the Gauchos in the standings. They are led by sophomore midfielder Christian Webb, who has six goals this season, while freshman forward Justin Bedig has been one of their top playmakers with two goals and six assists. 

• UC Davis Rematch
After falling to the Aggies on the road 3-0, the Gauchos will look for redemption at home in a pivotal match that could determine first-place in the Big West North Division. UCSB currently sits in second and is looking for its fifth straight conference title. Prior to Wednesday's match last week, the previous 11 meetings between UC Davis and UCSB were decided by either one goal or ended in a draw. Since divisional play began in 2012, UCSB is 33-11-12 in regular season conference games with five of those 11 losses coming against the Aggies. 

• Attendance Record
The 10,293 fans in attendance on Saturday night for the UCSB-Cal Poly Blue-Green Rivalry match is the highest attended men's soccer game in the NCAA in 2017 and ranks as the 21st highest attended men's soccer game in NCAA history. Since the 2007 season, 19 of the top 53 regular season crowds in NCAA history have come at matches between UCSB and Cal Poly. 

• Home Sweet Home
The Gauchos have enjoyed the friendly confines of Harder Stadium this season, going unbeaten in seven of their eight matches at home (4-1-3), compared to a 1-4-1 record on the road. In their previous homestand, UCSB was perfect, winning all five games, including an exhibition match against Club América U-20. Historically, UCSB has been dominant at home, with a winning percentage of .728 (138-44-24) in the Tim Vom Steeg era (since 1999). 

• Scoring Streak Snapped
After failing to score a goal in the first three matches of the season, the Gauchos rattled together nine straight games with at least one goal, including a five goal outburst against Cal State Fullerton. That streak came to an end on Wednesday at UC Davis after a 3-0 loss. In conference play, UCSB ranks second in the Big West with 10 goals and 11 assists for 31 points. 

• He's a Keeper
Freshman goalkeeper Alan Carrillo has been the anchor of a strong UCSB defense that has registered six shutouts in 14 matches this season. The La Mirada, Calif. native and St. John Bosco High School product has earned Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors twice this season, and came up with three game-saving stops against Cal Poly on Saturday. For the year, Carrillo now has 43 saves and leads the Big West with six shutouts and a goals against average of 0.96. 

• Michael Making his Mark
Freshman forward Rodney Michael has made an immediate impact this season and leads the team with five goals and four assists. Three of his goals and three of his assists have come during conference play where he ranks second among offensive leaders with nine points. Prior to last week's zero goal output from UCSB, Michael had tallied a point in seven of eight matches en route to a Big West Offensive Player of the Week award and another nomination. 

• RPI Ranking
In the latest NCAA men's soccer RPI rankings, released on Sunday, the Gauchos dropped to No. 108. Cal Poly still leads the Big West, coming in at No. 78, just two spots ahead of No. 80 CSUN. UC Davis ranks third among conference opponents at No. 93 and UC Irvine is fifth, after UCSB, at No. 112.

• 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. 

• 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 Carrillo, 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. 

•Ticket Information
Season tickets and individual game tickets are available online here or call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272).