March 16, 2005
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Fresh off its appearance in this year's NCAA National Championship match, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team announces its schedule for next fall's 2005 season today. The Gauchos schedule is highlighted by its own season-opening UCSB Adidas Classic, featuring NCAA tourney participants Virginia and Cal, along with conference foe UC Riverside.
Santa Barbara's schedule will once again be one of the best in the nation, featuring a stellar non-conference lineup, and a packed Big West calendar that last season had the eighth highest RPI in the nation. All together, the Gauchos have a total of eight matches with teams who made this year's NCAA Tournament, with six of those teams advancing to the second round or farther.
Following a preseason exhibition match against crosstown rival Westmont in August, UCSB opens its season against Cal on Friday, September 2 against Cal in the Gauchos' first annual Adidas Classic. Santa Barbara then closes out its own tourney with a match against Virginia, which advanced to the Elite Eight of this season's NCAA Tournament.
Week two of the Gauchos 2005 campaign does not get any easier as they travel to Las Vegas to take part in UNLV's Fila Invitational where they will square off against Portland and Northwestern, both of whom advanced into the second round of the tourney.
UCSB will also face the rest of the best that Southern California has to offer when they face Loyola Marymount and UCLA later on in the season in Los Angeles. The Gauchos and Lions will meet up in late September on the campus of LMU, and the revival of the UCSB/UCLA clash will take place in mid October in Westwood.
And in what has turned into the battle for the Big West crown, Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge will first see each other on Saturday, October 8th in Harder Stadium. UCSB will be looking to retain its Big West Conference Championship trophy, having relinquished the title just once in the last four years, which was to the Matadors in 2003.
The Gauchos regular season finale is slated for November 12th in Harder Stadium against conference foe UC Irvine. UCSB will then look to return to the NCAA National Championship match, being played this season in Cary, North Carolina at the SAS Soccer Complex, hoping to trade in its silver trophy for the gold.
For the complete schedule click here.