May 1, 2003
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
UC Santa Barbara men's soccer players, Neil Jones and Tony Lochhead, have both been called up to play with New Zealand's National Team for an upcoming match in Japan. Jones and Lochhead, both veterans of international competition with the national team, will be playing for the first time on New Zealand's Olympic (under-23) squad.
"It will be a great experience playing in Japan," commented Jones, "it will be a good building block to help us qualify for the Olympics in January."
Lochhead and Jones have both played crucial roles in helping UCSB win two consecutive Big West Conference Championships and its first ever berth into the NCAA Tournament. However Jones noted that playing for the Gauchos is different, "It will be interesting to see how the American college game shapes up to the international game after playing here [at UCSB] for the past two years."
Lochhead, a two-time All-Big West honoree, talked about the opportunity to rejoin many of his teammates, "It will be fun to play again with the guy's that we played with on the U-20's for so many years. It will be nice to see where everyone is at."
The match between New Zealand and Japan will be played on March 21st in Japan. Results from the match can be found on the official site of New Zealand's National Soccer Team, www.soccernz.co.nz.