Aug. 14, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In yet another program first, the defending NCAA National Champion UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team will open the season with a No. 1 national ranking after the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) released its preseason Top-25 on Tuesday.
The Gauchos, who return a total of 21 letterwinners and six starters from last year's squad that finished 17-7-1 overall and defeated UCLA in the national championship, earned the program's highest preseason ranking to date when they were tabbed No. 3 in the College Soccer News Top-30 preseason poll on July 27.
Tuesday's ranking from the NSCAA - and the No. 3 nod from CSN - eclipse the previous high of No. 4 that UCSB earned before the start of the 2005 season following its memorable run the year before. Despite spending a total of seven weeks as the nation's top-ranked squad and advancing to the national title match in 2004, UCSB has never earned a No. 1 ranking to begin a season.
Santa Barbara entered the 2006 season with a No. 21 preseason ranking from College Soccer News and No. 22 mark from the NSCAA.