September 15, 2009

Gauchos Head East For Pair of Matches in Wisconsin

Sept. 15, 2009

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• The Schedule
Friday, September 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (4-1-0) vs. Milwaukee Panthers (1-4-0)
at Engelmann Field
Game available on Gametracker

Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 10 am
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Wisconsin Badgers (1-2-0)
at Engelmann Field
Game available on Gametracker

• Wisconsin Or Bust!
Following a split of last week's two home contests, the Gauchos will head to Wisconsin this week for their final out-of-state road trip of the regular season. UCSB is slated to take on host Wisconsin-Milwaukee in its opening game of the 36th Annual Panther Invitational on Friday at 5:30 pm (PST). UCSB will also face Wisconsin at the tournament on Sunday at 10 a.m.

• Trail Of The Milwaukee Panther
Wisconsin-Milwaukee enters this week with a 1-4-0 record. The Panthers paid a visit to Northridge, Calif. last weekend and took on two of three-consecutive Big West opponents. So far, the conference has prevailed over Milwaukee with both Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge defeating the Panthers, 2-1. In fact, all of Milwaukee's games this season have been one-goal decisions. UCSB has posted a 2-0-0 all-time record against the Panthers with the last win coming on Sept. 7, 2007 via a 2-0 score.

• Badgering Wisconsin
Wisconsin enters the weekend with a 1-2-1 record and also spent last weekend on the left coast, where the Badgers faced San Diego and San Diego State. They dropped their match against the former, 3-0 before falling, 3-2 in double overtime to the Aztecs. Sunday's pairing will be the first between the two programs.

• It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst of Times
The Gauchos shutout Rutgers on Friday evening by way of a 4-0 score in front of the Fox Soccer Channel cameras and a season-best crowd (3,925) to improve to 4-0-0 on the season, the best start to a season by the Gauchos since 2004. The win over Rutgers also marked the Gauchos' third-straight win over a Big East school. Unfortunately, the UCSB win streak was snapped on Sunday when Loyola Marymount defeated UCSB, 2-1, at Harder Stadium. The Lions' defense kept UCSB scoreless for 86 minutes, the longest UCSB has gone without a goal this season. With the split, the Gauchos enter the week with a 4-1-0 record.

• A Tale Of Two Halves
Sunday's game appeared to be just that. During the first half, UCSB was outshot 9-7 and outscored 2-0. The second half saw the Gauchos outshoot the Lions, 11-2, and outscore the team 1-0. In fact, six of the nine Gaucho shots-on-goal were during the second half. The single goal is the least the Gauchos have scored in a match this season.

• Headervag
Senior Martin Hedevag provided the lone Gaucho goal on Sunday in the 86th minute on a header assisted by James Kiffe and Danny Barrera. It was his second goal of the weekend, third straight game with a goal and fourth overall this season. All of the senior's goals this season have been headers and the four goals mark a career-high. In addition to his two goals last weekend, Hedevag also assisted Michael Nonni's goal on Friday against Rutgers. He is currently second on the team - behind Nonni - with nine points and is tied with David Walker as the team's goals leader. He's currently ranks 37th among all Division I players for points per game (1.8) and ranks 24th for goals per game (0.80). Hedevag has gone 4-for-5 in his shot attempts for a team-leading .800 shot percentage.

• Walker On The Mend
Senior forward David Walker injured his hand in the 13th minute of Sunday's game with Loyola Marymount. After successful surgery on Monday, Walker's prognosis is positive and he is expected to rejoin the team on the pitch within the next two weeks.

• He May Be A Walker, But He Sure Can Run!
Speaking of David Walker, the senior scored his fourth goal of the season in the 18th minute of Friday's game to set a new career-high for goals. He is tied with Hedevag as the team's goals leader this season and is third on the team with eight total points. Walker ranks 24th nationally among Division I players with his average of 0.80 goals per game.

• I Wanna Be Like Mike
Of the four goals scored in Friday's contest with the Scarlet Knights, Michael Tetteh had a direct role in three of them. The sophomore midfielder scored the second goal of the game in the 27th minute off a corner kick from Waid Ibrahim. It was his first goal of the season and the third of his career. Tetteh continued his offensive onslaught, assisting Martin Hedevag's goal in the 38th minute and Michael Nonni's in the 66th to end the game with four points.

• Seventh Heaven
In the NCAA Division I stats that were released on Monday, UC Santa Barbara ranked seventh in the nation for scoring offense. The Gauchos have put away 14 goals this season for an average of 2.8 per game. That's almost a goal more per game than the 1.86 goals UCSB averaged in 2008.

• Nonni Knows Goals (And Assists)
Freshman Michael Nonni has had an impressive start to his collegiate career. The forward currently leads the Gauchos with 10 points on the season and is third on the team with three goals. The rookie scored his third goal of the year in the second half against Rutgers on a header in the 66th minute. He also assisted David Walker's game-winner in the 18th minute. Nonni is tied first on the team with Danny Barrera with four assists on the year. He ranks 20th nationally for points per game (2.0) and 12th for assists per game (0.80) with Barrera.

• The Firing Squad
UCSB has already outshot its opposition 74-35 this season with 33 (.446) shots on-goal. Three Gauchos lead the team with 11 shots apiece: David Walker, Michael Nonni and Danny Barrera. In fact, Barrera took a team and season-high five shots in the loss to LMU with three on-frame.

• Pulse On The Polls
UCSB is currently ranked in five national polls. After hitting a season-high No. 4 ranking in last week's TopDrawerSoccer.com poll, the Gauchos dropped to No. 8 after Sunday's loss. The Gauchos are ranked ninth nationally by the NSCAA/adidas and third in the Far West region behind Cal and UCLA. UCSB has dropped four spots in the Soccer Times poll, to the No. 10 spot, but moved up one place in the College Soccer News poll to No. 13. The Gauchos biggest drop was from No. 7 to No. 19 in Soccer America.

• I Am Sam
Junior Sam Hayden has played every minute in goal for the Gauchos and has posted 11 saves, including a season-best four in the loss to LMU. He has posted a save percentage of .647 and a goals against average of 1.17. He has also recorded a pair of shutouts against West Virginia and Rutgers.

• Gauchos Picked First In Big West Preseason Poll
In a vote of the Big West men's soccer coaches in August, UCSB was predicted to win the league championship. The Gauchos garnered a total of 45 points in the poll and picked up four first-place votes. Defending conference champs UC Irvine claimed second-place in the poll with two first-place votes and 40 points. Cal Poly rounded out the top-three with 34 points. The Gauchos will begin their 2009 Big West schedule when they host UC Irvine on Sept. 27, which is the next UCSB home contest.

• Vom Steeg On The Verge
In his 11th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is currently just four wins away from becoming the winningest coach in Big West history. Currently, Vom Steeg has recorded a 144-57-20 record at the helm of UCSB and a 118-40-19 record since the program rejoined the Big West in 2001. Jose Elgorriaga, formerly of Fresno State, holds the record with 126 wins with the Bulldogs.Vom Steeg is already the winningest coach in UCSB men's soccer history and has turned the Gauchos into an annual national title contender. The 2004 and 2006 NSCAA National Coach of the Year, Vom Steeg guided the Gauchos to the NCAA title in 2006 and the championship game in 2004. He has guided UCSB to five Big West titles in the past eight years and seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He won Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005 and has produced 15 All-Americans during his 10 years with the program.

• UCSB Adds Exhibition With Under-17 Mexican National Team To 2009 Schedule
The Gauchos will host Mexico's U-17 National Team in an exhibition on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. The Mexican team, which won the U-17 World Championship in 2005, has qualified along with the USA for the 2009 U-17 World Championship to be held in Nigeria on Oct. 24. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here, via phone at 893-UCSB, in person at the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office and at the following in-store locations throughout the Santa Barbara and Central Coast area: Aggressive Soccer (Santa Barbara and Goleta), Extreme Soccer (Santa Barbara and Oxnard), Guadalajara Market (Santa Barbara), Planet Soccer (Lompoc) and Soccer World (Santa Maria).

• Get Your Tickets!
To purchase tickets to UCSB soccer games, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.

• The Golden Scarf: A New Tradition
To reward and recognize our loyal soccer supporters, we will present the "Golden Scarf" to fans who have donated and/or purchased season tickets for five consecutive seasons. The scarves will be presented during a special halftime ceremony during the October 2 game vs. Indiana.