San Diego State on Slate For Friday, Big West Opener Sunday
Sept. 24, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009 at 4 pm
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (5-1-1) at San Diego State Aztecs (1-2-2)
at SDSU Sports Deck
Game available on Gametracker
UC Santa Barbara will open its Big West Conference schedule on Sunday in a home match with defending league champion UC Irvine, but before taking on the Anteaters, the Gauchos will head to San Diego State for a Friday afternoon pairing with the Aztecs.
Scouting The Aztecs
San Diego State enters the week with a 1-2-2 overall record. The Aztecs will enter Friday's match well-rested as they played just one match last week - a 2-2 tie against Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Aztecs hold a 17-12-3 all-time record against the Gauchos, but UCSB has won the last six pairings. The last match-up between the teams was on Nov. 11, 2006 in the NCAA Tournament First Round; the Gauchos won, 2-1, and eventually went on to win the national title.
Scouting The Anteaters
No. 23 ranked UC Irvine enters the week with a 5-2-0 record and will play Princeton at San Diego State on Friday before making the trek to Santa Barbara. Last week, the Anteaters split a pair of home contests, falling to Saint Mary's 2-1 in double overtime before defeating Sacramento State, 2-0. UCSB carries a 30-13-3 advantage in the all-time series with UCI, but went 1-2 against the Anteaters in 2008. The last contest between the two teams was the Big West Championship game on Nov. 15, 2008 when Irvine took the conference crown with a 4-2 victory.
Another Tournament, Another Gaucho MVP
UCSB has played in two tournaments this season and has come out of both undefeated and with a MVP honor. At last weekend's 36th Annual Panther Invitational, sophomore Danny Barrera was picked as the tourney's MVP. The midfielder scored the game-tying goal in the 86th minute against Wisconsin on Sunday, preventing a UCSB loss and sending the match into overtime. He also led UCSB with a total of four shots-on-goal over the weekend. Barrera's goal against the Badgers was his second of the season, setting a new career high for the sophomore. He is currently tied for third on the team with David Walker with eight points and is tied for second with Luis Silva for assists with four.
Sophomore Luis Silva picked up all-tournament team honors on Sunday after playing an integral part in keeping the Gauchos undefeated in Milwaukee. The midfielder scored the game-winner in the 27th minute against host Milwaukee on Friday and then assisted Barrera's game-tying goal in the 86th minute against Wisconsin. Silva's goal was his first of the season while the assist was his fourth, tying Barrera for second on the team while also tying his career-high for helpers.
Waid Wows In Wisconsin
Last weekend was apparently the weekend of the Gaucho sophomores as Waid Ibrahim also played a major roll in UCSB's success. The transfer from Santa Barbara Community College scored his second goal of the year in the 47th minute of the match-up with Milwaukee after assisting Silva's game-winner in the first half. For his standout play, Ibrahim was named to the all-tournament team as well.
UCSB 2, Mexico 1
On Tuesday, UCSB hosted an exhibition match with the Mexican U-17 National Team. The game gave many of the Gaucho freshmen and sophomores to gain valuable playing time. Despite being out-shot 30-16, the Gauchos came away victorious, winning 2-1 in double overtime. Sophomores Peter McGlynn and Joe Eubanks scored the Gauchos' goals, but it was sophomore goalkeeper Trond Helge Takset that was named UCSB's Player of the Game. Takset tallied eight saves in the win, including a stopped penalty shot in the 10th minute.
Ain't Nothing Breaking His Stride
Senior David Walker didn't let a little hand surgery get in the way of him playing this past weekend. The forward injured his hand during the Loyola Marymount game on Sunday, Sept. 13, had surgery the following day and didn't miss a beat, starting the game against Milwaukee on Friday. Walker, who is tied with a team-leading four goals on the season, played a total of 89 minutes between the weekend's two games and started both. He currently ranks 68th in the country, along with teammate Martin Hedevag, with an average of 0.57 goals per game.
Lucky Number 13
In the NCAA Division I stats that were released on Monday, UC Santa Barbara was ranked 13th in the nation for scoring offense. The Gauchos have put away 17 goals this season for an average of 2.43 per game. That's almost a goal more per game than the 1.86 goals UCSB averaged in 2008.
Senior Martin Hedevag had his scoring streak stopped at three games last weekend, but he still is the team-leader for goals along with Walker with four goals this season (all headers). He is also second on the team with nine total points. Hedevag has gone 4-for-5 in his shot attempts for a team-leading .800 shot percentage. He's currently ranked 89th among all Division I players for points per game (1.29) and ranks 68th for goals per game (0.57).
The Firing Squad
UCSB is outshooting its opposition 107-51 this season with 45 (.421) shots on-goal. Danny Barrera leads the team with 17 shots while Michael Tetteh has tallied 15. UCSB has out-shot its opponents in all but one game - the 2-0 shutout of West Virginia - and had a season-high 22 shots in the tie with Wisconsin. The Gauchos also tied their season-high of nine shots on goal against the Badgers, matching their total from the match-up with Loyola Marymount.
Nonni Knows Goals (And Assists)
Freshman Michael Nonni has had an impressive start to his collegiate career. The forward currently leads the Gauchos with 11 points on the season and is third on the team with three goals. Last weekend, Nonni took the team-lead when he recorded his fifth assist of the year on Waid Ibrahim's goal in the 47th minute of the 2-0 shutout of Milwaukee. He ranks 38th nationally for points per game (1.57) and 15th for assists per game (0.71).
Sam I Am
Junior Sam Hayden has played every minute in goal for the Gauchos and has posted 16 saves, including a season-best four in consecutive games against LMU and Milwaukee. He has posted a save percentage of .696 and a goals against average of 0.95. He has also recorded three shutouts against West Virginia, Rutgers and Milwaukee.
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.
Pulse On The Polls
UCSB is currently ranked in five national polls. After a win and a tie last week, the Gauchos are now ranked second in the Far West region by the NSCAA/adidas poll and are ranked seventh nationally. UCSB moved up one spot to the No. 9 position in the Soccer Times poll and maintained its No. 13 ranking in the College Soccer New Poll. Soccer America has the Gauchos in the No. 11 spot and TopDrawerSoccer.com is still giving the Gauchos their highest position at No. 6.
On The Horizon
Mark your calendars for Oct. 2 when the Gauchos will take on No. 13 Indiana for Fox Soccer Channel's "Game of the Week." The game will also serve as the five-year anniversary celebration of UCSB's 2004 College Cup Final appearance.
Thank You Santa Barbara Air Bus!
Long time supporter of Gaucho Athletics, Santa Barbara Airbus, is the official sponsor of Sunday Night's game vs. UC Irvine. Santa Barbara Airbus is pleased to announce its new program, "Cruise Ship Connections," which services the Long Beach and San Pedro Harbors. Now you can enjoy the same great service and fares you have come to expect when flying out of LAX for your vacations as well. Call 964-7759 or visit www.sbairbus.com for more details.
Get Your Tickets!
To purchase tickets to 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 ceremony during the October 2 game vs. Indiana.
Kids To College Night
Sunday's game against UC Irvine will be a Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College Night. The UCSB Kids to College Program, provided by the Santa Barbara News-Press, is designed to give local youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of athletics events at the collegiate level in person. UCSB and the Santa Barbara News-Press invite all youth (eighth grade and under) to attend Sunday's game and receive free admission. For more information, call (805) 893-UCSB.