Undefeated and Ninth-ranked Gauchos To Do Battle With Loyola Marymount This Weekend
Oct. 1, 2003
The Record: Overall 7-0-1 Big West 1-0-0
This Week's Schedule
Sunday, October 5th
#9 UC Santa Barbara 7-0-1 (1-0-0) - 1st in the Big West
vs. Loyola Marymount 5-3-1 (0-0-0) - 2nd in the WCC
5:00 p.m. in UCSB's Harder Stadium
The Defense Begins...
The second is always tough, but the third is even tougher, however the ninth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team got off on the right foot in its quest for a third consecutive Big West Conference Championship last week against Cal Poly. Extending their home unbeaten streak to 16 games, the Gauchos shutout the Mustangs 2-0 to open conference play. Junior defender Tony Lochhead took a free kick pass from senior playmaker Memo Arzate and rifled it through Cal Poly's defense for what proved to be the game-winner. The goal was just Lochhead's second of his career. The win was UCSB's 11th straight Big West Conference victory, and its 16th out of the last 17.
...and the Streak Continues
After picking up the midweek win over Cal Poly, the Gauchos ran their current win streak to seven games with a 3-0 road win over Sacramento State to remain undefeated on the season. Since tying San Jose State, currenlty ranked 23rd by Soccer America, 1-1 to open the season, UCSB has gone a perfect 7-0 to establish the fifth longest winning streak in school history. Memo Arzate drove in the game-winning goal off of a pair of passes by senior David McGill and sophomore Corey Wood. Santa Barbara now needs just one more win to equal the streak of eight straight set at the start of last season.
Unbeaten in 14 consecutive regular season games, UCSB's most important game of the season looms on the horizon when the Loyola Marymount Lions venture into Harder Stadium this Sunday. And although the Gauchos seem to have the advantage, playing on their home turf where they have not lost in their last 16 contests, everything goes out of the window when LMU comes to town. Currently 5-3-1 on the year, the Lions were just one of three teams to defeat the Gauchos last year. With both teams entering last season's showdown in Los Angeles undefeated, LMU walked away with a controversial 1-0 overtime win, after UCSB was forced to play a man down when Memo Arzate was given a red card in the 64th minute for a phantom punch. And although Santa Barbara holds the all-time series advantage at 14-10-1, the Lions have won the last six contests, four of which have been decided by one goal, three in overtime. UCSB last beat Loyola Marymount in 1995 by a 5-0 margin in Los Angeles. So with all of that said, there is no better test to prove to opponents just what how difficult of a place Harder Stadium has been to play in for visiting teams over the past couple of years than Sunday's match-up.
Memo to the Nation
Thanks in large part to his game-winning assist on Wednesday and his game-winning goal on Sunday, Memo Arzate became to second Gaucho this season to be named to both College Soccer News' and Soccer America's National Team of the Week. The senior playmaker ended the week with two goals and two assists while orchestrating UCSB's offense attack that has averaged 22 shots per game in the two contests. Arzate, who was twice named to CSN's TOTW last year, joins teammate Drew McAthy as the only other Gaucho to be named to either team in 2003. McAthy who tallied an assist in the Sacramento State match, was named to both teams in week two of this season.
Jonesin' for the Net
Now eight games into his first season as one of Santa Barbara's starting forwards, senior Neil Jones has already doubled his career goal total. Currently tied for 27th in the nation with linemate Drew McAthy with six goals apiece, Jones surpassed his preseason career total of five goals when he netted a pair of scores at Sac State, the first multi-goal game of his career. And adding in the three assists he has tallied in 2003, the New Zealand Olympic Teammer has now racked up a Big West leading 15 points, tying him for 17th in the nation. Jones has quickly become one of squad's go-to guys becuase of his proven ability to both score and distribute the ball. Of UCSB's seven wins, Jones is responsible for two of the game-winning goals and one game-winning assist.
It is quite evident by the national rankings, 7th by CSN, 9th in both the NSCAA & Soccer Times polls, and 14th by Soccer America, that UCSB has earned a reputation as one of the best programs in the nation. Over the past two seasons, the Gauchos have amassed a 25-3-2 overall record. In its last 16 matches, UCSB has gone 14-1-1, that lone loss coming in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Cal. And dating back to the end of the 2001 season, the Gauchos have a combined record of 30-4-2 in their last 36 games.
M & M's Will Kill You
No, not the candy, but Memo and McGill. Over the past two seasons, their has not been a deadlier midfield duo than UCSB's Memo Arzate and David McGill. The junior pair finished last season one and two in the conference in assists, and as two ofthe top-five assist men in the nation, Arzate second, and McGill fifth. Their senior campaign has shown to be no different, McGill's five assists ties him for 15th in the nation and are only second in the Big West to Arzate's six, the tenth highest total in the nation. And of the Gauchos 17 goals this season, Arzate or McGill has been directly responsible for, or involved in, 11 of them. In fact the two playmaking midfielders have combined on the same goal three times already in 2003, the last time coming on the game-winner at Sac State.
Gauchos Masonry Service
It seems junior goalkeeper Dan Kennedy has built a brick wall in front of the Gaucho goal. Thanks to the help of UCSB's stingy defense that has only been allowing an average of 11.0 shots per game in 2003. Kennedy has posted five shutouts already this season and is amidst a career-long streak of 395:21 cosecutive minutes without allowing a goal. The two-time All-Big West netminder has put up a remarkable goals against average of 0.36, the eighth lowest in the nation, and dating back to 2002 he has only given up three goals in his last 11 regular season games (0.27 GAA). Over the past 11 games, the Gauchos' defense has maintained it's stubborness of holding opponents to 11.0 shots per game.
Neil Jones Drew McAthy Memo Arzate David McGill Dan Kennedy 23rd (t) 31st (t) 11th (t) 14th (t) 8th 1.88 points/g 0.75 goals/g 0.75 assists/g 0.71 assists/g 0.36 GAA 17th (t) 27th (t) 10th (t) 15th (t) 7th (t) 15 points 6 goals 6 assists 5 assists 3 goals allowed 31st (t) 0.75 goals/g 27th (t) 6 goals
Shutout Percentage Goals Against Avg. Win Percentage 8th (t) 4th 3rd 0.62 Sho/g 0.36 GAA 0.938% 7th (t) 3rd (t) 4th (t) 5 Shutouts 3 goals allowed 7 Wins
Shots Sh Avg (rk) 1. McAthy 34 4.25 (1) 2. Jones 32 4.00 (2) 7. Arzate 20 2.50 (8)
Points Pts Avg 1. Jones 15 1.88 (1) 2. Arzate 14 1.75 (3) 3. McAthy 13 1.62 (4) 14t. McGill 5 0.80 (?)
Goals G Avg (rk) 1t. McAthy 6 0.75 (2t) 1t. Jones 6 0.75 (2t)
Assists A Avg 1. Arzate 6 0.75 (1) 2. McGill 5 0.71 (2) 4t. Jones 3 0.38 (7)
GAA GA Min Avg Sv Avg (rk) Sho 1. Kennedy 3 748:50 0.36 32 4.00 (4) 5 (1)
Goals/g G Avg 2. UCSB 17 2.12
Assists/g A Avg 2. UCSB 19 2.38
Points/g P Avg 2. UCSB 53 6.62
Shots/g Sh Avg 2. UCSB 154 19.25
GAA GA Avg 1. UCSB 3 0.6
Shutout/g Sho Avg 1. UCSB 5 0.62