Mid-Week Rematch With Northridge on Tap for No. 4 UCSB
Oct. 27, 2009
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 7 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (11-3-1, 5-1-0) vs. Cal State Northridge (7-6-2, 2-3-1)
at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium
Game broadcast LIVE by KIST 1490 AM (streaming at UCSBgauchos.com)
Game broadcast LIVE by KCSB 91.9 FM
Game available on Gametracker
What's In Store
Fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara will conclude a two-match homestand this Wednesday when they host Cal State Northridge in a 7 p.m. pairing at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. The match-up is the second in two weeks with the Matadors; the teams last faced off on Oct. 17 when Northridge handed the Gauchos their only Big West Conference loss of the season with a 1-0 shutout at Matador Field. After Wednesday's pairing, the Gauchos will hit the road on Saturday, Oct. 31 for a 7 p.m. match at UC Irvine.
For the Record
UCSB enters the week with an 11-3-1 overall record. With Saturday's 2-0 win over Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos surpassed their total number of wins from the 2008 season (10-7-5) and are just three wins away from posting their winningest record since the 2006 National Championship season, when they went 17-7-1. The Gaucho record also improved to 5-1-0 in Big West games with the victory over the Titans.
Hayden and Walker Earn Weekly Awards
Junior goalkeeper Sam Hayden and senior forward David Walker earned national recognition this week for their part in UCSB's win over Fullerton. Hayden was named to both the Soccer America and College Soccer News Team of the Week after shutting out the Titans. Hayden posted five saves in the win. Walker was picked for the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week for the second time this year after posting a goal and an assist on Saturday.
Big West Update
UCSB, which has a game in hand, is currently tied with Cal Poly (5-2) at the top of the Big West leaderboard with a total of 15 points. UC Irvine stands alone in third place with its 4-2 record and 12 points. Cal State Fullerton (3-3-1) is fourth and Northridge (2-3-1) and UC Davis (2-5-1) each have seven points for a fifth-place tie. UC Riverside (0-5-1) finally picked up a point with its tie against Fullerton last week.
Scouting the Matadors
Cal State Northridge enters Wednesday's game with a 7-6-2 overall record and a 2-3-1 mark in Big West play. The Matadors have not won a game since their Oct. 8 win over the Gauchos. Last week, CSUN battled to a 0-0 double overtime tie with UC Davis (Oct. 21) and then fell, 3-1, at Cal Poly (Oct. 24). The Matadors are led by Cameron Sims, who has scored five goals on the year and leads the Big West in shots (60) and shots per game (4.00), and Sunghyun Kim, who has 11 points on the season (three goals, five assists). Northridge currently leads the Big West for shots with an average of 16.93 per game and is third in league with a 1.16 goals against average.
Gauchos vs. Matadors: A Short History Lesson
The all-time series between UCSB and Cal State Northridge has been a tight one with the Gauchos holding a narrow 15-14-5 advantage. The Gauchos, however, have not lost a home match vs. Northridge since Nov. 4, 1999 when they fell 1-0 in overtime. Since that loss, UCSB has posted a 6-0-2 record against the Matadors at Harder Stadium. Last year at Harder, the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie on Oct. 8, 2008.
The Gauchos are now ranked 11th in the nation for scoring offense with their average of 2.0 goals per game, rank sixth for shutout percentage (0.60) and 16th for won-lost-tied percentage (.767). UCSB's team goals against average (0.78) and save percentage (.815) rank 31st and 38th, respectively.
A Return to Form
After having a streak of five consecutive shutouts broken at Northridge on Oct. 17, UCSB returned to form against Fullerton on Saturday, shutting out the Titans for the 2-0 win. The shutout marked the ninth of the season for the Gauchos and fifth over a Big West opponent. In fact, UCSB has allowed just one goal in its last seven contests while outscoring their opposition 11-1 during those games. The Gauchos have posted an 8-1 goal ratio in Big West games.
With his ninth shutout of the season against Fullerton, goalie Sam Hayden is now tied for fourth on the Gaucho single-season shutouts list with Kyle Reynish, who posted nine shutouts in 2005. The school record was set in 2004 by Dan Kennedy with 13 total. Hayden currently leads all Big West goalkeepers with his 0.80 goals against average, nine shutouts and 0.60 shutouts per game. He is second with his .803 saves percentage and ranks fifth with 49 total saves. Nationally, he ranks 38th for goals against average and 50th for save percentage.
Walker, Don't Run
Senior David Walker helped lead the Gaucho attack on Saturday. The forward assisted Waid Ibrahim's eventual game-winning goal in the 25th minute and then went on to score his sixth goal of the season in the 33rd minute. Walker now leads the team for goals and is second for points (15) behind Danny Barrera and Michael Nonni, who have each tallied 16. Walker is in a three-way tie for second in the Big West with his six goals and is tied for third with UC Irvine's Amani Walker with an average of 0.40 goals per game. Nationally, Walker ranks 100th for goals per game and 107th for points per game (1.0). Walker's services will be unavailable on Wednesday, however, as he must sit out the game due to the accumulation of five yellow cards.
Leaders Of The Pack
As mentioned above, the Gauchos are led by freshman forward Michael Nonni and sophomore midfielder Danny Barrera, who have tallied 16 points apiece this year (five goals, six assists for both), which ranks second in the Big West. Nonni currently ranks second in the conference (behind UCI's Irving Garcia) and 53rd in the nation with an average of 1.23 points per game. Barrera is third in the conference and 99th in the country with a 1.07 average per game. Nonni's 0.46 assists per game rank second in the Big West (once again behind Garcia) and 31st nationally, while Barrera's 0.40 helpers per game ranks third in league and 47th nationally.
Pulse On The Polls
UCSB has been ranked in all five national polls every week of the season. For the fourth consecutive week, UCSB is ranked in the top-10 of every poll. This week's highest rank is No. 4 in the NSCAA poll, one place shy of the Gauchos' season-high No. 3 ranking from the week of Oct. 13. UCSB also currently ranks first in the Far West Region, according to the NSCAA. The Gauchos' other rankings this week are fifth by Soccer Times, sixth by TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News, and seventh by Soccer America.
The NCAA's second Ratings Percentage Index report was released today and it has the Gauchos 48th on the list of all Division I programs. The RPI factors into the seeding of the NCAA Tournament.
On The Air
All the remaining 2009 contests, including postseason matches, will be broadcast in Santa Barbara on KIST 1490 AM and online at UCSBgauchos.com. Wednesday's game will be broadcast live with Steve Wendt calling all the action and Barry Punzal providing color commentary.
UCSB Athletics also has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. Among this Tuesday's guests will be Tim Vom Steeg and senior defender Michael Boxall.
Soccer Town USA
UCSB is currently on course to break the modern-day men's soccer attendance record. The Gauchos are averaging 4,836 fans per game, and with at least two home matches left, should top the NCAA record of 3,629 fans per game set by New Mexico in 2005. The unofficial record is held by Connecticut, which averaged 4,297 fans a game in 1982. UCSB has led the nation in average attendance the last two years, averaging 3,435 fans in 2007 and 3,444 in 2008.
The Vom Steeg File
In his 11th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg became the winningest coach in Big West history on Oct. 7 when UCSB defeated Cal Poly, 1-0 and then won his 150th game last Thursday with UCSB's 3-0 victory over UC Davis. Vom Steeg has posted a 151-59-21 record at the helm of UCSB and a 130-42-20 record since the program rejoined the Big West in 2001. Vom Steeg is also 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.
Thank You Hampton Inn!
Wednesday's game is sponsored by the Hampton Inn. Not only does the Hampton Inn already provide complimentary breakfast and free high speed internet access to all its guests, but right now, you can take advantage of special rates for those visiting UC Santa Barbara. To book your stay, visit Goleta.HamptonInn.com or call 1-800-HAMPTON.
To purchase tickets to Wednesday's game, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.