Oct. 30, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009, 7 p.m.
No. 4 UC Santa Barbara (12-3-1, 6-1-0) at No. 19 UC Irvine (12-4-0, 5-2-0)
at Anteater 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 hits the road on Saturday for a Halloween match-up with No. 19 UC Irvine at Anteater Stadium. The pairing is the second of the season between the Gauchos and Anteaters. UCSB picked up a 1-0 win over UCI at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium on Sept. 27 in its Big West Conference opener.
For the Record
After defeating Cal State Northridge, 2-0, on Wednesday at home, UCSB improved to 12-3-1 on the season and 7-1-0 at Harder. In fact, UCSB has won its last five home contests and has not given up a goal on its home pitch since the Sept. 13 loss to Loyola Marymount. The Gauchos' have already surpassed their total number of wins from the 2008 season (10-7-5) and are just two 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 6-1-0 in Big West games with the victory over the Matadors.
Big West Update
UCSB, which has a game in hand, is still tied with Cal Poly (6-2) at the top of the Big West leaderboard with 18 points. UC Irvine is in hot pursuit of the top spot and is third with its 5-2 record and 15 points. Cal State Fullerton (3-4-1) is fourth with 10 points and Northridge (2-4-1) and UC Davis (2-5-1) each have seven points for a fifth-place tie. UC Riverside (0-6-1) finally picked up a point with its tie against Fullerton last week.
A Little About the Anteaters
Since dropping its first two Big West matches of the season - including the Sept. 27 loss to UCSB - No. 19 UC Irvine has been on a tear, winning its last six games. On Wednesday, the Anteaters defeated Cal State Fullerton, 4-1, tying its season-high for goals. Irvine is second in the Big West behind the Gauchos with an average of 6.06 points per game and 1.06 goals allowed, and is tied for first with UCSB with an average of 2.0 goals per game. Amani Walker leads the squad and ranks first in the Big West with an average of 0.56 goals per game (nine total) and is second with an average of 1.31 points per game. Irving Garcia leads the conference with his eight assists (0.50 per game) and four game-winning goals. In goal, Andrew Fontein is second in the BWC with his 0.96 goals against average.
Gauchos vs. Anteaters: A Short History Lesson
UCSB leads the all-time series with UCI, 31-13-3. During the teams' previous meeting this year, the Gauchos got on the scoreboard in the 21st minute when Waid Ibrahim scored on a penalty kick, which carried UCSB to the victory. The Gauchos were out-shot 10-8 by the Anteaters, but Sam Hayden tallied five saves to help fend off Irvine. UCSB's last loss to Irvine was on Nov. 15, 2008 in the Big West Championship game; the Anteaters won 4-2.
We Defend Harder
The Gaucho coaching staff plainly stated that defense would be a priority this season and looking at UCSB's defensive performances so far, it's fair to say that the Gauchos had their priorities straight. In 2008, UCSB allowed 39 goals and posted a 1.67 goals against average across its 22 matches. So far this season, the Gauchos have allowed just 12 goals and have posted a 0.75 goals against average in their 16 games, which is on-pace to rank in the UCSB all-time top five for lowest average in a season. The Gauchos' 10 shutouts rank ninth on the Big West single season list. In the past eight games, UCSB has allowed just one goal.
Among The Nation's Best
As of Monday, the Gauchos were ranked 11th in the nation for scoring offense with their average of 2.0 goals per game, ranked sixth for shutout percentage (0.63) and 16th for won-lost-tied percentage (.781). UCSB's team goals against average (0.75) and save percentage (.821) rank 31st and 38th, respectively.
With his 10th shutout of the season against CSUN, goalie Sam Hayden now stands alone in fourth place on the Gaucho single-season shutouts list surpassing 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 0.75 goals against average, 10 shutouts and 0.62 shutouts per game. He is second with his .810 saves percentage and ranks fifth with 51 total saves. Nationally, he ranks 38th for goals against average and 50th for saves percentage.
A Balanced Attack
UCSB currently has six players that have scored four or more goals this season. Senior David Walker leads the pack with six goals this season, but freshman Michael Nonni and sophomores Danny Barrera and Waid Ibrahim are just one goal behind with five apiece. Sophomore Luis Silva and senior Martin Hedevag round out the list of players with multiple goals, each with four. Silva scored the game-winner on Wednesday and is tied with Ibrahim for the team lead with three game-winners apiece, ranking second in the Big West behind UCI's Irving Garcia.
Leading The Pack
Danny Barrera took the team lead for points and assists on Wednesday when he assisted Waid Ibrahim's goal. The sophomore now has seven helpers on the year and 17 points. He ranks third in the Big West behind Irving Garcia and Amani Walker for points and second for assists behind Garcia.
Getting A Little Streaky
Waid Ibrahim's goal against the Matadors was his second in two games - he had scored the game-winner against Fullerton on Saturday. Sophomore Machael David has tallied assists in back-to-back games, providing the helper to Luis Silva's game-winner on Wednesday after assisting David Walker's goal on Saturday. He now has three assists this year.
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 152-59-21 record at the helm of UCSB and a 131-42-20 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.
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 on Tuesday and it has the Gauchos 48th on the list of all Division I programs. The RPI factors into the seeding of the NCAA Tournament.
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 last Saturday. 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.
On The Air
New this year, all men's soccer games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 KIST and available for free online via audio streaming, making UCSB the only school in the nation to broadcast men's soccer matches live on commercial radio. Fans from all over the world can also hear the Gauchos' run to the NCAA Tournament online by clicking here. Saturday'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. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.
Soccer Town USA
UCSB is currently on course to break the modern-day men's soccer attendance record. The Gauchos are averaging 4,541 fans per game, and with at least one home match 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.