Gauchos to Host UC Riverside, Celebrate Seniors on Saturday

Nov. 3, 2010

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• The Schedule
Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 7 pm

UC Santa Barbara (10-4-3, 6-2-1) vs. UC Riverside (6-10-1, 3-6-0)
Series record vs. Highlanders: 20-2-1
Last meeting: W, 4-3 (Oct. 17, 2010)
Streak vs. Highlanders: Won 3
Game available on Gametracker
Broadcast LIVE on AM 1290 and UCSBgauchos.com

• `Cause Saturday Night's The Night We Like
UC Santa Barbara (10-4-3, 6-2-1) will wrap up its regular season schedule this week when it hosts UC Riverside on Saturday in a Big West Conference match. The Gauchos will honor seniors Michael Boxall, Joe Eubanks and Sam Hayden prior to the beginning of the game. The Gauchos have gone undefeated in 12 of their last 14 games.

• Gauchos Lock-Up Hosting Duties For Big West Semifinals
With Saturday's scoreless draw at UC Irvine, the Gauchos are now guaranteed a second-place or better finish in the Big West regular season standings. That means that UCSB will host a Big West Tournament semifinal game on Nov. 10. UCI has also locked up a top-two finish with 20 points. The Gauchos still have a chance of capturing their seventh Big West regular season crown; if Irvine goes winless against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday and UCSB defeats UC Riverside, the Gauchos will capture the title outright.

• The Wild, Wild (Big) West
UCSB and UCI have secured hosting duties for next week's conference tournament and with a win over Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Cal Poly has secured a spot in the the four-team playoffs. Fullerton and UC Riverside are both still alive for bids. If Riverside wins Saturday, Fullerton will either need a result of a tie or better at UC Irvine or will need the Highlanders to score just one goal.

• Home Sweet Harder
After a pair of tough road matches, the Gauchos return to the friendly confines of Harder Stadium on Saturday. This season, UCSB has posted a 6-1-1 record in matches on Meredith Field and has won its last six at home. The Gauchos have gone 234-119-40 (.646) all-time at Harder Stadium and 89-23-13 (.770) since Tim Vom Steeg took over the program in 1999.

• Working Overtime
After playing four matches that needed extra time in September, UCSB had only played one in October entering last week's action. Then the Gauchos played two overtime matches, resulting in a loss at Cal Poly and a scoreless tie at Irvine. UCSB is now 1-3-3 in extra time this year with all but two of those contests taking place on the road. The Gauchos' seven overtime games are the most by the program since the 2004 season when they also played seven.

• Highlander Highlights
UC Riverside enters Saturday's match with a 6-10-1 overall record and a 3-6 mark in Big West play. The Highlanders have been picking up steam as of late, winning three of their last four matches. With the exception of its 3-0 loss to UCI in its Big West opener, all of Riverside's Big West matches have been decided by one goal. Ceasar Diaz leads the team with 13 points (5 goals, 3 assists) while Alex Raca has 12 points (5 goals, 2 assists) and Arnie Sanchez has 11 (3 goals, 5 assists).

• The Series vs. UC Riverside
UCSB leads the all-time series with UC Riverside 20-2-1 and has won its last three against the Highlanders. The two teams last squared off at UCR on Oct. 17 and the Gauchos prevailed through a roller coaster match to pick up the 4-3 win. UCSB's last loss to the Highlanders was on Oct. 11, 2006. The Gauchos have never lost to UC Riverside at home.

• Pulse On The Polls
UCSB is currently ranked in the top-25 of four national polls. The Gauchos' highest rank is No. 16 by Soccer America. Prior to last week, UCSB had been unranked in the NSCAA poll for six consecutive weeks, but it re-entered as the No. 19 team and is tied for 25th this week, which may not be a good thing. While ranked by the NSCAA this year, UCSB has gone 0-3-3 versus its 10-1 record while not listed in the poll.

• Gaucho Fans On Verge Of Another Record
UCSB's current average home attendance of 6,619 is on-pace to set a new NCAA Division I attendance record, surpassing the Gauchos' previous record set in 2009 (4,335). Even if no one showed up to Saturday's game against UC Riverside, UCSB will become the first school to average over 5,000 fans per game. Of the top-15 highest attended games this season, UCSB has hosted five - including the top-two - and has played in six.

• RPI Report
The NCAA's fourth Ratings Percentage Index report was released on Tuesday and it has the Gauchos 41st on the list. UCSB dropped below UC Irvine - which is now 40th on the list - for the first time. The RPI, which is updated throughout the season, factors into the seeding and selection for the NCAA Tournament.

• Sam's Shutouts
Sam Hayden recorded his 23rd career shutout against UC Irvine on Saturday. He is currently ranked fourth in the UCSB record books for career shutouts and is one away from tying third-ranked Kyle Reynish (2003-06). The senior has recorded a 0.74 goals against average during his two seasons with the Gauchos, which is on-pace to set a school record, surpassing Reynish's career average of 0.81. Hayden ranks 30th nationally with his 0.74 goals against average and is 33rd with .820 saves percentage.

• Hayden Named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Speaking of Sam Hayden, he was selected as a top-10 finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award is given annually to seniors that have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. Voting to determine the winner has begun and will run through Nov. 14 at seniorclassaward.com/vote.

• Sam I Am
Sophomore Sam Garza currently leads all Big West players for shots (54), shots per game (3.38), points (23) and points per game (1.44). He leads the Gauchos for goals (9) and points and is second on the team with five assists. On Oct. 23, he became the 19th Gaucho to record a hat trick (24 total have been scored in program history) when he posted three goals in a 4-0 win over Cal State Northridge. He currently ranks 32nd nationally for points per game, 27th for total points, 26th for goals and 32nd for goals per game (0.56). Garza will likely become the first underclassman to lead UCSB for goals in a season since Jaime Ambriz tied for the team-lead (8) as a sophomore in 1999 and he could be the first underclassman to lead the team for points since Danny Mann did in 1995 with his 22 points.

• Taking Shots
UCSB has out-shot its competition in every contest this year and has held the advantage for shots in its last 19 consecutive contests, dating back to its 2009 NCAA First Round game against Wofford (Nov. 19, 2009). The Gauchos are averaging 15.5 shots per game and lead the Big West with an average of 18.11 shots in conference contests. UCSB's current .473 shots on goal percentage is the best recorded by the program in the last six seasons.

• Gaucho Goals
After being limited to just one goal across last week's two games, UCSB has dropped from 20th to 34th nationally for scoring offense with its average of 1.82 goals per game. In Big West matches, UCSB is averaging 2.0 goals per game. The team's 31 total goals this season rank as the 24th most among all Division I men's programs. Saturday's shutout at UCI marked the fourth time the Gauchos were held scoreless this season, which is the most since the program was shutout six times in 2006, the same year it won the national title.

• Defensive Behavior
The Gauchos have limited their opposition to an average of 0.76 goals per match, which ranks as the fifth lowest all-time in the UCSB record books. UCSB is ranked 22nd nationally for lowest goals against average and is 28th with its .470 shutout percentage. Meanwhile, the Gauchos' opponents are averaging 8.4 shots per game.

• Freshman Phenom
Forward David Opoku scored the Gauchos' lone goal last Wednesday night in the 20th minute, tying the game at one-all. The goal was his second in as many games; he scored the game-winner in the victory over Northridge just 4:29 into the match. The freshman now has five goals on the season and has posted two game-clinchers. He is second on the team for goals and for points with 13 (5 goals, 3 assists).

• Luis Lights It Up
Junior midfielder Luis Silva has hit his stride lately, tallying points in five of the last six conference contests. He scored against Cal Poly (Oct. 12), UC Riverside (Oct. 17), and UC Davis (Oct. 20) and has assisted David Opoku's goals against Northridge (Oct. 23) and Cal Poly (Oct. 27). He is fourth on the team with 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists).

• Assisted Living
Junior Danny Barrera leads the Gauchos and is tied second in the Big West with his six assists. He tallied his 20th career helper against Northridge (Oct. 23), tying him for ninth all-time on the UCSB career assists list with Michael Zawianski (1983-86) and ninth in the Big West record books. He is third on the squad with 12 points (3 goals, 6 assists).

• The Vom Steeg File
In his 12th year leading the Gauchos, head coach Tim Vom Steeg is the winningest coach in Big West history. Vom Steeg has posted a 167-65-25 record at the helm of UCSB and a 146-48-24 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 eight 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.

• College Cup Tickets On Sale
UCSB is the proud host of the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup, which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. This marks the first time since the 2004 season that the Cup has been held on the West Coast. All-Session passes for the College Cup can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.

• Thank You Hotel Mar Monte
UCSB Athletics would like to thank Hotel Mar Monte for sponsoring Saturday's match against UC Riverside!

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