November 4, 2008

UCSB aims to set THE attendance record on Wednesday

Nov. 4, 2008

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 25 Cal Poly (10-4-4, 5-2-2) at UCSB's Harder Stadium Game broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM and streaming online at kcsb.org Game available on Gametracker

Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 11 UC Davis (12-3-3, 4-2-3) at UC Davis' Aggie Field Game available on Gametracker

• Set THE Record
UC Santa Barbara will aim to set the NCAA attendance record in its Nov. 5 game vs. Cal Poly, the Gauchos' final regular season home match. The current attendance record for a regular season home soccer match - played on a university site - is 12,224 which was done by Fresno State in 1987. The largest crowd UCSB has attracted was 11,214 on Dec. 4, 2004 against Virginia Commonwealth in the NCAA quarterfinals.

• Re-Writing History
With his 13th goal this season in the win over Cal State Northridge and an assist in the 3-1 loss to UC Irvine, senior Chris Pontius continues to etch his name in the UCSB history books. The goal, which set a career-high, ties him for eighth all-time for goals in a season. That gives the forward 28 goals for his career, tying him for fifth all-time with current assistant coach Neil Jones' mark set between 2001-04. Pontius has 65 career points, which is seventh all-time in Gaucho history. The goal vs. the Matadors also was the fifth straight game Pontius has scored a goal, a personal best and tied for the second-longest run in UCSB history. Pontius has taken 79 shots this year, tying him for fourth by a Gaucho in a single season and his 159 career shots ties him for sixth all-time.

• Points for Pontius
Pontius, a Hermann Trophy candidate, is ninth in the nation in total points with 30 and his 13 goals ties him for eighth nationally. He leads the Big West in shots with 79 (4.65 per game) and ranks 12th nationally in goals per game (0.76) and 14th in the nation in points per game (1.76). Those two totals also rank him second in the Big West, where he also trails UC Davis' Quincy Amarikwa in total goals (15 to 13). Pontius' three game-winning goals also ranks second in the Big West. Pontius' 13 goals this year are two more than he had last season when he was named the Big West Offensive Player of the Year.

• One Step Forward, One Step Back
Despite the victory over Cal State Northridge last week, the Gauchos fell in every national ranking because of the loss to UC Irvine. UCSB's highest ranking is 17, courtesy of Top Drawer Soccer. The Gauchos are ranked 19th in three polls - NSCAA, College Soccer News and Soccer Times. Soccer America ranks UCSB 21st. In the NSCAA Far West poll, the Gauchos are tied for third.

• Hard Luck at Harder
UCSB lost its third game at home this season, the most defeats at Harder Stadium since the 2000 season when they went 3-5-1. Overall the Gauchos are 75-19-10 at home under Tim Vom Steeg and despite the 4-3-1 mark there this year, UCSB holds a 29-7-6 home record since the start of the 2005 season.

• Otii's O-For Over
It had been a long time coming when Bongomin Otii scored his first goal this season during the victory over CSUN. The Denver, Colo. native scored on a breakaway for a 2-1 advantage, his first goal since Oct. 14, 2006. A 2006 Second Team All-Big West selection, Otii remains the only player in school history to score five goals in his first five games, which he did in 2006.

• Gauchos' Goals
With 35 goals through 17 games, UCSB is 18th in the nation in goals per game and tops in the conference, averaging 2.06. Within the Big West, the Gauchos have scored the most goals, are averaging the most points per game with 5.82 and the team's 29 assists are second in the league. UCSB's 284 shots are easily the most in the Big West. Defensively, the Gauchos have allowed the third-most goals, giving up 30, while their goals against average is second to last at 1.71.

• McGlynn Makes His Mark
Freshman Peter McGlynn, who has started 15 games this season, scored his first collegiate goal during the loss to Irvine - firing in a shot from 35 yards out. The Skerries, Ireland native is currently sixth on the team in minutes played with 1,222.

• RPI Ranking
UCSB's RPI - last released on Oct. 27 - is No. 14 in the nation, trailing only UC Davis (12th) among Big West schools. Two teams the Gauchos have played - Indiana and Wake Forest - rank first and third, respectively, in the latest RPI rankings. Cal Poly's RPI is 68th in the country.

• Poly Points
Cal Poly - ranked as high as 25 by Soccer America - enters Wednesday's match one point ahead of the Gauchos in the Big West standings and needing a win to clinch the regular-season title, which would be the program's first in its 15-year history. The last time the teams played, however, Chris Pontius scored 10 seconds into the second overtime in San Luis Obispo for a 1-0 victory. The Mustangs are led by goalie Eric Branagan-Franco, who ranks first in the Big West with a 0.84 goals against average and .824 save percentage, while tallying a league-best seven shutouts. Branagan-Franco made 10 saves in the Oct. 17 game vs. UCSB, tied for the most by an opposing goalkeeper this season. Offensively, senior midfielder Julian Alvarez and sophomore forward David Zamora lead Cal Poly with 14 points each while sophomore F/MF Kyle Montgomery has dished out nine assists, second in the Big West. Overall, the Gauchos are 39-13-2 vs. the Mustangs.

• About the Aggies
After opening Big West play 3-0-2 and in the midst of an 11-game unbeaten streak, UC Davis has gone 1-2-1 and are in third place. The Aggies, ranked as high as No. 11 by College Soccer News, defeated the Gauchos 2-0 on Oct. 11 ending UCSB's goal-scoring streak at 31 games, which had been the longest active streak in the nation at the time. Davis is led by Big West goal-scoring leader Quincy Amarikwa, who has 15 goals and 31 total points. The senior averages 0.88 goals per match and 1.82 points per game, both tops in the Big West. The Aggies also boast Big West assists leader Dylan Curtis, who has tallied 10 this season, an average of 0.56 per match. Overall, UCSB holds a 10-4-3 advantage over the Aggies.

• Africa Outreach
The Gauchos are running a donation drive to bring needed sports equipment to Africa. Donations of new or used sports equipment, clothing or shoes are greatly appreciated. Items can be dropped off at the Gauchos' final regular season home game on Nov. 5 vs. Cal Poly.