No. 2 Seeded UCSB to Host No. 3 Cal Poly in Big West Semifinal

Nov. 9, 2010

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, November 8, 2010 at 7 pm
UC Santa Barbara (11-4-3, 7-2-1) vs. Cal Poly (8-6-3, 5-3-2)
Series record vs. Mustangs: 41-14-5
Last meeting: L, 2-1 (2OT) on Oct. 27
Streak vs. Mustangs: L1
Game available on Gametracker
Broadcast LIVE on AM 1290 and UCSBgauchos.com

• It's Tourney Time
UC Santa Barbara carries the No. 2 seed into this week's Big West Conference Tournament, the winner of which will receive the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos will face No. 3 seeded Cal Poly in the semifinals on Wednesday with the winner advancing to the championship match against the winner of the semifinal between No. 1 UC Irvine and No. 4 Cal State Fullerton.

• A Little History Lesson
This marks the third season that the Big West has held a conference tournament in men's soccer. UCSB has advanced to the championship game in each of the previous two tournaments only to fall to UC Irvine both years. The Gauchos faced Cal Poly in the tournament semifinal in 2008 and tied the Mustangs, 2-2, before defeating them in a penalty kick shootout, 4-3. The Gauchos lost 4-2 that year at UC Irvine in the title game. Last season, UCSB went into the tournament as the No. 1 seed and knocked-off Cal State Northridge in the first round, 1-0. The Anteaters took the championship game, 4-1, three days later.

• Home Sweet Harder
UCSB has posted a 7-1-1 record in matches at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium this season and has won its last seven at home. The Gauchos have also gone undefeated against Cal Poly in the last 11 matches played between the two teams at Harder Stadium (10-0-1). The Gauchos have gone 235-119-40 (.647) all-time at Harder Stadium and 90-23-13 (.772) since Tim Vom Steeg took over the program in 1999.

• Mustang Musings
Cal Poly enters Wednesday's match with an 8-6-3 overall record and earned the third seed into the conference tournament after going 5-3-2 in Big West play. The Mustangs have gone undefeated in five of their last six contests, posting a 4-1-1 mark in that span. Cal Poly is coming off of a pair of wins over Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge last week. Reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Week David Zamora leads the Mustangs with 14 points (5 goals, 4 assists) while current Big West Defensive Player of the Week Patrick McLain has posted five shutouts and a 0.97 goals against average.

• The Series vs. Cal Poly
UCSB leads the all-time series with Cal Poly 41-14-5 and has split this season's games with the Mustangs, 1-1. The Gauchos won their home match-up with Cal Poly on Oct. 12 with a 2-1 victory and then dropped an away contest on Oct. 27 by the same score in overtime.

• Working Overtime
UCSB's two matches with the Mustangs have both been decided by a single goal and have both been tightly contested. In the first meeting between the two teams, Luis Silva scored the game-winner in the 90th minute to prevent the two teams from going into overtime. The Gauchos did not get the same late-game heroics during their following meeting with the Mustangs and were forced to go into overtime after a 1-1 tie prevailed at the end of regulation play. Chris Gaschen scored just 2:17 into the first overtime period to carry Cal Poly to the victory. UCSB is 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.

• Silva Earns National Recognition
Junior midfielder Luis Silva was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week and the TopDrawerSoccer.com Men's Team of the Week after scoring both of the Gauchos' goals in their regular season finale against UC Riverside. Silva scored the eventual game-winner in the 58th minute and then added a second goal in the 72nd minute. The Los Angeles, Calif. native now has five goals on the season, which is tied as the most by a Gaucho in Big West games. He scored a quarter of UCSB's goals in conference play this season and had points in five of the Gauchos' last six conference contests (5 goals, 2 assists).

• Super Sam
Senior goalkeeper Sam Hayden had to make just one save on Saturday to collect his 24th career shutout with the Gauchos. He is now is tied for third in the UCSB record books for career shutouts with Kyle Reynish (2003-06); he would need three more to tie second-ranked Steve Tipping (1979-83). The senior has recorded a 0.72 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 17th nationally with his 0.69 goals against average and he ranks 27th with his .823 saves percentage.

• Garza Knows Goals
Sophomore forward Sam Garza ranks 30th nationally among Division I players for goals (9), 33rd for total points (23), 36th for goals per game (0.53) and 35th for points per game (1.35). He also leads the Big West in points per game while ranking second to UC Irvine's Amani Walker for shots (57), points, goals and goals per game. He is also second for shots per game (3.50) behind Cal Poly's Junior Burgos. 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 in points since Danny Mann did it in 1995 with 22.

• Assisted Living
Junior Danny Barrera leads the Gauchos and is second behind UC Irvine's Miguel Ibarra in the Big West with his seven assists. He tallied his 21st career helper on Luis Silva's second goal on Saturday, tying him for seventh on the UCSB career assists list with Will Gould (1986-89) and Scott Grasinger (1979-83). He is fourth on the squad with 13 points (3 goals, 7 assists).

• Freshman Phenom
Forward David Opoku is currently tied for second on the squad with Luis Silva for points (14). He has scored five goals and has tallied four assists, including the helper on Silva's game-winner against UC Riverside. He is one of four players on the team - along with Silva, Danny Barrera and Joe Eubanks - to score two game-winning goals this year.

• Pulse On The Polls
UCSB is currently ranked in the top-25 of five national polls. The Gauchos' highest current rank is No. 12 by Soccer America.

• RPI Report
The NCAA's fourth Ratings Percentage Index report was released on Tuesday and it has the Gauchos 40th on the list. UCSB has risen one spot from last week's ranking and is the highest rated Big West team; Cal Poly is 55th and UC Irvine is 62nd. The RPI, which is updated throughout the season, factors into the seeding and selection for the NCAA Tournament.

• Taking Shots
UCSB has out-shot its competition in every contest this year and has held the advantage for shots in its last 20 consecutive contests, dating back to its 2009 NCAA First Round game against Wofford (Nov. 19, 2009). The Gauchos are averaging 15.6 shots per game and led the Big West with an average of 17.9 shots in conference contests.

• Gaucho Goals
UCSB currently ranks 36th nationally for scoring offense with an average of 1.83 goals per game and currently ranks 29th nationally for total goals (33).

• Defensive Behavior
The Gauchos have limited their opposition to an average of 0.72 goals per match, which is tied as the second lowest all-time in the UCSB record books. UCSB is ranked 16th nationally for lowest goals against average (0.68) and is 15th with its .500 shutout percentage.

• Sitting Out
Sophomore defensive midfielder Machael David will sit out Wednesday's match after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against UCR. This will mark the first match he will miss this season. Prior to this week, he has only sat out 19 minutes of UCSB's 18 games.

• Red Card Woes
UCSB has struggled to keep its starting lineup in tact throughout the Big West season. Of the 11 regular season conference games played, the Gauchos have only been able to field its full starting lineup in five of those games due to red cards.

• Hayden Named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Sam Hayden 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 here.

• 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 168-65-25 record at the helm of UCSB and a 147-48-24 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.