Nov. 15, 2004
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Top-ranked UC Santa Barbara took the No. 9 seed in the 2004 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, and will host the winner of San Francisco vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee after its first round bye. The 2004 Big West Champions will be partaking in their third consecutive NCAA Tournament after advancing to last season's Sweet 16.
UCSB finished the regular season with a 17-2-1 - second best in the entire nation - overall record and will host either the Dons or Panthers on Tuesday, November 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Harder Stadium.
"We played a tremendous non-conference schedule and great results, and we finished winning our last six games, so we are definitely disappointed with the seeding because we felt we had the right to play more home playoff games," said head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "On the other hand it is hard not to be disappointed when you see your name go up on the screen because that is not something that has happened very often for [UCSB men's soccer]. The only thing different now is that we have to go out and win on the road. But your first game is always the hardest, and right now that is what we have to go out do."
Senior co-captain Drew McAthy expressed the same sentiments, "We were obviously disappointed with the seed, but in the end it doesn't change anything that we have got to do. We still have to go out there and pick up three wins to get us to the College Cup and then do the job down there. In the end we will be excited to have a good run at it."
The Gauchos are 2-0 in NCAA Tournament games played in Harder Stadium since they first appeared in the postseason tourney in 2002. This season UCSB posted a 4-1-1 overall record against teams in this year's tournament, including a 1-0 decision over No. 2 seed Indiana.
"We are definitely disappointed," commented senior co-captain Dan Kennedy, "but at the end of the day we have to go out win our games. I think this team is that is focused on that more than what people say, and that is why we have been able to succeed at the level we have. We've been the team with a chip on our shoulder, this is just another reason we have that chip. We were expecting more, but that doesn't change what we have to do in the tournament."
Should Santa Barbara advance from the second round, sitting on the other side of the bracket in UNC Greensboro, the No. 8 seed, which will face the winner of South Carolina and the College of Charleston.
For ticketing information please call UCSB's ticket hotline at 805-893-UCSB.