November 27, 2009

Gauchos Head to UCLA for NCAA Third Round Action

Nov. 27, 2009

 

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• The Schedule
Sunday, November 29, 2009, 5 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (17-4-2) at UCLA (11-3-4)
at Drake Stadium
All-Time Record vs. UCLA - 3-30-4
Last Meeting - T, 2-2 (Oct. 1, 2008)
Game broadcast LIVE by KIST 1490 AM
Game available on Gametracker

• UCSB Makes Fifth Sweet 16 Appearance
With last Sunday's 1-0 victory at San Diego in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team has advanced to the Third Round where it will play sixth-seeded UCLA at Drake Stadium on Sunday at 5 p.m.

• How To Get Tickets
Tickets will be available at the gate for Sunday's match-up. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and youth. Parking will be free on campus at UCLA on Sunday.

• Gauchos In The Big Dance
UCSB is amidst its eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the Gauchos have played in the Third Round four times: 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007. UCSB currently holds a 15-5-2 record in NCAA Tournament games and has twice advanced to the College Cup Final (2004 and 2006), which the Gauchos won in 2006.

• For The Record
The Gauchos hold a 17-4-2 overall record, marking the program's most wins in a season since 2006 (17-7-1). The school record for wins in a season was set in 2004, when the Gauchos recorded a 20-2-2 overall mark. UCSB has won 12 of its last 15 games, all by way of a shutout.

• A Rematch Three Years In The Making
Sunday's pairing with UCLA is the first NCAA Tournament game between the two teams since the Gauchos defeated the Bruins 2-1 in the 2006 College Cup Final to capture the program's first NCAA title. While UCLA's current squad features seven players from their 2006 team, UCSB has just one player remaining - senior forward David Walker.

• Another Sweet 16
Sunday's 1-0 shutout marked UCSB's 16th of the season, setting a new program and Big West single season record. The Gauchos' previous record was 15 shutouts by the 2004 squad. All 16 of this season's shutouts have been tallied by junior goalkeeper Sam Hayden.

• Bruin Banter
UCLA earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament field after winning the Pac-10 Championship. After a First Round bye, the Bruins took on Sacramento State in the Second Round last Sunday and defeated the Hornets, 2-1. Kyle Nakazawa leads the Bruins with his 30 points this season (12 goals, 6 assists). David Estrada has chipped in 13 points (3 goals, 7 assists) and Chandler Hoffman has 12 (5 goals, 2 assists). In goal, Brian Perk has posted four shutouts and an .828 saves percentage. While the Bruins are 11-3-4 on the year, they have struggled in their last six games, posting a 2-2-2 record versus the Gauchos' 4-1-1 mark in their last six pairings.

• On The Road Again
While the Gauchos had the luxury of hosting the First Round at Harder Stadium - where they have posted a 10-2-0 record this season and a 9-1 all-time record in NCAA Tournament games - they will have to face UCLA at its home stadium, where the Bruins have posted an impressive 7-0-2 record this season. UCSB, however, hasn't had many struggles on the road this year. The Gauchos have posted a 6-2-0 record in away games this season. UCSB owns a 4-4-0 record in its previous NCAA Tournament away games.

• NCAA Résumé
It seems only appropriate that senior David Walker has scored both of the Gauchos' goals in this year's NCAA Tournament, propelling UCSB to a 1-0 win over Wofford in the First Round and a 1-0 win over San Diego in the Second Round. The forward is the lone member of the 2006 National Championship squad remaining on the Gaucho roster and leads his teammates with the most NCAA Tournament experience, having played in 11 total postseason games, including all six during the 2006 season.

• Living In A State Of Denial
The Gauchos rank second in the country - behind Akron - with their .696 shutout percentage. UCSB has allowed just 16 goals this season and just five in the last 15 games. The Gauchos own a 0.68 goals against average, which ranks 13th in the country. The school record for lowest opponent goals per match average was set in 2004 at 0.56. UCSB's 16 goals allowed is a testament to its phenomenal defensive turnaround since the 2008 season when the Gauchos allowed 39 goals.

• Super Sam
The anchor of the Gauchos' phenomenal defensive performances this season has been goalkeeper Sam Hayden. The junior currently ranks 18th nationally with his 0.69 goals against average and is 22nd among all Division I goalkeepers with an .835 saves percentage.

• Offensive Behavior
While the Gaucho defense has been on fire, the UCSB offense is no slouch in comparison. The Gauchos rank 36th nationally with their 1.70 goals per game average. UCSB ranks first in the Big West for points (121) and goals (39). UCSB has scored in all but two games this season: a 1-0 loss to Cal State Northridge (Oct. 18) and a 0-0 tie with Cal Poly (Nov. 4).

• Leaders Of The Pack
The Gaucho offense is led by David Walker's nine goals and 22 points (9 goals, 4 assists) and the senior ranks 85th nationally with 0.41 goals per game. Sophomore Danny Barrera - who leads the Gauchos with his nine assists - ranks 45th nationally with his average of 0.39 assists per game. The midfielder is second on the team with 19 points (5 goal, 9 assists).

• Working Overtime
During their 21 NCAA Tournament games, UCSB has had seven go into overtime and two of those decided in penalty kicks. Of the games decided in extra minutes, the Gauchos have posted a 2-3 record and their last two tournament ousters have been in double overtime (against Ohio State in 2007 and Cal in 2008). In games decided in penalty kicks, UCSB has gone 1-1. During the 2009 regular season, UCSB went undefeated in its four overtime games, posting a 2-0-2 record in extra minutes.

• A Tale Of Two Halves
Last Sunday, UCSB broke its streak of six consecutive games without a goal in the first half by scoring the game-winner in the 44th minute against the Toreros. Walker's game-winner came on the Gauchos' first shot of the match, however, and UCSB has been limited to just one shot in the first half of each of their NCAA Tournament games, which marks a season-low. The second half has been a different story as UCSB has outshot its tourney opposition 20-5 in the final period.

• Handsomely Rewarded
UCSB picked up a school record 10 All-Big West honors last Tuesday when the conference awards were announced, including four major awards. Senior Martin Hedevag was named Defensive Player of the Year, junior Sam Hayden earned Goalkeeper of the Year, sophomore Danny Barrera was picked as Midfielder of the Year and freshman Machael David was named Freshman of the Year. Hedevag, Hayden and Barrera all earned First Team honors in addition to senior David Walker, junior Michael Boxall and sophomore Luis Silva. David earned Second Team All-Big West along with sophomore Michael Tetteh and freshman Michael Nonni. Sophomore Waid Ibrahim rounded out the Gauchos' selections with Honorable Mention accolades. Eight of UCSB's 10 all-conference honorees will return for the 2010 season.

• The Awards Keep Rolling In
Last week, TopDrawerSoccer.com released its 2009 Men's College Soccer Teams of the Season. Danny Barrera was named to the Third Team while Machael David was placed on the All Rookie First Team. Last Friday, it was announced that Sam Hayden is among the finalists for Soccer News Net Men's College Player of the Year, which will be awarded in mid-December. Click here to vote for Hayden.

• UCSB Sets NCAA Attendance Record
The Gauchos average home attendance this season of 4,335 fans per game has topped the NCAA record of 3,629 fans per game set by New Mexico in 2005 as well as the unofficial record that was held by Connecticut, which averaged 4,297 fans a game in 1982.

• Gauchos Win Sixth Big West Title
After completing the Big West regular season schedule with an 8-1-1 record, the Gauchos captured their sixth conference title since 2001 with 25 points. In all, UCSB's six regular season championships are the most in Big West history, surpassing former member Fresno State's five regular season crowns. The Gauchos are now tied for the third-most victories in a 10-game conference season in Big West history, while their .850 winning percentage in conference matches is also tied for third-best in Big West lore. The title gave UCSB the No. 1 seed into the Big West tournament, where it placed second after a 4-1 loss to UC Irvine in the championship game.

• 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 on Oct. 15 with UCSB's 3-0 victory over UC Davis. Vom Steeg has posted a 157-60-22 record at the helm of UCSB and a 136-43-21 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.

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