UCSB Plays at Grand Canyon, Returns Home for 6 of 7

Mallory Hromatko (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Mallory Hromatko (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

• This Week
Match No. 6
Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (PDT)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Grand Canyon University Antelopes
At Grand Canyon's GCU Stadium • Phoenix, Ariz.
Video: WAC Digital Network
Live Stats

Match No. 7
Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. (PDT)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
At UCSB's Harder Stadium • Santa Barbara, Calif.
Purchase Tickets Online: Here
Video: BigWest.tv
Live Stats

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB enter the week with a record of 3-2. The Gauchos split a pair of matches at the Minnesota Classic last weekend. In their tournament opener, they defeated the host Golden Gophers by a 1-0 count. In Sunday's finale, they were beaten by the University of Iowa, 1-0.

• Remainder of Home Matches Will be Streamed
The remainder of UCSB's home matches during the 2017 season will be video streamed live on BigWest.tv with The Voice of the Gauchos, Gerry Fall, calling the action.

• One More for the Road
After UCSB plays at Grand Canyon University on Thursday, it will play six of seven matches at home. The run of home games will begin on Sunday, Sept. 10 with a 2:30 contest against Fresno State. The Gauchos will host Pacific on Sept. 15, Loyola Marymount on Sept. 17, Denver on Sept. 24, UC Riverside on Sept. 29 and UC Irvine on Oct. 1. The only road game during that stretch will be a Sept. 22 contest at Pepperdine. 

• This Week's Opponents
The Gauchos will face a pair of West Coast opponents this weekend. On Thursday, Sept. 7, they travel to Phoenix to play Grand Canyon University for the first time ever. The Antelopes will enter that match with a 3-3 record and a three-game winning streak and they are unbeaten at home in 2017. On Sunday, Sept. 10, UCSB returns home for the first time since Aug. 18 when it hosts Fresno State. The Bulldogs are 2-2-1 but are unbeaten in their last two matches with a tie at Cal State Northridge and a 3-0 shutout win over Cal State Bakersfield. The Gauchos are 4-5-1 all-time against Fresno but they have won the last three and are unbeaten in the last five match-ups in the series. In 2016, UCSB opened the year with a 3-2 overtime road win against the Bulldogs.  

• Bringing the Heat Against GCU
UCSB's game at Grand Canyon will be a challenge in several respects. Not only are the Antelopes riding a three-match winning streak, but the Gauchos will have to play in weather they are not accustomed to. The forecast for the Phoenix area on Thursday is for 108 degrees and scattered thundershowers. 

• UCSB Records Program First vs. Big Ten
When the Gauchos edged the University of Minnesota on Sept. 1, it was the program's first-ever road win against a Big Ten opponent. In past years, UCSB had lost matches at Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan State without recording a victory. The Gauchos did post a tie at Wisconsin on Sept. 29, 1990. 

• Another Winner for Ball
Senior forward Amanda Ball scored the only goal of the match in UCSB's 1-0 win at Minnesota on Sept. 1. The goal, which came on a penalty kick in the 60th minute, was Ball's fourth of the season and the third that proved to be a game-winner. In other words, she has been credited with the game-winning score in each of the Gauchos' three wins in 2017. Finally, she had three game-winning goals during the 2016 season as well.

• It's a Déjà Vu Early Season for Ball
Amanda Ball has scored four of UCSB's six goals in the first five matches of the 2017 season. She had a pair in the opener against Idaho and one apiece in the wins over San Jose State and Minnesota. The early-season scoring is nothing new for Ball. In 2016, the Gauchos began the year with a 3-2 win at Fresno State and then a 1-0 victory over St. Mary's. In the first match, the Chino Hills, Calif., native scored all three of the team's goals and in the second contest she tallied the lone score. As a freshman in 2014, Ball also scored a goal in each of the team's first two matches, wins over Cleveland State and Southern Utah. In 2015, an injury limited her to a few minutes over three games until she got healthy and was able to return full-time by midseason. When she did return, for the start of Big West Conference play, she scored in her first match at Hawai'i. In all, UCSB has gone 13-3-1 when Ball has scored a goal over the last four seasons.

• Ball Moves Up All-Time Scoring List
With four goals in the first five matches, Amanda Ball has now produced 21 goals and four assists in her career for a total of 46 points. The 46 points are good for 15th in school history. Also, she is the 12th player in UCSB history to score 20 or more goals. Ball has done her damage in just 43 matches, the second fewest among players in the top-15.

• Julian Adjusting to Workload
In her three seasons of activity at Cal, goalkeeper Maddie Julian played a total of 142 minutes, allowing one goal and posting a 0.63 goals against average. She started one match for the Golden Bears, going the distance in a 1-0 shutout against Washington with four saves. As a graduate transfer at UCSB, Julian has played in three matches, recording shutouts against Minnesota and San Jose State. Overall, she has saved 12 of the 14 shots she has faced and her goals against average is 0.67. Finally, Julian's 270 minutes played this season are 128 more than she played in her three years in Berkeley.   

• Stumpf in His 19th Season
Head coach Paul Stumpf is in his 19th season at the helm of the UCSB women's soccer program. He has recorded more coaching victories than any coach in the history of the program with 172. Stumpf's overall record is 172-150-39. He is a two-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year, having earned the honor in 1999 and 2015. 

• UCSB Picked to Finish 3rd in Big West Preseason Poll
The Gauchos have been picked to finish third in the Big West in the annual poll of the league's coaches. UCSB earned 59 points in the poll. Long Beach State was picked to win the regular season crown as they were awarded eight of the nine first-place votes and totaled 78 points. Cal State Fullerton had 63 points and was picked second. UC Irvine received one first-place vote and had 54 points to finish fourth, five points behind the Gauchos. 

• Ball, Hromatko Named to Preseason All-Big West Team
Senior forward Amanda Ball and junior midfielder Mallory Hromatko were each included on the 11-player preseason All-Big West Conference team. Ball had 10 goals and one assist for 21 points in her 16 games during the 2016 season and following the year she was selected First Team All-Big West. She was also a second team all-league selection following her sophomore season in 2015. Hromatko was an Honorable Mention All-Big West in 2016 after scoring four goals and a pair of assists for 10 points. In 2015, she was the league's Freshman of the Year and a first team all-conference honoree after scoring nine goals and six assists for 24 points.