No. 21 UCSB Hosts Washington State, Nationally-Ranked Tennessee to End Homestand

No. 21 UCSB Hosts Washington State, Nationally-Ranked Tennessee to End Homestand

Sept. 10, 2008

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• The Schedule
Friday, September 12, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Washington State
at UCSB’s Harder Stadium

Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 23 Tennessee
at UCSB’s Harder Stadium

• Coming Up
On Friday, Sept. 12, when UCSB hosts Washington State, it will be Santa Barbara News-Press Night at Harder Stadium.  Everyone in attendance will receive a free travel mug, courtesy of the News-Press.  It will also be AYSO Night, Youth Group Night, and Kids to College Night.  Finally, their will be an autograph session following the match.  Sunday, Sept. 14, when the Gauchos host Tennessee, it will be Girl Scout Day, and another Kids to College event, with all kids, 13 and under, getting in free.  Also, the first 200 people in attendance will receive free pom-poms, there will be a pre-game clinic, and a post-game autograph session.

• Rank and File
UC Santa Barbara remains at No. 21 in the Soccer Buzz Magazine national poll.   When the Gauchos entered the poll last week, it marked the first time since the 1992 season that they had been ranked in any of the national polls.  UCSB also received 20 points in the NSCAA/adidas poll, good for 29th.  Regionally, the Gauchos are ranked sixth by Soccer Buzz Magazine and seventh in the NSCAA/adidas ranking. 

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB will enter Friday’s game against Washington State with a 4-1 record.  The Gauchos have won three consecutive matches for the first time since 2006.  On Sunday, they defeated Sacramento State 2-0, extending the winning streak to three. 

• Best Start Under Stumpf
Santa Barbara’s 4-1 record to open the 2008 season is its best five-game start in head coach Paul Stumpf’s 10 seasons.  In fact, to find a better five-game Gaucho start, you need to go back 15 years, to 1993, when they opened the year with a perfect 5-0 record.

• On The Stumpf
Paul Stumpf is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. He enters this week’s action with a record of 91-70-21. His total of 88 wins ranks second on UCSB’s all-time list. Last season, he guided the Gauchos to a 6-10-4 overall record, including a 3-4-1 record in the Big West.  Stumpf has led the program to records of .500 or better in six of the last eight seasons, including, at one point, four straight seasons of 10 or more victories, the first time the program accomplished that feat since 1988-91.  In 1999, Stumpf’s first season as the head coach at UCSB, he took a team that was selected to finish last in the conference, but instead posted an 8-9-1 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the Big West. Following the season, he was chosen as the Big West’s Coach of the Year.  He has, in fact, guided the Gauchos to a top-three league finish in six of the last eight seasons, and twice he has led the program to regular season championships.  Before arriving in Santa Barbara as an assistant coach in 1998, Stumpf spent two seasons as an assistant at Humboldt State. In addition, the San Diego native spent several years coaching club teams in the Santa Rosa area.

• UCSB Picked to Win Big West
UCSB, which finished fifth in the Big West standings in 2007, has been chosen to win the league’s 2008 regular season crown in a poll of the nine coaches.  The Gauchos collected four first-place votes and a total of 74 points to edge Long Beach State, which garnered three first-place votes and 73 total points.  The 49ers are a two-time defending league regular season champ.  Cal Poly had a pair of first-place votes and 62 points, while Cal State Fullerton, which has won the last two Big West Tournaments, had 60 points.

• Worthy Goals
The Gauchos have scored 11 goals through their first five games, and while the pace won’t break any records, it marks significant progress from a year ago.  In 2007, UCSB scored a total of 19 goals in its 20 contests.  Through the first five matches of the campaign, the Gauchos had a total of three goals.  They did not score their fourth goal until the sixth game, and they didn’t score their 11th goal until their 11th.  Also, UCSB has yet to be shutout through five matches in 2008.  In 2007, the longest such streak was four.

• Spreading the Wealth
Another indicator of UCSB’s improved offensive game in 2008 is the fact that nine different Gauchos have scored at least one goal.  In 2007, eight UCSB players scored goals in 20 matches.  Two Gauchos, sophomore midfielder Jacqui Simon and sophomore forward Kailyn Kugler, have scored two goals apiece.  In Sunday’s 2-0 win over Sacramento State, freshman midfielder Katy Roby got into the act with her first career goal.

• Fresh Faces Having an Impact
As mentioned above, nine different UCSB players have scored goals through the first five matches of the 2008 season.  Of those nine who have scored, four are freshmen.  Midfielders Katy Roby and Cory Yoshida, forward Alissa Sanchez, and defender Alyssa Benjamin have each scored goals for the Gauchos this season.   

• General Assistance
While nine different players have scored goals for UCSB this season, six have contributed at least one assist.  In fact, five players have garnered two assists for the Gauchos.  Forwards Genelle Ives, Michelle Russell, and Kailyn Kugler, as well as midfielders Jacqui Simon and Sami Svrcek have collected two assists apiece.  Forward Kylie McDonald has one.

• Shooting Gallery
UCSB has outshot its opponents through five games by a margin of 77-50, an average of just over five shots per game.  In Sunday’s 2-0 win over Sacramento State, the Gauchos collected a season-high 27 shots while the Hornets had just eight.  UCSB also has a significant edge in shots on goal at 33-20, an average of nearly three more per match than opponents.

• The Defensive Lowdown
The Gauchos improved offense has not overshadowed their long-time strength, defense.  Santa Barbara has allowed four goals in five matches, recording three shutouts in the process.  The defensive unit of Rachael Ritchey, Julia Speace, Alexa Stringer, Alyssa OldhamAlyssa Benjamin, along with a variety of midfielders, has helped limit opponents to just four goals in 450 minutes.  Also, the group is responsible for holding the opposition to just 50 total shots, an average of just 10.0 per game.    

• Safe Keeping
With a solid defense in front of them, UCSB’s goalkeepers have only needed 16 saves through five matches, posting a 0.80 goals against average.  Sophomore Tammy Lenham has made four starts, logged 315 minutes, and has a gogals against average of 1.14.  She has a team-high 11 saves on the season.  Freshman Ali Cutler has played in two matches, recording wins in both, and has yet tot allow a goal in slightly under 105 minutes.  Freshman Laura DiBiase played just over 30 minutes in the season-opener at Nevada, allowing no goals.    

• Don’t Forget to Write
UCSB had better enjoy its time at home.  The Gauchos play two home matches this weekend, then they embark on one of the longest road trips on record.  After Sunday’s game against Tennessee, the Gauchos will not make another Harder Stadium appearance until Oct. 10 against Cal State Northridge.  UCSB will play six matches away from home, five true road matches and one at a neutral site, in three states.  The Gauchos will play Montana (at Hawai’i), Hawai’i, Arizona State, Arizona, UC Riverside, and Cal State Fullerton before returning to the friendly, ivy-covered confines of Harder Stadium.