Gauchos Enter NSCAA/adidas National Rankings at No. 20, Will Play Two in Hawaii this Weekend

Gauchos Enter NSCAA/adidas National Rankings at No. 20, Will Play Two in Hawaii this Weekend

Sept. 16, 2008


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• The Schedule
Friday, September 19, 2008 at 10:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. Montana
at Hawaii’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara at Hawaii
at Hawaii’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium

• Gauchos Begin Long Road Run
The 20th-ranked (NSCAA/adidas) UC Santa Barbara women’s soccer team will travel to the University of Hawaii for a a pair of matches this weekend.  On Friday, the Gauchos will play the University of Montana in a neutral site contest, and on Sunday they will play the host Rainbow Wahine.  With the two contests in Honolulu, UCSB will embark on its longest run of road games this season.  Following this weekend, the Gauchos will remain away from home for four more, traveling to Arizona State (Sept. 26), Arizona (Sept. 28), UC Riversisde (Oct. 3), and Cal State Fullerton (Oct. 5), before returning home for an Oct. 19 match against Cal State Northridge.

• Rank and File
UC Santa Barbara has entered the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings for the first time this season at No. 20.  In fact, this marks the first time in several years that the Gauchos have been part of the NSCAA/adidas national poll.  They also remain in the Soccer Buzz Magazine poll, dropping from No. 21 to No. 23 after splitting a pair of weekend matches.  In addition to entering the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings for the first time this season, UCSB has entered the Soccer America poll at No. 24 and   the Top Drawer Soccer poll at No. 42.   When the Gauchos entered the Soccer Buzz poll two weeks ago, it marked the first time since the 1992 season that they had been ranked in any of the national polls.  Regionally, UCSB is ranked fifth in the Far West in both the NSCAA/adidas and the Soccer Buzz polls.

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its Friday match against Montana with a record of 5-2.  The Gauchos are coming off of an impressive 2-1 win over previously nationally-ranked Tennessee.  The win, which came on Sunday, was on the heels of an entertaining, although tough, 3-2 loss to Washington State.  Santa Barbara has won four of its last five.

• Best Start Under Stumpf
Santa Barbara’s 5-2 record to open the 2008 season is its best seven-game start in head coach Paul Stumpf’s 10 seasons.  In fact, to find a better seven-game Gaucho start, you need to go back 15 years, to 1993, when they opened the year with a 6-1 record.

• UCSB Picked to Win Big West
UCSB, which finished fifth in the Big West standings in 2007, was 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.   The Gauchos will open Big West play on the road as they travel to UC Riverside on Oct. 3 and Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 5.  They will play their first home league match on Oct. 10 when they host Cal State Fullerton.

•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 92-71-21. 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.

• Goalsetting
The Gauchos have scored 15 goals through their first seven 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 seven matches of the campaign, the Gauchos had a total of seven goals.   Also, UCSB has yet to be shutout through seven 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 three goals apiece.  Meanwhile, Genelle Ives and Kylie McDonald have chipped in two apiece.  With her two goals, Ives now has 15 in her career, tying her for 11th-place on the school’s all-time list.  Her 42 career points ranks 14th all-time.  She needs three to move into 12th-place.

• One Goal Either Way
UCSB has played seven matches in 2008 and five have been decided by one goal.  The Gauchos, who defeated Tennessee by a 2-1 score on Sunday, have gone 3-2 in one-goal matches.   

• General Assistance
While nine different players have scored goals for UCSB this season, seven have contributed at least one assist.  In fact, six players have garnered at least two assists for the Gauchos.  Kailyn Kugler and Sami Svrcek each lead the team with three assists in 2008.  For both Kugler and Svrcek, the there assists are one more than they each had last year.

• It’s Clutch Time
Sophomore midfielder Jacqui Simon is tied for the team-lead with three goals after scoring two while playing primarily forward in 2007.  This year, Simon has not only scored three, but she has scored her goals in some pretty clutch situations.  She tallied a pair of goals in UCSB’s 3-2 victory over Pepperdine on Aug. 31.  Simon’s second goal against the Waves came in the final minute and snapped a 2-2 tie.  Her most recent goal came in the second half of the Gauchos’ 2-1 win over Tennessee on Sunday.  That one snapped a 1-1 deadlock.   

• The Young Shall Lead
UCSB’s roster is dominated by freshmen and sophomores this season.  The Gauchos have 21 players either in their first or second year of collegiate soccer.  Leading the way, offensively, have been sophomores Kailyn Kugler (3 goals, 3 assists), Jacqui Simon (3 goals, 2 assists), and Kailyn Kugler (2 goals, 2 assists) but others have made major contributions in other ways.  On the defensive end of things, freshman Alexa Stringer has been a staple in the starting lineup.  In fact, she is one of just five players to have started every match, and she paces the team in minutes played with 617.  Another key defender has been freshman Alyssa Oldham, who has made five starts and logged 486 minutes.    

• The Last Line Of Defense
Sophomore Tammy Lenham has started six of the Gauchos’ seven matches in goal.  She has a goals against average of 1.45 and 19 saves.  On Sunday, in the win over Tennessee, she recorded a season-high with six saves.  Freshman Ali Cutler has been solid in a part-time role.  She has started once, but she is 2-0, having played the entire second half in a 2-0 win over Sacramento State.