No. 13 UCSB Welcomes No. 7 UCLA for Rivalry Match at Harder

No. 13 UCSB Welcomes No. 7 UCLA for Rivalry Match at Harder

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7:05 p.m. PDT
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 7 UCLA (3-1-1)
Harder Stadium
All-time record vs the Bruins: 5-33-4
Last meeting: UCSB 4-2 UCLA (9/21/15 @ UCLA)
UCSB Form: W W W L L
UCLA Form: T W L W W

Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:05 p.m. PDT
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs. Loyola Marymount (3-3-0)
Harder Stadium
All-timer record vs. the Lions: 19-13-2
Last meeting: LMU 4-0 UCSB (10/14/14 @ LMU)
UCSB form: W W W L L
LMU form: L W W L W

• Video Stream Available will offer a live video broadcast of Saturday night's contest against UCLA through Big West TV. Gerry Fall, Voice of the Gauchos, will be on hand for play-by-play duty. A link to the broadcast can be found on the UCSB men's soccer schedule page or by clicking here

• The Week in Review
After starting the season with four wins in four contests, then-No. 5 UC Santa Barbara had a weekend to forget at the University of Akron Tournament, fallling in a wild 4-2 contest vs. No. 19 Butler on Friday before coming up empty in a 2-0 loss to the host Zips on Monday afternoon. Against the Bulldogs, UCSB found itself down 2-0 at halftime, but second half goals from Daniel Amo and Ahinga Selemani gave the squad hope. Unfortunately, National Player of the Week David Goldsmith followed up both Gaucho scores with a tally of his own to keep Butler ahead. UCSB goalie Titouan Le Roux made a career-high seven stops in that game. UCSB struggled against Akron, mustering just one shot on frame. Le Roux made another five saves in that tilt.

• History with the Bruins
UCSB and UCLA have a long and colorful history together. Though the Bruins have the upper hand with a 33-5-4 record against the Gauchos all-time, some of the biggest wins in UCSB program history have come at the expense of their rivals to the south, including the 2006 National Championship game, 2010's contest at Harder that drew an NCAA record 15,896 fans, and a 4-1 win last season at Drake Stadium, UCSB's first-ever road win at UCLA. In the Tim Vom Steeg era (since 1999), UCSB is 3-8-3 against the Bruins with a respectable 3-4-2 mark since the 2006 title game.

• Harder Fortress
Returning to Santa Barbara this weekend should be a good thing for the Gauchos, who have been dominant at Harder Stadium in recent seasons. Since the start of the 2009 campaign, UCSB is 58-18-7 on its home turf for a .741 winning percentage, a tick below the program's .749 mark (132-38-19) in the Tim Vom Steeg era (since 1999). Dating back to the 2014 season, UCSB is unbeaten in eight straight and 17 of its last 18 regular season home games. The Gauchos are also 12-2 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament.

• Rankings Update
UCSB was tabbed as high as No. 13 in this week's national polls, down from a season-best No. 5 a week ago. The team's top ranking came from the NSCAA, while they also appeared at No. 14 (College Soccer News) and No. 16 (Soccer America, Top Drawer). UCLA checked in as high as No. 7, making this Saturday's contest a battle against two of the three top-ranked teams on the west coast.

• Rank and File
UCSB has been put to the test so far this season, as this will be its third straight and fourth overall contest against a ranked opponent. The Gauchos are 1-2-0 this season against teams in the Top-25 and 3-4-1 dating back to last season. Those three wins came against No. 5 Stanford, No. 21 South Carolina, and No. 18 Ohio St.

• On Top of the Big West
Through the first two weeks of the season, UCSB is at or near the top of the Big West in practically every team statistic. The Gauchos lead the league in total and average goals, assists, points, shots, and winning percentage. UCSB also has a pair individual leaders in the Big West as well, including goalie Titouan Le Roux (minutes played) and Josue Espana (assists). The Gauchos are the sole Big West squad with a record over .500.

• Big West Respect
UCSB was selected unanimously to repeat as Big West North Division Champions and three Gauchos were named to the 11-man Preseason All-Conference Team when the league unveiled the results of the 2016 Preseason Coaches Poll. The Gauchos received all eight first place votes and totaled 32 points, more than any other Big West squad. Cal State Fullerton was tabbed to win the South Division. DePuy, Kevin Feucht, and forward Ahinga Selemani placed on the Preseason All-Big West Team.

• DePuy's Preseason Publicity
It was a busy offseason for Nick DePuy, who garnered a number of preseason awards. The senior striker was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, received a College Soccer News Preseason All-America honor, was listed as the top "senior poised for a big year," and was named the 2015-16 UCSB Male Athlete of the Year on top of his selection to the Preseason All-Big West Team.

• Filling the House
UCSB drew a total of 46,132 fans (3,844 per game) to Harder Stadium last season to lead the NCAA in attendance for the ninth consecutive season. Gaucho-Bruin games at Harder are usually an especially large draw, including the 2010 showdown that saw 15,896 fans file through the turnstiles, which stands as the biggest attendance for an on-campus, regular season NCAA men's soccer game.

• DePuy in a Few
There is a clear reason Nick DePuy is one of the most hyped seniors in college soccer this year, as the striker is coming off a historic junior campaign. In 2015, he led all NCAA players with 15 regular season goals and eight game-winners, he led the Big West in goals and points (31) by a wide margin, and he received a litany of postseason awards including First Team All-America, Big West Offensive Player of the Year, and Mac Hermanny Trophy Semifinalist honors. Most importantly, UCSB is 18-0-4 all-time in games where DePuy scores a goal.

• Pair of Gauchos Named to Top Drawer's Top-100
Before the season, both Nick DePuy (No. 26) and Kevin Feucht (67) were listed on Top Drawer's Preseason Top-100 men's player rankings. They were the only two players in the Big West to be ranked.

• Feucht Filling Up the Net
Though Feucht, a 2015 All-Region pick, was second on the club a year ago with six goals, only two of those came in the run of play as the German national was 4-4 from the penalty spot. Ironically, Feucht has missed his lone PK this season, but he has already eclipsed his 2015 account with three goals from the run of play this year, including a golden goal at Ohio State and two goals within 53 seconds against San Diego.

• Vom Steeg Cited as Top Coach by Top Drawer
In early September, UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg was cited in Top Drawer Soccer's list of the "Ten Top Men's Division I college coaches."The article cites his ability to build strong teams, recruit competitively, and contend for national titles every year while providing a "professional environment" at home games.

• Consistent Contenders
UCSB has reached new heights as a program under Vom Steeg. In the past 14 seasons, UCSB has won 10 Big West Championships, gone to the NCAA Tournament 12 times, reached the Sweet 16 seven times, and played for two national titles, including the program's only national championship in 2006.

• Parking Advisory
UCSB soccer patrons should be advised that due to construction, parking for all games at Harder Stadium this season will be affected. With the temporary closure of Lot 38 adjacent to Harder Stadium, fans will be directed to park their vehicles at Lot 22 (structure adjacent to Thunderdome), Lot 25 (Student Health), and Lot 27 (main Thunderdome lot). Signage with directions to appropriate lots will be posted throughout campus on gamedays.  

• 2015 in Brief
A near-unanimous preseason pick to win the Big West North, UCSB validated 2015 prognosticators by winning its third consecutive division crown en route to a 14-7-2 record. The Gauchos were dominant at home with a 9-2-1 record. In conference play, the Gauchos went an impressive 7-2-1, including a 4-0 mark against Big West south opponents. UCSB posted two five-game unbeaten streaks over the year. Key non-conference wins included a season-opening victory over then-No. 5 Stanford, the first ever away win for UCSB at UCLA, a 4-0 drubbing of USD, and a 3-1 decision over College of Charleston. Earning a first round bye in the NCAA tournament, the Gauchos topped South Carolina before falling 3-2 to No. 2 Clemson in a drama-filled Sweet 16 matchup.