UCSB Faces First Road Test of the Season in San Diego

UCSB starting lineup against St. Mary's (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
UCSB starting lineup against St. Mary's (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

Full release in PDF format

• The Schedule
Friday, Sept. 1 at 8:30 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at San Diego (0-2)
Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Toreros: 13-6
Last meeting: Sept. 2, 2016 - UCSB def. USD 5-2
UCSB form: T T
San Diego Form: L L 

Monday, Sept. 4 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at San Diego State (1-1)
SDSU Sports Deck in San Diego, Calif.
All-Time record vs. the Aztecs: 13-19-3
Last Meeting: Sept. 26, 2014 - UCSB def. SDSU 1-0
UCSB form: T T
SDSU form: L W

• The Week in Review
Despite not scoring a goal in the opening weekend, the Gauchos did not allow a goal either and came away with two scoreless draws. In the season opener at home on Friday night, UCSB held off a prominent first half attack from St. Mary's and despite being outshot 15-8 in the match, the Gauchos held on for the tie. On Sunday afternoon, UCSB was peppering the goal to the tune of 17 shots, with eight on target, but could not find the back of the net. The Gauchos defense stymied Siena, holding them without a shot attempt until the 76th minute of the match and just five total for the game. 

• Road Trippin'
The Gauchos will head south to San Diego this weekend for two of their three non-conference road matches this season. UCSB has not lost to the Toreros since 1996 and currently holds a five-game winning streak in the all-time series. The teams met last season at Harder Stadium, where the Gauchos came away with a 5-2 victory behind a pair of goals from Kevin Feucht. It will be a new-look UCSB squad, however, as only six of the 18 Gauchos that played in that game are on the 2017 roster. USD's Merlin Baus and Miguel Berry both scored a goal in last season's matchup and return for the Toreros. 

• Aztec History
UCSB last faced San Diego State in 2014 and came away with a 1-0 victory on a first half goal from Nick Depuy. Only one player, Alex Liua, remains on the Gauchos from that game. Since 1999, UCSB is 7-1-1 against the Aztecs while holding a 16-7 advantage in goals scored. The Gauchos enjoyed an eight game unbeaten streak against SDSU from 1999 to 2006, which included five shutout victories, before falling 4-2 in 2009. 

• He's a Keeper
Freshman goalkeeper Alan Carrillo was named Big West Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to a pair of shutouts in his collegiate debut. The La Mirada, Calif. native and St. John Bosco High School product tallied six saves, including five against St. Mary's in the season opener. Against the Gaels, Carrillo had a key stop in a 1-on-1 situation while preventing another goal with a diving save. On Sunday, Carrillo handled the only shot on goal with ease as the Gauchos limited the Saints offensive attack. 

• Going the Distance
Senior defender Randy Mendoza, freshman defender Adrian Adames and freshman goalkeeper Alan Carrillo are the only three Gauchos to have played all 220 minutes this season. With both games going the distance, UCSB has utilized 20 different players on the pitch. Freshman forward Rodney Michael has played the next most minutes with 197.

• UCSB Puts Rodney in the Corner
In just two games, the Gauchos have racked up 17 corner kicks to rank 17th in the nation with an average of 8.5 corner kicks per game. Of the 17 corners, Rodney Michael has taken 13 of them and has proven especially adept at drawing corners from the right wing. Against Siena, UCSB took 13 corners overall and four in the final overtime period, three of which occured in the final two minutes and were created by Michael. 

• D-Fence!
With two shutouts to start the season, UCSB ranks first in the nation, along with just 17 other teams, to not allow a goal in its first two matches. 

• Injury Report
The Gauchos will be without star midfielder Kevin Feucht for the 2017 season after the reigning Big  West Midfielder of the Year suffered an ACL injury during the first day of training camp. Feucht, a two-time First Team All-Big West and NSCAA Far West All-Region selection, led UCSB with 11 goals while adding two assists during his junior year. 

• Don't You Noah?
Sophomore New Zealand native Noah Billingsley was selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference team alongside Kevin Feucht, and is the only active player on the roster to have scored a goal during the 2016 season. Billingsley, an All-Big West Freshman Team selection, finished last season with two goals and three assists and figures to see an increased role on the offensive end in 2017. 

• No Ordinary Exhibition
Announced on Aug. 15 by Tim Vom Steeg, UCSB will host Club América Under-20, a professional development team based in Mexico City, for an exhibition match on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 12:00 p.m. at Harder Stadium. The Inaugural Community Shield match will serve as a kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. For ticket information for this match click here.

• Filling the House
After leading the NCAA in attendance for nine consecutive seasons, UCSB finished third in the nation in 2016 after totaling 38,093 fans at home games for an average of 3,463 per game. The Gauchos trailed only Maryland (4,014 per game) and UConn (3,822 per game) and were one spot ahead of rival Cal Poly (2,845 per game).

• Double Digit Success
With 10 wins last season, UCSB has now won at least 10 games a year for an impressive16 consecutive seasons, a program record. Also after advancing to the Big West Tournament, the Gauchos notched a postseason berth for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons. 

• Incoming Impact
The Gauchos incoming class was ranked as the No. 15 recruiting class in the nation by College Soccer News. California Gatorade Player of the Year from Dunn School, Rodney Michael,  leads the group of signees and will factor in prominently on the attacking front. Michael was also named to Top Draw Soccer's Preseason Best XI Freshman Team. In the exhibition against Westmont, UCSB featured a defense full of newcomers that included goalkeeper Alan Carillo, Adrian Adames, Frazer Poulter and Kavian Kashani. At forward, Ignacio Tellechea will be a factor as well after transferring from West Virginia Tech, where he scored 20 goals last season. 

• Make it Five in a Row
For the fifth consecutive season, UCSB was selected by the eight conference head coaches to repeat as Big West North Division Champions. The Gauchos have yet to let any of the voters down as they have claimed the title each of the past four seasons and will look to continue the trend in 2017. UCSB earned six-out-of-eight first place votes and garnered a total of 28 points while UC Davis was picked to finish second with 25 points and one first place vote. Cal Poly received the only other first place vote and ranked third with 17 points while Sacramento State rounded out the poll in fourth with 10 points. Cal State Northridge tallied 30 points and six first place votes to lead the South Division Poll. 

• 2016 in Brief
After being selected as the unanimous choice to repeat as Big West North Division Champions in the Preseason Conference Poll, the Gauchos did just that with a fourth consecutive regular season title after posting a 10-7-3 overall record including a 6-1-3 mark in conference play. After advancing to the Big West Tournament, the Gauchos were upended 2-1 in the semifinals against Cal State Fullerton to see their season come to a close. UCSB opened the year strong with four straight wins before dropping five in-a-row, with one goal losses in OT to UCLA and Cal. The tough non-conference slate set the Gauchos up well for conference play, as they began the league schedule with a nine-game unbeaten streak with six wins and three ties.  

•Ticket Information
Season tickets and individual game tickets are available online here or call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272).