UCSB Searching for First Win on Saturday against Akron

Josue Salgado (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Josue Salgado (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. Akron (1-2)
All-time record vs. the Zips: 2-2
Last meeting: Sept. 12, 2016 - UA def. UCSB 2-0
UCSB form: T T L L 
Akron form: L L W  

Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 4:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at St. John's (N.Y.) (1-2-1)
Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y.
All-Time record vs. the Red Storm: 0-1
Last Meeting: Nov. 29, 2003 - SJU def. UCSB 3-2 (2OT)
UCSB form: T T L L 
SJU form: W L L T

• Video Stream Available
UCSBGauchos.com will offer a live video broadcast of Saturday night's match against Akron through Big West TV. Gerry Fall, Voice of the Gauchos, will be on hand for play-by-play duty while Dylan Murphy will provide color commentary. A link to the broadcast can be found on the UCSB men's soccer schedule page or by clicking here. Tuesday's road contest against St. John's will be streamed on ESPN3.

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

• The Week in Review
The Gauchos came up empty in San Diego, dropping a 1-0 match to University of San Diego on Friday night before falling 3-1 to San Diego State on Monday. UCSB started strong against the Toreros, taking an 8-2 advantage in the shot department before USD took over. After a goal in the 17th minute to take the lead, the Toreros continued to put the pressure on the Gauchos and outshot UCSB 22-3 the rest of the way, including 13-3 in the second half. In the 90th minute, Ignacio Tellechea nearly provided the equalizer for the Gauchos, but the ball was headed away from the goal by the defense. Against the Aztecs on Monday, Noah Billingsley set up Tellechea, who scored the first goal of the season for UCSB, but SDSU had too much firepower. The Gauchos were outshot 11-8 and played a man down for the final 26 minutes after drawing a red card. 

• The Week Ahead
UCSB returns home to the friendly confines of Harder Stadium where it has not lost a match this year. It has not won one either, recording two ties during the opening week of the season. The Gauchos will welcome  perennial powerhouse Akron (1-2), who started the season ranked No. 16 and is receiving votes in the latest national poll. The Zips are coming off their first win of the season, a 2-0 defeat over No. 10 Washington at home. In its first two matches of the year, Akron lost at the hands of No. 3 Denver and No. 16 Utah Valley by the score of 1-0. Akron and UCSB squared off last season in Ohio where the Zips came away with a 2-0 victory behind goals from Adam Najem and Ezana Kahsay, the latter of whom is on the current Akron roster. Since 2007, the Zips have the highest winning percentage in the nation (.805) with an overall record of 171-32-25. On Tuesday, the Gauchos will head to New York for their final non-conference road match of the season against St. John's. UCSB and SJU have only met one time, coming in the 2003 NCAA Tournament Second Round where the Red Storm topped the Gauchos 3-2 in double overtime.  

• On the Board
The Gauchos got on the scoreboard for the first time this season after a 38th minute goal from Ignacio Tellechea against San Diego State on Monday. Fellow international sophomore forward Noah Billingsley earned the assist on the play after sending a cross into the box, where Tellechea fielded the ball and fired into the left corner of the net. The goal is the first Division I score for Tellechea, a West Virginia Tech transfer and Madrid, Spain native. The last time UCSB scored just one goal through the first four games of the season was 1991. 

• Searching for a Win
UCSB is winless through the first four games of the season for the first time since 2010 when the Gauchos also started 0-2-2. That year, the Gauchos rebounded by winning 10 of its next 11 matches, and finished the season 14-5-3, won the Big West Tournament Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

• He's a Keeper
Freshman goalkeeper Alan Carrillo has made an immediate impact for the Gauchos in his debut season. The La Mirada, Calif. native and St. John Bosco High School product has played all but one half in goal and leads the team with 17 saves. Carrillo earned Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors after an impressive first week of the season where he recorded two shutouts. This past week against the University of San Diego, Carrillo kept UCSB in the match with a career-high eight saves.

• 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).

• 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.