Gauchos Face Westmont Saturday in 57th Annual Bryant and Sons Cup

UCSB men's soccer kicks off its season with an exhibition matchup against Westmont. (Photo by Tony Mastres)
UCSB men's soccer kicks off its season with an exhibition matchup against Westmont. (Photo by Tony Mastres)
The Schedule
Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Westmont
All-time record vs. the Warriors (W-L-T): 18-24-4
Last meeting: Aug. 18, 2018 - UCSB def. Westmont, 7-0
 
Video Stream Available
UCSBGauchos.com will offer a live video broadcast of Saturday night's annual exhibition against Westmont through Big West TV. The "Voice of the Gauchos" Gerry Fall will be on play-by-play duties, while current Gaucho athlete Carson vom Steeg will be providing color commentary throughout the broadcast. An additional audio-only stream will be available via KCSB-FM 91.9, UCSB's student radio station. A link to both broadcasts can be found on the UCSB men's soccer schedule page.
 
Season Tickets on Sale Now!
UCSB season tickets, including a parking pass for the 2019 season, are now on sale. Plans start at $50, and combo (men's and women's games) and family plans are also available. Certain plans also include priority seating for the Stanford and Cal Poly games. Season tickets can be purchased online or by calling the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB.
 
Here We Go Again
The Gauchos will begin their season against crosstown rivals Westmont in what is the 57th annual edition of the Bryant and Sons Cup. Last year, UCSB avenged their shock 2-1 loss to the Warriors in 2017 with an emphatic 7-0 victory. Ignacio Tellechea and newcomer Thibault Candia both tallied two goals apiece while Axel Mendez, Carter Clemmensen and Mateo Restrepo Mejia also scored. Both Candia and Rodney Michael led the way with two assists apiece while Noah Billingsley, Oscar Ferreira and Clemmensen also added assists in the match.
 
Scouting the Opponent
Westmont is a traditionally strong program within the NAIA, having made 18 trips to the NAIA National Tournament in its history. The Warriors advanced to the NAIA Final Four in 1989 and captured the NAIA National Championship in 1972. Last year, Westmont finished 10-6-2, suffering a season-ending loss to Vanguard in the GSAC Tournament semifinal, 2-1. The program has attracted several Division I transfers over the years, and its 2019 roster contains the duo of former Sacramento State player Christian Webb and former LMU attacker Lucky Puengrod. Goleta native defender Tim Heiduk co-captains the squad with Carpinteria H.S. product goalkeeper Edward "Lalo" Delgado.
 
Soccer Night in Santa Barbara
This match is the second of two games that fans at Harder Stadium will be treated to on Saturday night. The women's soccer team also plays in an exhibition against Westmont at 5:30 p.m, whereas the men's game will begin at either 7:30 p.m. or approximately 30 minutes after the end of the women's game. The Gauchos' regular season opener against UNLV on Aug. 30 will also be the nightcap of a doubleheader.
 
Marquee Matchups
UCSB's 2019 schedule is loaded with quality opponents, including six teams that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Pac-12 opponents Cal and Stanford highlight the home schedule, visiting Harder Stadium on either end of September. From the ACC, a traditional powerhouse conference in college soccer, Virginia Tech makes the cross-country trip to play UCSB on Sept. 1. A trip up to the Pacific Northwest to face Gonzaga and Oregon State, as well as the Blue-Green rivalry match against Cal Poly, are some of the other highlights of the non-conference schedule. In conference play, the Gauchos' home matches against Sacramento State, UC Riverside, and UC Irvine offers a chance for revenge against a trio of opponents that UCSB only managed to pick up a single point from (2-2 OT draw at UC Irvine) last season. The final three games of the season see the Gauchos hit the road, culminating in the all-important second chapter of the Blue-Green Rivalry at the Alex G. Spanos Stadium in San Luis Obispo.
 
Harder Heaven
Last season, UCSB finished 9-0-1 at home, good for its best home record since the 2002 Gauchos went 10-0-0. That came a year after the Gauchos went unbeaten in eight of their 10 home matches during the regular season (4-2-4). In the Vom Steeg era (since 1999), the Gauchos boast a hearty .731 winning percentage (147-46-26).
 
Is it September Yet?
If the Gauchos' results in season openers in the Vom Steeg era are any indication, the Gauchos are itching to start the season. UCSB has gone 15-2-3 in the curtain-raiser in that time. In the past 10 years, they have lost just one opener, an overtime loss to Cal State Bakersfield in 2010. UCSB is unbeaten in its past eight openers, winning six in a row (at Northwestern, at LMU, vs. Seattle. at College of Charleston, at Stanford, vs. Oakland at Ohio State) before settling for a scoreless draw against St. Mary's in 2017. The team went back to its winning ways against St. John's last year, winning 2-1 at Harder Stadium. UCSB has   outscored its opponents 16-5 in those games.