Men's Soccer -
Men's Soccer

UC Santa Barbara Faces Top 10 Challenge

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This Week in the Big West - September 21-27, 2015


2015 Men's Soccer Release No. 5

Coming off a dominant 4-2 victory at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara returns home this week to tangle with No. 9 Akron and San Diego in hopes of finishing non-conference play with a flourish.



Spanos Fever: Cal Poly improved to 3-0 at home this season with Sunday’s 2-1 win over the College of Charleston.  The Mustangs finish out non-conference play this week at Loyola Marymount before opening league action on the road against CSUN and UC Irvine.

Kaba Kan: Sophomore forward Kaba Alkebulan has developed a liking for clutch moments during his young Mustang career.  Alkebulan’s goal at the 57:37 mark against College of Charleston was the sixth of his career, and fourth game-winner.

LaGrassa Climbs Chart: Senior midfielder Matt LaGrassa chalked up his 16th career goal in the College of Charleston match, putting him all alone in seventh place in Cal Poly history, and just one away from tying for fourth..

Staying In Front: The Mustangs have scored first in six of their seven matches this season, and only have trailed during 74 of a possible 650 minutes.


Start A New One: Cal State Fullerton’s three-game winning streak was broken Friday by San Diego, but the Titans recovered to oust Texas Rio Grande Valley by a 1-0 score on Sunday.  It was the team’s third shutout victory this season.

Go West Young Man:
Freshman Brandon West netted his second goal of the season – and game-winner – to help Cal State Fullerton down UTRGV on Sunday.

Pineda Looking For Breakthrough: It should be only a matter of time before prized recruit Ronaldo Pineda finds the scoring column.  The freshman is tied for fifth in the Big West with 15 shots taken, but has yet to score a goal.

Momentum Seeking:
The Titans are hoping to take an above .500 record into Big West play for the second straight season.  They can do so with a win this week against either Utah Valley or Grand Canyon, or with a pair of ties.  With two ties, CSF would match the 2014 team at 4-3-2 entering its Big West opener on Oct. 1 versus Sacramento State.


Bombardment: CSUN erupted offensively last week to snap out of a four-game goal scoring slump.  After notching just two goals during that four-game swath, the Matadors blitzed Saint Mary’s for four goals and added two more on Santa Clara.

There’s The Baseline: The Matadors are 3-0 this season when scoring two or more goals.  CSUN has won 15 straight games using that scoring barometer, dating back to the 2013 season.  The last time CSUN scored at least two goals and lost was Sept. 22, 2013, a 4-2 setback to UCLA.

Assist Man: The active Big West career leader in assists, senior David Turcios picked up his first helper of the year in CSUN’s 4-1 win at Saint Mary’s on Friday.  It was the 19th career assist for the senior, moving him to within three of breaking into the Big West top 10.

D-Fense, D-Fense: CSUN has allowed just two goals over its last four games, and are tied for the second-fewest goals allowed (9) by a Big West school so far this season.


Rival Goes Down: Sacramento State registered its second win of the season in its only competition last week, a 1-0 triumph over northern California rival Pacific.  Redshirt freshman Brad Bumgarner scored his second goal of the season in the win.  It was the team’s first clean sheet of 2015.

Telling Stat: Dating back to last season, the Hornets are unbeaten in the last eight games (5-0-3) in which they allow one or zero goals.

Bert’s On The Loose: Junior Bert Corona has at least one point in three straight games.  The midfielder posted the game-winning assist against Pacific.

Finish It Off:  The Hornets polish off their non-conference slate with a single game at Saint Mary’s on Sunday.  A win would give the Hornets momentum into conference play with three victories in their last four contests.

Close Affairs: Each of Sacramento State’s last four games have been decided by one goal or resulted in a tie.  The Hornets are 2-1-1 in those games.


Eruption: UC Davis exploded with six goals, including four in the second half, to blitz visiting Pacific by a 6-0 score on Sunday.  The six goals tied the program’s Division I record for most goals in a game dating back to a 6-0 shutout victory over IPFW on Sept. 14, 2007.  The four goals in the second stanza also equalled a school Division I mark.

Record Talk: In the 6-0 rout of Pacific, the Aggies established a school Division I record for most points in a match (17), surpassing the previous mark of 15 set against IPFW.

For Perspective: The six goal outburst against Pacific equalled the Aggie scoring output through the first six contests.

Share The Wealth: Six different Aggies scored in the Pacific romp, led by Lucas Mohageg’s third strike of the year, the first of the match and the eventual game-winner.  Nine players have accounted for the team’s 12 goals.

One More Thing: UC Davis picked up its first shutout of the year.


Reeling: The Anteaters saw their winless streak run to six straight games after an unsuccessful road trip to Oral Roberts and SMU.  UC Irvine is 0-4-2 in those six games.  It is the program’s longest slide since going winless for a 10-game period (0-9-1) in 2012.

Breslin Poised To Move Up In Saves: Senior goalkeeper Michael Breslin was busy last weekend, making 14 saves and increasing his career total to 266.  That total puts him at No. 10 in the Big West record book, just six saves shy of the No. 8 slot.

Goal Drought: After leading the Big West with 37 goals scored in 2014, the Anteaters have managed to find the back of the net just three times this season.  The three goals scored ranks last in the league, five behind the next lowest scoring squads.

Home Sweet Home: UCI is 1-0-1 at home this season, and welcomes the chance to play Loyola Marymount there this Thursday after enduring a stretch of playing five of six on the road.


Well Deserved: After playing seven of its first eight contests on the road, UC Riverside plays just its second home contest when San Jose State visits on Friday.  The Highlanders lost a tight one-goal battle at Santa Clara and tied with Saint Mary’s last week.

Barometer Of Success: UCR knows that when it scores two or more goals in a game, the likelihood is that success follows.  Since the 2011 season, the Highlanders are a gaudy 29-1-1 when hitting that goal benchmark.  The only exception during that stretch was on Oct. 20, 2012, a 3-2 double overtime setback to Cal State Fullerton.

Ochoa Shoots, He Scores: Senior Norberto Ochoa scored his team-leading fourth goal of the year in Friday’s loss at Santa Clara.  This comes on the heels of his hat trick against San Francisco on Sept. 10.  Ochoa is second in the Big West in goals scored.

Salazar Too: Senior Michael Salazar netted his ninth career goal, giving the Highlanders a 1-0 lead over Saint Mary’s in an eventual 1-1 draw.


Vom Steeg Hits 200: UC Santa Barbara head coach Tim Vom Steeg reached a career milestone, winning his 200th game while a member of the Big West coaching fraternity.  He earned the win when the Gauchos defeated College of Charleston, 3-1, on Friday.  Vom Steeg improved to 201-76-36 all-time as a Big West coach when UCSB knocked off UCLA, 4-2, on Monday.

Scoring Tidbits: In defeating UCLA, the Gauchos became the first team since 2010 to post four or more goals against the Bruins in a regular season game.  For UCSB, the four-goal output was its best road effort since collecting six at Seattle on Sept. 16, 2012.

DePuy’s Impact: Dating back to last season, UCSB is 10-0-3 when junior forward Nick DePuy scores a goal.  DePuy scored twice against College of Charleston and once more versus UCLA, and has 16 career goals.

Get Ready:
The Gauchos look to take down their second ranked opponent of the season when No. 9 Akron visits Harder Stadium on Friday.