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Men's Soccer

Unbeaten Highlanders, Gauchos Seek More Success at Home

9/18/2012

Men's Soccer Release No. 5

The final weekend of non-conference play features two nationally ranked men's soccer teams in action – No. 3 UC Santa Barbara and No. 19 UC Riverside.  The Gauchos (5-0-1) host a nationally televised match against UCLA Friday on FOX Soccer Channel while the Highlanders (7-0-0) entertain Cal State Bakersfield.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

•The Big West posted an impressive 10-5-1 record last week to move to 29-20-7 overall against non-conference opponents this season.

• Central Coast rivals UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly are teaming up for a common cause this week – beating No. 8 UCLA.  The Gauchos entertain the Bruins Friday for the NSCAA Game of the Week on FOX Soccer Channel, with kickoff at 6:00 p.m. (PDT).  The Mustangs welcome UCLA to Spanos Stadium Sunday as part of the Nike Central Coast Challenge. 

• UC Santa Barbara, the national leader in home attendance for five straight seasons, expects a large crowd for the game Friday against UCLA.  The Gauchos have attracted huge throngs before in front of the FOX cameras at Harder Stadium.  UCSB hosted Cal Poly (13,822 on 11/4/11), Duke (11,242 on 10/15/10) and Indiana (10,114 on 10/2/09) in previous televised matchups.  This is the sixth straight season that UCSB is hosting an NSCAA Game of the Week.

• The unbeaten Gauchos are 5-0-1 after a pair of road victories against San Diego and Seattle last week, and the pollsters have taken notice.  UCSB is up to No. 3 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll, the highest showing in that poll since Oct. 13, 2009 when it was also ranked third.  The Gauchos are also No. 3 in Soccer Times, No. 5 in Soccer America and No. 9 in College Soccer News.

• UC Riverside extended its Division I school record winning streak to seven straight with wins against North Florida and Nebraska-Omaha last week at the UCR/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational.  The 7-0-0 Highlanders vaulted six spots to No. 19 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll, the program’s highest ranking ever.  The Highlanders also have the attention of Soccer Times (No. 23) , College Soccer News (No. 24) and Soccer America (No. 25).

• The Big West’s two most explosive offenses belong to the two ranked teams – UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.  The Highlanders have scored a league-high 20 goals, at a rate that would shatter the single-season Division I era record of 28.  UCSB has notched multiple goals in six straight and 14 of the last 15 matches dating to last season.

• Cal Poly is another hot Big West team, currently riding a four-match win streak, its longest since 2007.

• For the fifth year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara contests.  For the 2012 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge.  Head to thisweek for weekly event schedules.

BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West’s ten member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women’s volleyball as well as men’s and women’s basketball.  Also covered are select contests in men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Conference Championships.