UC Santa Barbara Hosts Stanford on NSCAATV Game of the Week
UC Santa Barbara, the nation's leader in men's soccer home attendance the last six seasons, gets another opportunity to showcase its program in front of the cameras as the Gauchos host Stanford Friday on the NSCAATV.com Game of the Week.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Offensive Juggernaut: Cal Poly continued its offensive onslaught, scoring multiple goals in four straight and six of its first eight matches. The Mustangs have scored 21 goals so far, which represents a program record for most goals through the first eight matches of a season.
On A Roll: The Mustangs have won four straight games after toppling San Francisco (2-0) and Yale (3-2 in OT) last week. During that four-game span, Cal Poly has outscored its opponent by a 14-5 margin.
LaGrassa Comes On: Midfielder Matt LaGrassa, who scored one goal in 2012, has notched four goals in the last four matches for Cal Poly. He now ranks second on the team in goals behind All-American candidate Mackenzie Pridham.
Comeback Kids: Cal Poly tallied three second-half goals against Yale to overcome a 2-0 deficit and secure its second come-from-behind win against an Ivy League opponent. CP overcame a 2-1 hole to win 3-2 against Penn.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Skid Be Gone: Cal State Fullerton’s foray into the midwest proved fruitful as the Titans came away with a 3-0 blanking of Nebraska-Omaha Saturday, snapping a four-match losing streak. The Titans also produced their first road shutout victory since defeating American, 3-0, on Sept. 16, 2011.
Tres Golazos: The three goals in the Nebraska-Omaha match was the most for Cal State Fullerton since tallying an identical amount against UC Riverside on Oct. 20, 2012.
Hannon’s Opportunity: Senior goalkeeper Robbie Hannon made his first appearance of 2013 a productive one as he collected the shutout against Nebraska-Omaha with a three-save effort.
Balanced Effort: The Titans haven’t uncovered a lethal goal scorer so far this season. Seven players have combined for nine goals with juniors Ian Ramos and Amara Soumah sharing the team lead with two apiece. Junior Garrett Losee notched his first goal as a Titan versus Nebraska-Omaha.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Equaling Best Start: Cal State Northridge joined the 1979 squad as the only two teams in school history to start a season 7-0-0. The current Matadors reached that mark following a 2-1 victory on Friday against UNLV. Unfortunately, CSUN could not generate an eighth consecutive victory as No. 11 UCLA handed the Matadors a 4-2 loss Sunday.
Multi-Goal Diet: The Matadors extended their streak of consecutive games with at least two goals to eight with their performances against UNLV and UCLA. It is the program’s longest such streak since the 2002 team reeled off eight straight multi-goal matches (Oct. 23-Nov. 16). This year’s squad has scored 22 goals through eight matches, while the 2002 outfit had 26 during that one stretch.
Assist Men: Seniors Carlos Benavides and Chris Smith are creeping up on the top 10 in assists for the Big West record book. Benavides, with 20 career helpers, is one shy of tying former Matador Sunghyun Kim for the No. 10 spot. Smith, who co-leads the league with four assists, has 19.
Scoring Struggles: The Hornets were shutout for the third time this season when they fell 4-0 at Loyola Marymount on Friday. Sacramento State then lost back-to-back games for the first time in 2013 after San Diego dealt the Hornets a 2-1 setback on Sunday. The Hornets have yet to score more than one goal in any of their first seven contests.
Luna Eclipse: Sophomore midfielder Edwin Luna provided the scoring for the Hornets last weekend with his first collegiate goal in the San Diego match. Luna is only one of four Hornets who have found the back of the net this season.
Castillo Remains Saves Leader: Senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo was busy protecting the Hornet goal as he made a combined 16 saves in the two matches last week. He had nine saves alone against San Diego. Over the last three contests, Castillo has stopped 26 shots, an average of 8.7 per game. He leads the Big West with 43 saves on the year.
Road Trip Finale: Sacramento State finishes off a four-match roadtrip on Saturday against UNLV.
Still Pushing: Despite being among the most active Big West squads on offense, UC Davis continues to slog along in search of goals. The Aggies came away from last weekend’s trip to southern California with a 1-0 loss to San Diego and a 1-1 tie against Loyola Marymount, marking the seventh and eighth straight games that UCD has failed to score more than a goal.
More Goalspeak: UC Davis is tied for last in the Big West for goals scored (4) while its 0.5 goals per game ranks at the bottom of the league. However, opposing defenses aren’t exactly stifling the Aggie attack as UC Davis has taken 128 shots, which ties for second among Big West teams.
Sheldon Finishes: The one player who has finished his chances for the Aggies this season is forward Matt Sheldon. The junior scored for the third time in the Loyola Marymount match. UC Davis is 2-0-1 in contests in which Sheldon scores a goal.
Tough Sledding: The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Aggies when they travel to No. 14 New Mexico this week.
Another Eye Opener: UC Irvine earned its third consecutive solid result against a ranked program when it trumped No. 11 UCLA, 3-1, on Thursday. That result came on the heels of defeating No. 16 Louisville (1-0) and tying No. 20 Indiana (1-1). A crowd of 1,147 watched the Anteaters defeat the Bruins for the third time in history.
Rankings Lift: The win over UCLA moved UCI up three spots in the Soccer America rankings from No. 25 to No. 22.
Shooter’s Mentality: UC Irvine has outshot its opponent in all eight contests this season. The Anteaters also have recorded double-digit shot attempts in all but one match. A trio of forwards – Enrique Cardenas, Lester Hayes III and Cameron Iwasa – have taken 61 of the team’s 120 shots.
Statistically Speaking: UC Irvine is 4-0-1 when allowing one goal or less to the opponent. Conversely, the team is 0-2-1 when it yields two goals.
Stingy: The Anteater defense has allowed a conference-low 17 shots on goal to opposing teams this season.
Redux: For the second straight season, UC Riverside is unbeaten through its first seven games. The Highlanders began the 2012 season 7-0-0 before losing their first contest. Last week, UCR managed a draw at Cal State Bakersfield before toppling UNLV at home by a 2-1 count.
Defensive Stalwarts: UC Riverside has allowed a league-low four goals through seven games, with just one opponent – Bradley – scoring more than once in a game. Junior goalkeeper KC John tops the Big West in goals against average (0.54), saves percentage (.862) and shutouts (4).
Long Back On Track: Aaron Long, who led the Highlanders with six goals in 2012, reached the halfway point of that total as he scored twice in two games last week. Long tied the score against Cal State Bakersfield with a strike in the 42nd minute, then put his team on top with the opening goal against UNLV. His three goals is tied for the team lead.
Another Crack: UCR travels to No. 12 UCLA Thursday looking to beat the Bruins for the first time in four tries.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Milestone Reached: UC Santa Barbara’s Tim Vom Steeg reached a career milestone as the 15th-year head coach won his 200th game when the Gauchos defeated Yale 3-1 on Friday. The winningest coach in UCSB and Big West history, Vom Steeg now owns a career mark of 200-81-30 (.691).
Campion Time: Senior Achille Campion ended a four-game goalless streak when he struck for a pair in the Yale win. The forward notched a goal in the season-opening victory against No. 19 Northwestern but then got kept out of the scoring column until erupting against the Bulldogs.
Gauchos On National Broadcast: UCSB continues a season-long seven-game homestand against Stanford on Friday. The match will be broadcasted worldwide on NSCAATV.com as a Men’s Soccer Game of the Week.
Eye On Attendance: UC Santa Barbara, the nation’s leader in average home attendance for six straight seasons, has drawn crowds in excess of 3,000 in three games so far.