UCSB Kicks Off Regular Season At Home Against St. Mary's

Jan Ilskens (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Jan Ilskens (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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The Schedule
Friday, Aug. 25 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. St. Mary's
All-time record vs. the Gaels: 7-4
Last meeting: Sept. 4, 2016 - UCSB def. SMC 1-0

Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. Siena
All-Time record vs. the Saints: First Meeting

• Video Stream Available
UCSBGauchos.com will offer a live video broadcast of Friday night's regular season opener against St. Mary's 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

• The Week Ahead
UC Santa Barbara men's soccer opens the 2017 regular season with a match against St. Mary's at Harder Stadium this Friday, Aug. 25 at 7:00 p.m. The Gauchos last faced off against the Gaels last season at home and came away with a 1-0 victory after a late goal by Nick Depuy. On Sunday afternoon, UCSB will host its first ever meeting against the Siena College Saints. Siena returns six starters and brings in eight newcomers to a team that finished 8-8-5 in 2016 and placed third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. 

• The Week in Review
In the 55th Annual Bryant & Sons Cup, UCSB fell 2-1 to Westmont College. The loss marks the first time the Gauchos have been defeated by the Warriors since 2000, yet still lead the overall series 27-24-4. Despite outshooting Westmont 10-4, and holding a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks, the Warriors were able to capitalize on their limited opportunities to come out on top. For UCSB, 12 of the 21 players that saw action were newcomers, including six of the starting 11. Sophomore Derek Kryzda prevented the shutout with a goal in the 90th minute for UCSB.

• 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.  

• 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. 

• 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. 

• 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. 

• Schedule Breakdown
Tim Vom Steeg has set up another challenging schedule for UCSB in 2017. The Gauchos will welcome tough non-conference opponents in No. 16 Akron, Pacific and Portland to Harder Stadium while squaring off against five teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last season. UCSB will stay home for much of the non-conference schedule, with just three road matches scheduled against San Diego, San Diego State and St. John's (N.Y.). 

• 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).

• Opening Act
The Gauchos have gone 14-2-2 during Tim Vom Steeg's tenure in season openers. In the past 10 years, they have lost just one opener, an overtime loss to Cal State Bakersfield in 2010. UCSB has won six straight openers (at Northwestern, at LMU, vs. Seattle. at College of Charleston, at Stanford, vs. Oakland at Ohio State), outscoring its opponents 14-4 in those games. 

• Double Digit Success
With 10 wins last season, UCSB has now won at least 10 games a year for an impressive16 consecutive seasons, a program record. Also after advancing to the Big West Tournament, the Gauchos notched a postseason berth for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons. 

• 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. 

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