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    UC Santa Barbara Women’s Soccer Slated to Host Highlanders, Titans in Big West Action

    The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Soccer team returns to Harder Stadium on Thursday and Sunday as they are set to host UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton as they continue Big West play.

    Last week UC Santa Barbara recorded a tie and loss for an 0-1-1 week. On Thursday, Sept. 21 the Gauchos came back down two goals to earn a tie against UC Irvine. On Sunday, UC Santa Barbara dropped their match 4-1 against Long Beach State.

    UC Riverside only played one match last week with a game against Hawai’i on Sunday, Sept. 24. The Highlanders won 1-0 to improve to 2-0 in Big West competition and currently sit atop The Big West standings.

    Cal State Fullerton earned two ties last week both by a score of 1-1. On Sept. 21 the Titans played Hawai’i and on Sunday tied with CSUN. Cal State Fullerton currently sits in eighth place in The Big West standings with a 0-1-2 record in conference action.

    UC Santa Barbara returns to Harder Stadium this week for two matches. Both the Gaucho wins this season have come on their home turf as they look to increase that number this weekend.

    Jaclyn Degidio and Brenna Madruga each recorded their first career goals in the Blue and Gold last week as Degidio scored the game-tying goal against UC Irvine and Madruga scored the Gauchos’ lone goal against Long Beach State. Degidio is the second freshman this season to find the back of the net, the other being Olivia Howard who currently has three goals on the season.

    The Gauchos are battling through some unfortunate injuries at the goalkeeper position but Maddie Buckley continues to make the most of her opportunities in goal. She has recorded multiple saves in two of the three games she has played in, recorded a shutout against Saint Mary’s, and pitched a second-half shutout against UC Irvine to help UC Santa Barbara to a come-from-behind draw.

    The Highlanders come into the weekend with a 2-5-4 overall record and are 2-0 in Big West competition. Like the Gauchos, both UC Riverside victories have come at home. The Highlanders are 0-2-2 in games away from UCR Soccer Stadium.

    In the 2023 Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll, UC Riverside was picked to finish ninth but currently sits atop The Big West standings. Forward, Daphane Mendez is a big reason as she has recorded one goal and two assists in Big West action. Mendez is currently tied for the team lead in goals and leads the team in assists and points.

    In goal, Cassia Souza has played all 990 minutes for UC Riverside. She currently sports a 2-5-4 record, 63 saves and a 1.73 goals-against average. Defender, Emma Gonzalez is another Highlander who has played every minute of every game in the 2023 season providing stability on the backline and the defensive side of the ball.

    Cal State Fullerton comes into the weekend with the same overall and conference record as UC Santa Barbara. Coming into the season Cal State Fullerton was slated to finish fourth in the 2023 Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

    The Titans have three athletes who have recorded multiple goals on the season. Leading CSUF is Kaylin Raibon, a 2023 All-Big West Preseason Team selection, who has scored four goals in 12 matches. Rounding out the multi-goal scorers are Kaitlin Taylor and Jaden Hall who each have two apiece.

    In goal, the Titans have relied on Mia Ranson who has started and played in 11 of the 12 matches. She currently posts a 2-4-5 record, 52 saves and a 1.36 goals-against average over 990 minutes of play.

    The Gauchos will take on UC Riverside at Harder Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 28, and Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Oct. 1 also at Harder. For those unable to attend both matches will be streamed through ESPN+ with live stats available through ucsbgauchos.com.

    Sunday’s match will be another community outreach event for the Women’s Soccer team as they will welcome SBSC/CCA Club teams to the game along with kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the game also representing Gaucho Soccer Breast Cancer Awareness Kickoff event.



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