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Head coach Einar Thorarinsson, left, and assistant coach Vito Higgins, have to ponder what do do against UCSB.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Bulldogs Host Ranked UC Santa Barbara In Nike Soccer Classic

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 08/28/2012
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            SPOKANE, Wash. - The first regular-season men's soccer rankings of the season are out, and there's a top 10 team in the field for the Nike Soccer Classic this weekend at Gonzaga Soccer Field.

            UC Santa Barbara is ranked fourth by Soccer America and ninth by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Gauchos opened the season with a 2-1 victory at Loyola Marymount University this past weekend.

            The Gonzaga Nike Soccer Classic begins Friday at 1 p.m. with UCSB facing Oregon State University followed by Gonzaga taking on Manhattan College at 4 p.m. Sunday's schedule has OSU meeting Manhattan at 11 a.m. and the Bulldogs taking on UCSB at 2 p.m.

            Sunday will be the first ranked opponent the Bulldogs have played at home since Nov. 16, 2007, when third-ranked Santa Clara University visited and handed Gonzaga a hard-fought 1-0 overtime defeat. The Zags earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament that season.

            UCSB becomes the 21st ranked team to face the Bulldogs in Spokane, the Zags posting a 10-7-3 mark in the 20 previous home matches against ranked teams.

            Gonzaga has played one other ranked UCSB team in its history, taking a 1-0 road victory over the then-No. 1 ranked and defending College Cup champion Gauchos Sept. 2, 2007. Current Gonzaga assistant coach Vito Higgins was a senior on that Bulldog squad, making five saves.

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