Weekend On The West Coast For Bulldogs

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Avery Schwartz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Faces UC Santa Barbara Friday, Cal Poly On Sunday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's soccer team is heading west. The Bulldogs play at UC Santa Barbara on Friday at 10 p.m. EDT and then have a 4 p.m. EDT kickoff with Cal Poly on Sunday.

Here are storylines for the weekend:

•  The Bulldogs are making their first trip to California since 2004 when they played in San Diego and fell to Fresno State and the University of San Diego.

•  Friday's game at UC Santa Barbara is a homecoming for sophomore Avery Schwartz, a Santa Barbara native. Schwartz holds the Cate School record for goals in a season (38) and goals in a career (101) and was the 2011 Santa Barbara Player of the Year. Last fall, he was the only freshman to appear in all 17 games for the Bulldogs. His first career start came at Quinnipiac and he tallied an assist on the game-winning goal. Schwartz, whose family will host a dinner for the team on Saturday, has played in all four games this season.

•  There are five other California natives on the roster: Peter Ambiel (Los Altos), Lukas Czinger (Los Angeles), Jenner Fox (Palo Alto), Tucker Kocher (San Francisco) and Conner Lachenbruch (San Diego).

•  Yale (1-3) is coming off a pair of frustrating 1-0 losses to Fairfield and Lehigh last weekend. In each game, the only goal came on a penalty kick and in each case the foul called in the box did not appear to be clear cut.

• The Bulldogs have outshot their opponents in each of their first four games.

•  Goalkeeper Blake Brown had the unenviable task of replacing three-year starter Bobby Thalman '13. Brown, a junior, has performed well. He hasn't allowed a goal in regular play since the first half of the Sacred Heart game on Sept. 10.

•  Peter Jacobson has been Yale's most dangerous offensive players this season. He leads the team in shots (13) and goals (3). All three of his goals came in the 4-1 victory over Sacred Heart. It was the first hat trick by a Yale player since Alex Munns '07 in 2004 and earned Jacobson Ivy League Player of the Week honors.

•  UC Santa Barbara has one of the biggest home field advantages in all of college soccer. ESPN.com writer Scott French described UCSB and Gaucho soccer as "Soccer Heaven." The team plays its home games at 17,000-seat Meredith Field at Harder Stadium and annually leads the nation in attendance.

• Yale is the second straight Ivy League opponent for the Gauchos, who beat Penn 2-1 in double overtime last Sunday.

• UC Santa Barbara (3-2) received votes in this week's NSCAA national poll.

• Cal Poly (4-2) also received a vote in this week's NSCAA poll.

• The Mustangs have a 3-0 victory over then sixth-ranked UCLA on their resume. Cal Poly beat Penn 3-2 last Friday.

• Cal Poly also is a challenging place to play. Seven of the top 28 best-attended regular season matches in the history of collegiate soccer have occurred at Alex G. Spanos Stadium and all have been recorded since the start of the 2007 season.

• Yale is playing both UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly for the first time.

Live Stats, video and audio will be available for the game at UC Santa Barbara.

• There also are live stats, video and audio for the Cal Poly game.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity