After shutting down UCLA and California-Berkley last weekend, the UCSB’s men’s lacrosse team, led by Head Coach Scott DeMonte and Assistant Coach Mathew Clark, is going full force into the 2001-2002 season.

The Gauchos overtook the Bruins 9-3 last Saturday and decided that wasn’t enough, registering another preseason win after beating Cal 7-3 on the same day. Gauchos Jim Clark and Hank Caulkins contributed with four goals each for the day and the defense held strong, thanks to players Seth Stern, Andrew Day and Peter Gerritz. In their goalie debuts, freshmen Ryan Brittian and Mike Gerrard proved that scoring will not be an easy task for the opposition this season.

Along with Brittian and Gerrard, the Gauchos have added 20 other rookies to their roster. Players to look for this year include attack man Luke Wilson and midfielder Will Patton. The team lost six of its 10 starting players from last season’s lineup, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue as far as DeMonte is concerned.

Returnees include senior captains Stern and Cameron Ahler and junior captain Ben Scooler. Midfielder Tom Smith, along with attack men Clark and Caulkins have strapped on their cleats again for UCSB.

The Gauchos have a lot to hold their heads high about following a very successful season last year. The team advanced all the way to the West Coast Lacrosse League Championships for the first time in 15 years. Santa Barbara played on to defeat California in the semi-finals, followed by a tough loss to Sonoma State 10-7 in the final round.

However UCSB’s season was not over. The Gauchos traveled to St. Louis for the National Tournament as the #9 seed, defeating #8 Auburn and later knocking out the University of Michigan, the top seed in the tourney. Santa Barbara concluded its season ranked fourth in the United States Lacrosse International Association.

“We want to gel as a team; new players gel with veterans,” DeMonte said. “We want to win the Southern Conference and make it back to St. Louis.”

The lacrosse team will travel to Loyal Marymount University this weekend for a preseason tournament, and will host an alumni game on Nov 3 at 1 p.m. The regular season for the Gauchos kicks off with a home game against Chapman University on Feb. 2.