Crowned the Big West Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive time and just the fifth player in Big West history to be selected First Team All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), junior forward Nick DePuy had one of the most prolific seasons in the nation in 2015. In addition to leading the conference in goals (15), total points (31) and shots (80), DePuy was best in the clutch as he led both the nation and conference with eight game-winning goals and is currently third all-time in Big West history with 14 career game-winners. The Gauchos’ sharpshooter also tied for third in the nation in scoring with 15 goals. Becoming the first player in Big West history to earn three straight Big West Offensive Player of the Week awards this season, DePuy’s impact on the field is inevitable as Santa Barbara is 16-0-4 all-time when the forward scores a goal. Eric Swenson / Daily Nexus

Eric Swenson / Daily Nexus

Fresh off of a rough showing at the Akron Tournament, the No. 13 UCSB mens soccer team will welcome the Bruins to Harder Stadium in whats surely going to be one of the most entertaining non-conference matches of the year.

The Gauchos went 0-2 in their recent visit to Ohio, causing their overall record to drop to 4-2-0, while UCLAs two wins last week improved their standing to an impressive 3-1-1 and a bump to a No.7 national ranking.

Against Akron, UCSB possessed the ball for most of the match but was unable to find the net despite some close misses. Versus Butler, the defense struggled to contain Bulldog striker David Goldsmith, who scored two goals and assisted one in leading his team to the 4-2 victory over Santa Barbara, earning himself the National Player of the Week award.

Despite allowing six goals in the last two matches, freshman goalkeeper Titouan Le Roux has still managed to impress and continues to establish himself as the first-choice shot-stopper since Justin Vom Steegs departure to Germany. The France native made a combined 12 saves in Santa Barbaras recent losses, including a career-high seven against Butler, a blocked penalty at Akron and some flashy highlight reel stops.

But with UCLAs arrival to its’ northern neighbor, a major rivalry is rekindled, and the Gauchosrecent success at home could give them an edge in the Saturday night headliner. The Bruins dominate the all-time record in the matchup at 33-5-4, but UCSB has won the biggest off all 42 meetings including the 2006 National Championship game.

UCSB also defeated UCLA on the road in a historic 4-2 win just last season. After going down a goal early, striker Nick Depuy scored two, midfielder Josue España one and winger Ahinga Selemani one, to give the Gauchos their first-ever win at Drake Stadium.

All three players returned this season and have been key starters in the teams early season performances. Depuy and Selemani have each scored twice and España leads Santa Barbara with three assists to go with a game-winning goal scored against Oakland.

The trio has been instrumental in the early season prowess on attack, and even in the two losses at Akron, the Gauchos did find chances on the counter often pivoting around España.

The Bruins are heading into Santa Barbara firing on all cylinders, bouncing back from their lone loss of the season at home to Duke. UCLA has knocked off then-No. 1 Akron 6-1 before dispatching CSU Northridge 4-0.

Junior number nine Abu Danladi scored three goals in the two matches with just 43 minutes of match time and will be hopeful of his chances to earn his spot in the starting XI on Saturday.

Sophomore midfielder Jackson Yueill has been pulling the strings for UCLA so far, with a team-high 5 assists, good enough for the third-highest total in the nation.

The Gauchos will have to tighten up their defense to stop the marauding Bruin attack, but UCSB has looked strong as usual on their home turf, outscoring their opponents 6-2 in the first two games at Harder this year. The UCLA match will also be the first game of the season that will draw the massive crowds that make Santa Barbara such a feared place to play.

The two giants of Southern California will meet on Saturday, September 17 at 7:05 p.m. at Harder Stadium where both will be playing on the front foot in such a high stakes, high-publicity match. A video stream for the game will be available on the mens soccer schedule page on