« Men’s Soccer 2010

Sam Hayden





Sam Hayden is on track to graduate in geography after one year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to his transfer, Hayden was a member of the honor roll at Yavapai College. In addition to pursuing a professional soccer career after graduation, Hayden has ambitions of joining a church that helps build houses for the less fortunate in the United States and abroad.


Hayden had a long road from a three-sport athlete in Wyoming to one of the top Division I goalkeepers. Standing at just 5-feet-11, Hayden wasn’t highly recruited out of high school and so he attended Yavapai College. In two years there he led his team to two national championships and the UCSB coaching staff took notice. “Sam is a player who has overachieved,” coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “He was not highly recruited, he was told he was too small to play the position and through all that, he has battled to make himself one of the top goalkeepers in this year’s senior class.” It is his persistence, strong work ethic and never-quit attitude that led the Gaucho coaching staff to name Sam a senior captain for the upcoming season. “Sam’s greatest strength is his unwillingness to be told that he cannot succeed at something,” Vom Steeg said. “If somebody told him that he couldn’t be the starting goalie or couldn’t make the save, or that he couldn’t do what is needed to win the game, he defy them and will find a way. Sam epitomizes all of the characteristics or qualities you talk about in a player that refuses to give up.”


During the past three summers, Hayden helped referee and organize the Santa Barbara Fiesta Tournament, serving as the head tournament director this year. Additionally, he has worked and helped organize the Santa Barbara Soccer Camps, passing on his knowledge to players from the ages of 5-11. While at Yavapai College, he shared his goalkeeping expertise by providing free coaching and he also refereed a U16 tournament. Off the field, Sam has helped build homes in Mexico for impoverished families with the Presbyterian Church of Jackson. He also traveled to Nashville, Tenn., with the church to help rebuild a house that had been destroyed by termites. In 2009, he served as one of the UCSB men’s soccer team’s representatives on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.


In his first season of Big West competition, Hayden set the school and conference single-season record with 16 shutouts. He also had multiple stretches of more than 500 scoreless minutes, setting the school record with nearly 600. For his efforts, Hayden was placed on the All-Big West first team, named the conference Goalkeeper of the Year and honored as the 2009 LA Soccer News Men’s Player of the Year. He also made the NSCAA’s All-Region second team. Before transferring to UCSB, Hayden was a two-time NJCAA Goalkeeper of the Year.