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Men's Soccer

Undefeated Cal State Northridge Achieves Program Record No. 3 Ranking

9/17/2013

Men's Soccer Release No. 4

Enjoying its best start since 1987, the 6-0-0 Cal State Northridge men's soccer team is ranked No. 3 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).  It the highest national ranking in program history.  The Matadors host UNLV and No. 11 UCLA in hopes of continuing their unbeaten string.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

CAL POLY

Goal Outbreak: Cal Poly erupted for a 6-1 victory against visiting San Jose State on Sunday, registering its highest goal total since blanking Cal State Monterey Bay 8-0 on Sept. 1, 2000.  The Mustangs have scored at least three goals in four of their six matches.

Record Setting Pace: With 16 goals scored in their first six games, the Mustangs are on pace to shatter the school’s single-season goals record of 40, owned by the 1994 squad.

Pridham On The Prowl: Senior Mackenzie Pridham recorded his 17th career goal in the San Jose State win, moving him into a tie for third place in Mustang history.  He now is nine goals shy of catching all-time leaders David Zamora (2007-10) and Clay Harty (1995-96), who each scored 26 goals.

Balanced Success: Nine Mustangs have combined to score 16 goals and seven different players have recorded at least one assist in the early going of the 2013 season.

CAL STATE FULLERTON


Skid Continues: A trip to the east coast did not help the Cal State Fullerton cause as the team returned with a pair of losses to Cornell (2-1 in OT) and Colgate (3-1).  For the third straight match, the Titans held a held but could not hang on for the victory.  CSF has now lost a season-high four straight games.

Another Road Test: The Titans have dropped five straight road contests dating back to last season, and hope to squelch that streak on Saturday when they face Nebraska-Omaha.

Ramos Rambles: Junior Ian Ramos ended a brief scoring slump in a big way as he accounted for both of Cal State Fullerton’s goals on the east coast road trip.  Ramos, who ranked second on the team in 2012 with six goals, now leads the Titans in that category.

Saves Leader: Senior goalkeeper Bryan Escalante tops the Big West in saves with 30.  He has collected 20 of those stops in the last three games.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE

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Still Undefeated: Cal State Northridge kept the momentum going with its third consecutive 2-0 week.  The Matadors won the NTLC Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Lobo Invitational, downing Central Arkansas (4-1) and host and No. 7 New Mexico (3-2).  CSUN is 6-0-0 for just the third time in school history, equalling the 1987 and 1979 squads for the feat.  The 1979 team is the only squad to reach the 7-0-0 mark.

Ranking Achievement: The Matadors vaulted all the way to No. 3 in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, the highest national ranking in school history.  CSUN is also ranked No. 5 nationally by Top Drawer Soccer.

Lev-Ari Receives Accolades: Reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Week Sagi Lev-Ari accounted for both game-winning goals last week, ranking No. 1 in the Big West with seven strikes on the year.  He is third in the nation in points (15) on seven goals and one assist.  Lev-Ari’s exploits earned him a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.

SACRAMENTO STATE

Fit To Be Tied: Sacramento State ran its streak of consecutive tie games to three after drawing with San Francisco (1-1) and Saint Mary’s (0-0 last week.  The Gael matchup began a four-game roadtrip, which continues this week at Loyola Marymount and San Diego.

Overtime Streak Continues: The Hornets have now played 24 straight overtime games, dating back to the 2010 season opener, in which the outcome resulted in a win or a tie.  Sacramento State is 10-0-14 in extra time contests during that span.

Ikyurav Dents Scoring Column: Senior Isaac Ikyurav, who tied for the team lead with five goals in 2012, netted his first goal this season against San Francisco in the 23rd minute.  The strike almost held up, but the Dons gained the equalizer just six minutes before full time.

Creating Chances:  Sacramento State has been active on offense, ranking second in the Big West in shots per game (16.8).  However, the Hornets are tied for the league-low with three goals on the year.

UC DAVIS

Back To Even: UC Davis won a pair of 1-0 contests to pull even at 3-3 on the season.  The Aggies are continuing a trend from last season in which they went 7-4 in one-goal games.  Davis is 3-1 in such games this year and despite just three goals scored all season, trademark defense has kept the squad at .500.

Sheldon For The Win: Junior Matt Sheldon notched his second game-winning goal of the year in the 1-0 triumph over San Francisco.  Sheldon has made a living producing dramatics for the Aggies during his three-year tenure.  Of his seven career goals, five have accounted for game-winners.

Shutout Sensation: Senior Omar Zeenni picked up a pair of shutouts last week to up his career total to 16, which ranks second in school history and one short of the record held by Nic Platter (2000-03).  Zeenni is just two clean sheets shy of breaking into the Big West career top 10.

More On Zeenni:
  Netminder Zeenni’s 0.98 career goals against average currently ranks No. 9 in Big West history.

UC IRVINE

Impressive Showing: UC Irvine sent a loud message to the rest of the country with outstanding efforts on the road against two ranked programs.  The Anteaters knocked off No. 16 Louisville (1-0) and battled No. 20 Indiana, the defending national champions, to a 1-1 draw.  Most telling was how dominant UCI on the stat sheet, outshooting the two foes a combined 30-8.

More On That Win: The win over Louisville represented UCI’s first over a ranked non-conference road opponent since Oct. 7, 2009, when the ‘Eaters toppled No. 24 New Mexico 2-1.

Rankings Rumblings: UC Irvine’s 3-1-2 start and last week’s showing vaulted the program into the national rankings.  Top Drawer Soccer slotted the Anteaters No. 25 in its weekly poll.

Tough Backline:  UCI’s defense has been impressive with only five goals allowed in six games.  Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Breslin has been forced to make just eight saves in six starts and he has posted three shutouts.

UC RIVERSIDE

Unbeaten: For the second straight season, UC Riverside is unbeaten through its first five games.  The Highlanders forged a scoreless draw at San Diego on Friday to move to 4-0-1 on the year.  UCR started out the 2012 season at 7-0 before suffering its first blemish.  The San Diego match marked the first time UCR did not score this season.

John Adds Another Clean Sheet: Junior goalkeeper K.C. John registered his league-leading fourth shutout as he kept San Diego off the board for 110 minutes.  John also posted clean sheets over Iona, Marist and Georgia State. 

This Week: UC Riverside closes out a four-match roadtrip on Thursday against Cal State Bakersfield before returning home on Sunday versus UNLV.  The Highlanders are 2-0 on their home pitch this year.

Sharing The Wealth:  The game-winning goal in each of the four Highlander wins have come from a different player – Romario Lomeli, Ivan Garcia, Hector Romo and Aaron Long.  Lomeli, a freshman, leads the team with three goals.

UC SANTA BARBARA

Heady Stuff: UC Santa Barbara ended a brief two-game losing streak thanks to a header goal from forward Charlie Miller midway through the second overtime of a 2-1 victory over Penn Sunday.  Miller was the beneficiary of an Ismaila Jome cross, and met the ball as he dove forward in the six-yard box.

Much Better: UC Santa Barbara struggled some in overtime games last year, posting a 1-3-3 record including losses in each of its final three extra time forays.  The win over Penn marked the first OT game of 2013 for UCSB.

Vom Steeg Goes For No. 200: In his 15th season at the UC Santa Barbara helm, head coach Tim Vom Steeg attempts to corral his 200th career victory when the Gauchos take the pitch against Yale Friday.  He owns a career record of 199-80-30 (.693).

McNeely Comes Up Big:  Freshman netminder Josh McNeely made a career-high six saves against Penn, none bigger than on a Quaker breakaway when he stopped forward Sam Hayward in his tracks.

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