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Men's Soccer

UC Santa Barbara Grabs Three of Six Big West Men's Soccer Awards

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League champion and defending national champion UC Santa Barbara's outstanding regular season on the field was magnified Tuesday as the seventh-ranked Gauchos took home three of the six individual honors from the Big West. Junior Chris Pontius claimed Offensive Player of the Year, sophomore transfer Ciaran O'Brien was tabbed the midfielder of the Year, while senior Andy Iro became the first three-time winner of a major award with his selection as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Three different schools claimed the final three honors as senior Charles Alamo of UC Riverside was named the Goalkeeper of the Year, Cal Poly freshman David Zamora was named the Freshman of the Year and newcomer UC Davis had its head man Dwayne Shaffer named the Coach of the Year.

Pontius, a native of Yorba Linda, Calif., had a breakout season for league champion UCSB. The first team All-Big West selection returned to the striker position after two years in the midfield and delivered a league-best 11 goals and 24 points. He was at his best in the Gauchos' nationally televised 4-0 romp of UC Irvine October 3, netting a hat trick for his first career multi-goal game. The performance earned him Big West Player of the Week honors and national player of the week recognition from College Soccer News and Soccer America. He also scored twice off the bench in UCSB’s 3-2 come-from-behind road win over Cal State Northridge November 13. The win gave UC Santa Barbara its fifth conference title and was its first win in Northridge since 2000.

Iro, a senior from Liverpool, England, lived up to his lofty reputation as one of the nation's premier defensive players with his league-record third Defensive Player of the Year nod. After being named a preseason first team All-America by several publications, a Hermann Award candidate and a LOEWS Senior CLASS award candidate, the rugged defender was the centerpiece of a UCSB defense that allowed 19 goals in as many games. Iro, a four-time first team All-Big West selection, led the Gauchos to a 0.95 goals against average and five shutouts.

O'Brien, who hails from Federal Way, Wash., showed people around the country why he was one of the most sought after transfers in the country. The sophomore, who played his freshman season at San Diego, was a playmaker in every sense of the word with seven goals and a league-best nine assists to pick up 23 points, second in the Big West. He has been on a tear of late, scoring five goals and picking up five assists in his last seven matches. Of the 17 goals scored during that span by UC Santa Barbara, O'Brien, a first team All-Big West honoree, has been directly involved in 10 of them. He also claimed three Big West Player of the Week awards and was named to the national team of the week by Soccer America and College Soccer News on three occasions.

Zamora, a freshman from San Jose, Costa Rica, paid immediate dividends in his first season in a Mustang uniform. The forward played and started all 19 matches for Cal Poly, leading the club in scoring with six goals and five assists for 17 points. The multi-skilled Zamora was stellar against conference opponents, tallying four goals and adding two assists. His best game came against UC Irvine October 10 when he recorded his first multi-goal game with a pair of scores and added an assist. In that match, he scored twice in little over a minute late in the second half to turn a 2-1 deficit into an eventual 3-2 victory for the Mustangs.

Alamo, a native of San Luis Obispo, Calif., became the first major award winner for the Highlanders in their tenure in the Big West Conference. The senior goalkeeper wrapped up his impressive career leading the Big West in saves (79), saves per game (4.16), third in shutouts (6) and fourth in goals against average (1.03). On the Big West career lists, the first team All-Big West choice ranks second with 67 matches in goal and seventh in shutouts with 16.

Shaffer led the Aggies to an impressive debut in the Big West on his way to top coach honors. UC Davis finished second in the Big West after going 7-3-2 against conference foes in its first full year as a Division I member. UCD's hard work paid off as the NCAA extended an at-large bid the Aggies for their strong season. Shaffer’s club plays an uptempo brand of soccer that has them currently ranked eighth in the NCAA and tops in the Big West in goals per game (2.26).

The complete All-Big West Men's Soccer Team can be viewed below:



Player School Year Position Hometown
Chris Pontius UC Santa Barbara Junior Forward Yorba Linda, Calif.
Tino Nunez UC Santa Barbara Senior Forward Long Beach, Calif.
Eric Avila++ UC Santa Barbara Sophomore Forward San Diego, Calif.
David Zamora Cal Poly Freshman Forward San Jose, Costa Rica
Ciaran O’Brien UC Santa Barbara Sophomore Midfielder Federal Way, Wash.
Alfonso Motagalvan UC Santa Barbara Junior Midfielder Gilroy, Calif.
Brennan Tennelle UC Santa Barbara Senior Midfielder San Diego, Calif.
Michael Farfan+ Cal State Fullerton Sophomore Midfielder Chula Vista, Calif.
Andy Iro^ UC Santa Barbara Senior Defender Liverpool, England
Sean Franklin++ Cal State Northridge Senior Defender Palmdale, Calif.
Matt Tracy Cal State Northridge Senior Defender Newport Beach, Calif.
K.J. Lenehan Cal Poly Senior Defender Escondido, Calif.
Charles Alamo UC Riverside Senior Goalkeeper San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Player School Year Position Hometown
Nicholas Lind UC Davis Senior Forward Mission Viejo, Calif.
Gabriel Farfan Cal State Fullerton Sophomore Forward Chula Vista, Calif.
Quincy Amarikwa UC Davis Junior Forward Bakersfield, Calif.
Matt Murphy UC Irvine Junior Midfielder Anaheim Hills, Calif.
Rafael Garcia Cal State Northridge Freshman Midfielder Canoga Park, Calif.
Sule Anibaba UC Davis Junior Midfielder Davis, Calif.
Kyle Montgomery Cal Poly Freshman Midfielder Seattle, Wash.
Paul Cain UC Davis Senior Defender Redlands, Calif.
David Sias UC Irvine Junior Defender Fountain Valley, Calif.
David Lozano UC Riverside Sophomore Defender Dana Hills, Calif.
Kevin Guppy Cal State Northridge Junior Goalkeeper Chino Hills, Calif.
Player School Year Position Hometown
Nathan Paterson UC Riverside Sophomore Forward Modesto, Calif.
Andrew Villalobos UC Riverside Senior Forward Whittier, Calif.
Cito Soriano UC Riverside Freshman Forward Hesperia, Calif.
Anton Peterlin Cal Poly Junior Midfielder San Franciso, Calif.
Sunghyun Kim Cal State Northridge Sophomore Midfielder Los Angeles, Calif.
Skyler Thuresson Cal State Fullerton Senior Midfielder Long Beach, Calif.
Jon Curry UC Santa Barbara Sophomore Defender Sacramento, Calif.
Matt Sanders Cal State Fullerton Sophomore Defender Orange, Calif.
Casey Cordray Cal Poly Junior Defender Irvine, Calif.
Brandon Foster UC Irvine Senior Defender Pasadena, Calif.
Eric Branagan-Franco Cal Poly Junior Goalkeeper Napa, Calif.
Brent Douglas Cal State Fullerton Senior Goalkeeper Peoria, Ariz.
+ - Two-time All-Big West First Team selection
++ - Three-time All-Big West First Team selection
^ - Four-time All-Big West First Team selection
2007 Big West Offensive Player Of The Year
Chris Pontius, UC Santa Barbara
2007 Big West Midfielder Of The Year
Ciaran O’Brien, UC Santa Barbara
2007 Big West Defensive Player Of The Year
Andy Iro, UC Santa Barbara
2007 Big West Goalkeeper Of The Year
Charles Alamo, UC Riverside
2007 Big West Freshman Of The Year
David Zamora, Cal Poly
2007 Big West Coach Of The Year
Dwayne Shaffer, UC Davis