UC Riverside Sweeps Men's Soccer Honors
A hat trick against San Francisco and a victory over No. 8 UCLA fueled the selection of UC Riverside teammates Norberto Ochoa and Vincent Morales as the Big West Men’s Soccer Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.
Ochoa Nets Hat Trick
UC Riverside senior Norberto Ochoa (Riverside, Calif./Poly HS) garnered Big West Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors as he recorded just the second hat trick in the school’s Division I history.
Ochoa scored goals in the 38th, 56th and 59th minutes to give the Highlanders a 3-0 triumph against San Francisco. He not only compiled his first collegiate goal, but added two more for good measure as the effort vaulted him in a tie for the Big West lead. Teammate Michael Salazar recorded the only other hat trick in UCR’s D-I history, doing so on August 29, 2014 against Pacific.
For his efforts, Ochoa was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.
Ochoa then served as an effective decoy against No. 8 UCLA, and the forward helped the Highlanders pull off the 2-1 upset. It was UCR’s first-ever win over the Bruins, and their second-ever against a ranked, non-conference opponent.
Others nominated: Chase Minter (Cal Poly); Diego Sanchez (Cal State Fullerton); Bert Corona (Sacramento State); Ivan Canales (UC Irvine)
Morales Impresses In First Two Collegiate Starts
Making the first two starts of his collegiate career, UC Riverside sophomore Vincent Morales (Bellflower, Calif./Mayfair HS) allowed just one goal in over 185 minutes to secure Big West Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week recognition.
Morales recorded his first career shutout in a 3-0 blanking of San Francisco. He then helped the Highlanders knock off No. 8-ranked UCLA, 2-1, as UCR recorded just its second-ever win over a nationally ranked non-conference foe.
The keeper tallied five saves in each of the two contests, and posted a .909 save percentage for the week.
Others nominated: Wade Hamilton (Cal Poly); David Elias (Cal State Fullerton); Jack Birkenbeuel (UC Irvine)