DePuy, Bryan Help Squads To 2-0 Big West Starts
A pair of juniors claimed men’s soccer weekly honors as their performances were linked to 2-0 starts in conference play for UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton.
DePuy’s Game-Winners Lead To Repeat Honor
For the second straight week, UC Santa Barbara junior Nick DePuy (Irvine, Calif./Regis Jesuit HS) earned the Big West Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week award as he scored three goals, including two game-winners, to lead the Gauchos to two road conference victories.
DePuy’s offensive exploits continued a remarkable run of late, as he has scored seven goals in the last six contests. Four of those goals have accounted for game-winners over that six-game stretch. He leads the Big West with 10 goals this season.
In addition, DePuy has scored 19 goals in 24 games since converting to forward midway through the 2014 season.
An Irvine native, DePuy’s strike in the 12th minute gave UCSB a 2-1 lead in an eventual 3-1 victory over UC Irvine in front of family and friends in Thursday’s showdown between division favorites.
DePuy recorded his second two-goal effort of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime triumph at CSUN. He finished via the header in the 38th minute to open the match’s scoring, and later slotted home the clincher in the 98th minute off of a rebound of a missed shot.
DePuy is tied for the national lead in game-winning goals with five, while his 10 markers overall rank third. In addition, his 11 career game-winners already tie him for fifth all-time in Big West history.
For his efforts, DePuy garnered National Player of the Week recognition from College Soccer News.
Others nominated: Chase Minter (Cal Poly); Eduardo Calzada (UC Irvine); Norberto Ochoa (UC Riverside)
Bryan Spearheads Titan Defensive Effort
Zach Bryan (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Mesa HS) notched his first career Big West Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honor as the Cal State Fullerton junior was key in his team’s first 2-0 conference start.
Bryan anchored the Titan defense, which pitched back-to-back shutouts in defeating Sacramento State (2-0) and UC Davis (1-0). The Titans allowed those two opponents to take just 13 shots between them, including Thursday’s match in which Sacramento State managed just three shots, none of them being on goal.
The defender then injected himself into the scoring column against the Hornets, posting the game-winning goal in the 19th minute, his first of the season. The two shutouts gave CSF a league-leading six for the year.
CSF’s 2-0 Big West start is the first for the program since the conference reinstated men’s soccer in 2001.
Others nominated: Wade Hamilton (Cal Poly); Michael Sperber (UC Irvine)