Big West Unveils 2015 Men's Soccer All-Conference Team
2015 Big West Men's Soccer All-Conference Team
DePuy’s repeat selection as top offensive player was a nobrainer. The NCAA leader with 15 goals, DePuy was the engine that ran UC Santa Barbara’s potent top-ranked offense. The 6-4 forward scored at least one goal in 12 of 19 contests, impacting games profoundly with a nation-leading eight game-winning goals and ranking No. 2 in Big West single-season history in that category. Since moving up top from the midfield last season, DePuy has registered 24 goals over the last 33 games. The Gauchos are 16-0-4 when DePuy is successful at finding the back of the net. At one juncture, he delivered the game-winning goal in four straight matches. Earlier this season, the Irvine, Calif. native became the first player in league history to earn Big West Offensive Player of the Week honors three consecutive weeks.
The premier awards went to representatives from Cal Poly, CSUN and UC Santa Barbara to highlight today’s announcement of the 2015 Big West Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team.
Three individuals earned major hardware in back-to-back seasons, as UC Santa Barbara forward Nick DePuy took home Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Cal Poly teammates Chase Minter and Wade Hamilton reclaimed the Midfielder of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year hardware, respectively. UCSB received further recognition with Geoffrey Acheampong the choice as Freshman of the Year, and Tim Vom Steeg as Coach of the Year. Three-time first-team all-conference standout Trevor Morley of CSUN rounded out the list of beneficiaries as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Minter (Heath, Texas/Rockwall-Heath HS) became the second two-time Big West Midfielder of the Year, joining UC Santa Barbara’s Danny Barrera (2009-10) on the prestigious list. The program’s all-time career assists leader (21), Minter was the quintessential dual threat as attacker and creator for Cal Poly. He is tied for second in the Big West in goals (7), tied for third in assists (6) and second in points (20) this season. A preseason Watch List selection for the MAC Hermann Trophy, Minter factored heavily in Cal Poly’s rise to as high as No. 16 in the national polls and overall record of 10-3-5. The Mustangs are 7-1-1 when he either records a goal or an assist. Minter delivered his third career brace in the regular season finale against Sacramento State.
Hamilton (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) became the first Cal Poly goalkeeper to earn top honors twice. Starting all 18 matches between the pipes, Hamilton registered a 0.98 goals against average with 59 saves and seven shutouts. Among the Big West leaders, Hamilton ranked second in goals against average, fourth in saves and third in save percentage (.756). The senior is perched prominently within the Big West career top-10 in terms of saves (283, No. 8), wins (33, t-No. 5) and minutes played (6,562, No. 6). He stopped five or more shots on five occasions, including a season-high eight in the regular season finale versus Sacramento State. Hamilton’s 17 career shutouts rank No. 2 all-time at Cal Poly.
UC Santa Barbara continued its stranglehold on the Freshman of the Year award. Acheampong’s selection meant that the Gauchos have collected the honor in four straight and six of the last seven years. He topped the Big West with 10 assists, becoming the first Gaucho since Luis Silva and Dom Sarle in 2012 to record double-digit assists in a season. Acheampong’s creativity has helped UCSB rank in the top 10 nationally in goals scored (38, No. 8). Hailing from Accra, Ghana, Acheampong also scored three goals to give him 16 points, tying him for fifth on the Big West leaderboard. UCSB is 7-2-2 on the year when Acheampong compiles at least one point.
Vom Steeg earned his fifth top coaching honor, tying him with CSUN’s Terry Davila for the most all-time in Big West annals. Vom Steeg led UC Santa Barbara to a 7-2-1 conference record and a third consecutive North Division title. The Gauchos are 20-4-6 in conference play over the last three seasons. In guiding UCSB to an overall mark of 12-5-2 entering the Big West Tournament, Vom Steeg succeeded in winning at least 10 games for the 15th straight season. In his 17th-year at UCSB, he became the first bench boss to reach two milestones, recording his 200th victory as a Big West coach and his 100th conference win. Vom Steeg’s previous Coach of the Year citations occurred in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2013.
Morley (San Diego, Calif./University City HS), just the fourth Matador to capture three career All-Big West First Team awards, became the program’s third representative of the top defensive honor, joining Edwin Miranda (2002-03) and Joe Franco (2012). He anchored a solid CSUN defense that ranked third in the Big West with a 1.01 goals against average and tied for second in fewest goals allowed (19). The senior also ranked second on the team with four goals, all coming on penalty kicks.
In addition to Morley’s three-time representation on the all-conference first team, five players earned the recognition for the second time in their careers – the Cal Poly duo of Hamilton and Minter, DePuy of UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine senior Eduardo Calzada and UC Riverside senior Michael Salazar.
The complete 2015 All-Big West Men’s Soccer Team can be viewed via the PDF link at the top of the page.