A Look Back At The 2015 Men's Soccer Season
2015 Final Men's Soccer Release
A trip to the Sweet 16 for UC Santa Barbara, and additional NCAA Tournament appearances by Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton in 2015 strengthened the Big West's stronghold as one of the nation's top men's soccer conferences.
SEASON WRAP UP
• With UC Santa Barbara reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Clemson, the Big West continued a tradition of success that has witnessed at least one team advance to the Sweet 16 for the 11th time in 13 years.
• Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton and UCSB’s participation in the NCAA Tournament gave the Big West three postseason representatives for the third time in conference history. Four teams advanced to postseason in 2008, while three squads made the bracket in 2013.
• UC Santa Barbara, as a No. 15 seed, reached national seed status for the seventh time in program history. The Gauchos also earned national seeds in 2003 (11), 2004 (9), 2007 (12), 2008 (15), 2011 (15) and 2013 (10).
• CSF won its second straight Big West Tournament title under second-year head coach George Kuntz. Kuntz has guided the Titans to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances after a long dry spell that dated back to 2000.
• First-year Cal Poly head coach Steve Sampson directed the Mustangs to their third NCAA Tournament appearance – and first since 2008 – behind an 11-win season that equalled the program record. Senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton finished in the Big West career top-10 in saves (293, 7th), minutes played (6,832, 5th), and victories (34, 5th).
Season Ends: After a seven-year hiatus from the NCAA Tournament, Cal Poly’s return to the postseason was derailed in a 2-0 loss to UCLA in the first round. The Mustangs made their third NCAA appearance – second as a Big West member – with all three opening round matches against UCLA.
High Standards: Cal Poly finished the 2015 campaign with a Division I program record-tying 11 victories, matching (11) the 1995, 1998, 2007, 2008 and 2012 teams.
Wade’s World: Senior Wade Hamilton concluded his Mustang career as one of the top goalkeepers in Big West history. He is ranked in the conference career top-10 in saves (293, 7th), minutes played (6,832, 4th), matches played (73, t-5th) and wins (34, 5th).
Hot And Cold: Cal Poly allowed six of its last nine opponents to score two or more goals, yielding 14 goals during that span. Conversely, foes scored multiple goals just once over the first 12 games, with just 10 shots finding paydirt.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Tough Ending: Cal State Fullerton fell in its NCAA Tournament First Round matchup, 3-0, to Santa Clara to end a successful season that included a South Division championship, a Big West Tournament title, and first round NCAA hosting opportunity.
Numbers Game: With a 13-8-1 record, the Titans accumulated their most wins since the 2000 club won 15. CSF also made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since the 1993 and 1994 teams.
Shut Em Down: The Titans led the Big West with 12 shutouts in 2015, with 11 of their 13 wins resulting via the clean sheet.
Baseline For Success: The Titans were 8-0-0 this year when scoring two or more goals, and have posted a 15-0-1 mark over the last two seasons under those conditions.
Young’Ins: Freshmen or sophomores accounted for 21 of CSF’s 31 goals scored this season.
Overtime Blahs: The Matadors fell in overtime to UC Davis in the first round of the Big West Tournament, and their record in OT matches this season was 0-3-3. Dating back to last season, CSUN is 0-5-5 in OT contests, and its last extra period win was on Sept. 25, 2014 against Bakersfield.
Tournament Tally: CSUN lost for the first time in three hosted tournament matches after knocking off Cal Poly in the 2013 first round and 2012 semifinals. The Matadors fell to 4-3-0 all-time in the Big West Tournament.
Hobbs Finishes Solid Career: CSUN senior netminder Adam Hobbs concluded his Matador career with 84 saves, the seventh-highest single-season total in school history. His 218 career saves ranked No. 4 in CSUN annals.
Turcios On The Assist List: Senior David Turcios recorded an assist on CSUN’s goal in the conference tournament first round against UC Davis, giving him 20 helpers for his career and placing him at No. 10 in the school’s record book.
Just Missed: The Hornets came up win one short of reaching their second straight Big West Tournament. They finished in last place in the North Division by two points. Sacramento State tied its 2014 mark for victories with six.
Bumgarner Finishes On Hot Streak: Sacramento State has a forward for the future in redshirt freshman Brad Bumgarner. He scored in the season finale against Cal Poly, marking his fourth goal in the final seven games. His team-leading seven goals was three more than the next player on the team.
Del Curto Tops In 2015: Sophomore goalkeeper James Del Curto owns the top single-game saves total in the Big West this season when he made 14 stops against UC Irvine on Oct. 8.
Sandoval Looks To Bright Future: Forward Cylus Sandoval has finished in the top three of Hornet scorers in each of his first two seasons. He was third in points (8) on four goals in 2015, and tied for second with six points as a freshman in 2014.
Season Ends: UC Davis saw its 2015 campaign end in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament, a 1-0 loss to UC Santa Barbara. It was the fourth time in the final five games that the Aggies failed to score a goal. The team had a roller coaster year, beginning 1-5 and going 1-4-1 down the stretch. In between, the Aggies enjoyed a period in which they went 6-1-2.
Weezy Ends His Career: Senior forward Matt Wiesenfarth concluded an outstanding Aggie career ranked among the all-time greats in program history. He finished No. 2 in career goals (17) and total points (42), and tied for No. 1 in game-winning goals (7). Wiesenfarth also owns the Division I program record in shots (153).
Everyone In On The Act: Fourteen different Aggies found the back of the net in 2015, the largest number of goal scorers since UC Davis had 16 players notch goals during the 1999 season.
Mohageg Mention: The Aggies were 7-1 this season when senior Lucas Mohageg recorded a goal or an assist.
Tough Exit: UC Irvine did everything it was supposed to do to emerge from Saturday’s Big West Tournament first round match with a win – the Anteaters outshot host Cal Poly 17-4 and had a 14-0 advantage in corner kicks. But the Anteaters lost in the category that counted most – goals scored – as the Mustangs held on for a 1-0 victory.
Tourney Strong: The loss to Cal Poly was just the second in UCI’s storied history in the Big West Tournament. The Anteaters are 10-2-1 all-time in tourney play, leading all Big West teams in overall wins and winning percentage (.808).
Goal Scorers Needed: UCI managed just 23 goals in 2015, tying for second-to-last in the category among Big West squads. Three players – Eduardo Calzada, Ivan Canales and Jaime Phillips – accounted for 16 of that tally. Only seven players found the back of the net this season, and Calzada and Phillips have exhausted their eligibility.
Breslin Among The Best: Senior goalie Michael Breslin finished his career ranked No. 2 in Big West history in minutes played (7,645), No. 3 in wins (40) and No. 5 in saves (297).
Tough Finish: UC Riverside lost seven of its last eight contests to close out the 2015 season, and missed out on the Big West Tournament for the first time since 2012. The Highlanders were held to one goal or less in 13 of their 19 matches this season.
Scoring Duo Departs: UC Riverside placed both senior forwards Norberto Ochoa and Michael Salazar on the all-conference first team, marking the third time in the last four years that the program had multiple first team selections. Ochoa and Salazar accounted for 13 of the team’s 23 goals this year.
Khosravi Ends Career As Record Holder: Senior goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi finishes his career as the Highlander all-time wins leader with 22.
Season Highlights: Despite missing the conference tournament, the Highlanders enjoyed a couple of key wins this season, including 2-1 overtime victories over then-No. 8 UCLA on Sept. 13 and Big West South Division champion Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 24.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Successful Run: UC Santa Barbara’s season ended in the Sweet 16 with a hard fought 3-2 loss to eventual national runner-up Clemson. It was the seventh trip to the Sweet 16 in program history for the Gauchos.
Rankings Review: The Gauchos finished the 2015 campaign ranked No. 15 nationally by the NSCAA and Top Drawer Soccer. It was the highest season-ending finish in a national poll for UCSB since the 2012 team was ranked 12th in the final NSCAA rankings.
Juggernaut: A third consecutive Big West North Division title and double-digit victories for the 15th straight season, as well as a 13th postseason appearance in 14 years summed up the success of the 2015 UCSB side.
DePuy Among The Best: Junior Nick DePuy, an NSCAA First Team All-American, tied for third in the nation with 15 goals and led the country with eight game-winners. With one season still left to play, DePuy is ranked third in Big West history with 14 career game-winning strikes. His 25 career goals leaves him just three outside the league’s top-10.