Men's Soccer -


Gear Boss by Wenger Arroyo Trabuco Hotel Planner Wooden Legacy
Smile Generation Geico
Men's Soccer

UC Santa Barbara Enters National Top 10


2016 Men's Soccer Release No. 2

UC Santa Barbara cracked the top-10 in two national polls following last week's 2-0 start.  The NCAA leaders in home attendance for nine consecutive seasons, the Gauchos return to Harder Stadium this week for a pair of games against San Diego and Saint Mary's.


UC Santa Barbara Rises In Polls
Thanks to a 2-0 start, UC Santa Barbara went up in all three major polls.  The Gauchos check in this week at No. 9 in Soccer America, No. 10 in the NSCAA and No. 14 in Top Drawer Soccer.  UCSB entered the NSCAA Top-10 for the first time since Nov. 12, 2013.

Diouf Makes History
CSUN junior forward Papi Diouf scored the fastest goal in Big West history when he deposited a shot past the Tulsa goalkeeper just eight seconds into Friday’s match. 

• Diouf’s goal is the second-fastest in NCAA Division I history, trailing only Indiana’s Kevin Noschang, who scored at the :06 mark against Kentucky on Oct. 29, 2008.
Accurate Barometer
CSUN’s 2-1 win against Tulsa represented the 19th straight win for the program when scoring multiple goals, a streak that goes all the way back to the 2013 season.  The last time the Matadors scored two or more goals and didn’t win was on Sept. 22, 2013, a 4-2 home loss to No. 11 UCLA.

Success In Openers
UC Santa Barbara’s 2-1 win over Oakland in Friday’s season opener at the Ohio State-hosted Wolstein Classic marked the sixth straight year the Gauchos won their opening game.

Tournament Terror
In the eight-year history of the Big West Tournament, six champions have been coached by George Kuntz.  Kuntz owns an all-time conference tournament record of 12-1-1.  His UC Irvine teams won in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013.  After moving over to Cal State Fullerton, his first two Titan sides have hoisted the trophy in back-to-back seasons.

Lomeli Zeroes In On Record
UC Riverside senior Romario Lomeli registered an assist on one of the two goals the Highlanders scored in their 2-1 season-opening victory over Cal Baptist. 

• It was Lomeli’s 12th career assist, giving him sole possession of second place on the UCR all-time list.  He is two assists away from tying Otis Earle (2011-14) for the program record.
All-Tourney Laurels
• UC Santa Barbara had three players named to the Wolstein Classic All-Tournament Team in junior Kevin Feucht, sophomore Sam Strong and senior Josue España.

• UC Irvine landed two players on the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tourney with junior Giovanni Godoy and freshman Jose Ortiz taking the honors.

Inter Conference Duels
Big West Conference teams play seven games this week against opponents from the West Coast Conference, a commonplace occurrence.  In fact, the 27 total games on this year’s schedule against the WCC trumps any other conference by far.  The Big West enjoyed a 14-5-3 record against the WCC in 2015.


NCAA Tournament Opponents On Tap
Big West squads are taking on a challenging 2016 men’s soccer non-conference schedule, playing a total of 20 contests versus 13 different opponents which participated in last year’s 48-team NCAA Tournament field.

UC Santa Barbara is battling a conference-high four postseason opponents from the 2015 tourney, including Final Four participant Akron.  The Gauchos also host UCLA, and meet Oakland and Ohio State opening weekend.  Cal Poly opens the season with a visit to North Carolina and Wake Forest, teams that advanced to the Quarterfinals and Round of 16, respectively.  All eight Big West squads play at least one opponent that appeared in the NCAA Tournament field last year.

Here is a list of opponents which played in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

CAL POLY        
North Carolina       
Wake Forest       
Santa Clara      
Utah Valley   

Utah Valley

Utah Valley

Notre Dame
Santa Clara

Santa Clara 

Ohio State

Preseason Posturing
The Big West has regularly received its share of national recognition, including in the selection of preseason polls.  At least one conference school has appeared in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason top 25 in 13 of the last 14 seasons.

Year School Ranking Year School  Ranking
2003 UC Santa Barbara No. 21 2011 UC Santa Barbara No. 14
2004 UC Santa Barbara No. 15   UC Irvine No. 24
2005 UC Santa Barbara No. 4 2012 UC Santa Barbara No. 11
2006 CSUN No. 19   UC Irvine No. 13
  UC Santa Barbara No. 22 2013 UC Santa Barbara RV
2007 UC Santa Barbara  No. 1    CSUN RV
2008 UC Santa Barbara  No. 21 2014 UC Irvine No. 16
2009 UC Irvine No. 15     UC Santa Barbara No. 18
  UC Santa Barbara No. 16   CSUN No. 24
  Cal Poly No. 23 2015 UC Irvine No. 20
  UC Davis RV 2016 UC Santa Barbara No. 13
2010 UC Santa Barbara No. 8   Cal Poly RV
  UC Irvine  No. 25      
RV - Receiving Votes

Nick DePuy is the eighth Gaucho since 2005 to be named to the Preseason Watch List for the MAC Hermann Trophy Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate men’s soccer player.  One of 28 players on this year’s list, and only one of four who reached the semifinal round in 2015, DePuy led the Big West in goals (15), game-winning goals (8), points (31) and shots (80).  His eight game-winners topped the nation.  His 14 career game-winning strikes is No. 3 all-time in Big West history.  DePuy is bidding to become the first three-time recipient of Big West Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Here is a list of Big West players who have appeared on the MAC Hermann Trophy Preseason Watch List since 2005.

2016 – Nick DePuy, UC Santa Barbara      
2015 – Chase Minter, Cal Poly   
2014 – Sagi Lev-Ari, CSUN       
            Ismaila Jome, UC Santa Barbara    
2013 – Mackenzie Pridham, Cal Poly
2012 –  None                         
2011 – Sam Garza, UC Santa Barbara   
2010 – Spencer Thompson, UC Irvine
2009 – Patrick Sigler, Cal Poly
2008 – Chris Pontius, UC Santa Barbara
2007 – Andy Iro, UC Santa Barbara
            Eric Avila, UC Santa Barbara
2006 – Andy Iro, UC Santa Barbara
2005 – Tyler Rosenlund, UC Santa Barbara
The three winningest head coaches in Big West history are still going strong, leading their respective programs at UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton and CSUN.  Tim Vom Steeg, in his 18th season at UCSB, became the first head coach in Big West history to accumulate 200 overall wins and 100 conference wins.  Since 2001, when the Big West reinstated men’s soccer, Vom Steeg is 211-81-37, with a 104-30-18 mark in league contests.  George Kuntz has accumulated a combined 164 wins between two Big West institutions in UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton – the No. 2 win total all-time.  His 71 Big West victories is third behind Vom Steeg and CSUN boss Terry Davila, who is 74-52-26 in his 15 seasons as a Big West mentor.  Davila is No. 3 all-time in overall wins with 152 behind Vom Steeg and Kuntz.