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Men's Soccer

Cal Poly Seeks to Extend Home Unbeaten Streak



2016 Men's Soccer Release No. 4

Cal Poly takes a 10-match unbeaten streak at home into Saturday's showdown against No. 11 San Diego State – one of four matches against national top-20 teams this week.



Gauchos Remain In Poll
UC Santa Barbara remained entrenched in all three major polls this week, dropping some after an 0-2 showing at the Akron Tournament.  The Gauchos are No. 13 in the NSCAA poll, and No. 16 in both the Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America polls.

Lights, Camera, Action
For the fourth straight year, the Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara rivalry game at Harder Stadium will appear on FOX Sports Prime Ticket.  The most attended game in all of college soccer, this year’s game is slated for Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.

Home Field Advantage
Big West teams are 6-1-1 at home so far this season.  Nine of the 13 games on tap this week take place on Big West pitches.

Titans Heating Up
Cal State Fullerton has won three of its last four games after an 0-2 start.  The Titans toppled Memphis and UTRGV last weekend at the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Tourney to reach the .500 mark for the first time this year at 3-3.  CSF looks to climb above the .500 mark this week on a Bay Area roadtrip to San Francisco and Saint Mary’s.

Heilmann Finds His Rhythm
Cal State Fullerton senior Alex Heilmann, who had not scored a goal in 16 previous career games entering the 2016 season,  has potted a conference-leading six through six games.  He has scored at least one goal in four games, and has accounted for the game-winner in two of CSF’s three wins.  Perhaps more impressively, Heilmann has collected his six goals on just nine shots.

Big Test Ahead For Gauchos
UC Santa Barbara, fresh off of losses to No. 19 Butler and No. 10 Akron, faces its third straight ranked opponent this Saturday in No. 8 UCLA.  Whereas the previous two contests took place on the road, the matchup with the Bruins is at Harder Stadium.  UCSB, which has led the nation in average home attendance for nine straight years, hosted UCLA on Sept. 24, 2010 and drew the third-largest crowd (15,896) in NCAA history.

Spanos A Happy Place
Cal Poly snapped a four-game losing streak in resounding fashion on Sunday, notching a 4-1 victory over Fresno Pacific.  The Mustangs ran their unbeaten streak at home to 10 straight after finishing 7-0-2 inside Spanos Stadium in 2015.  Cal Poly’s bid to extend the streak even further gets even tougher as No. 11 San Diego State visits on Saturday.

Hats Off To Dhillon
Cal Poly senior forward Justin Dhillon recorded the ninth hat trick in the program’s 23-year Division I history in Sunday’s win over Fresno Pacific.  He scored career goals 10, 11 and 12 to move into 10th place on the Cal Poly all-time list.

• Dhillon is the second Big West player to register a hat trick this season, joining Cal State Fullerton’s Alex Heilmann, who had three goals against UNLV on Sept. 2.

• Dhillon’s hat trick was the first by a Mustang since Mackenzie Pridham potted three goals against Air Force in a 5-1 in on Sept. 27, 2013.


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.


The boys are in SD for tomorrow nights showdown with USD! #roadtrip

A photo posted by UC Davis Men's Soccer (@ucdavismenssoccer) on

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 215-81-37, with a 104-30-18 mark in league contests.  George Kuntz has accumulated a combined 165 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 154 behind Vom Steeg and Kuntz.