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Men's Soccer

Final Week of Non-Conference Play Looms


2016 Men's Soccer Release No. 5

Four squads – Cal Poly, Sacramento State, UC Davis and UC Riverside – look to extend modest two-match unbeaten streaks during the final week of men's soccer non-conference action.



Gauchos Ranked For Fourth Straight Week
Despite a three-match losing streak, albeit all against ranked opponents (No. 19 Butler, No. 10 Akron, No. 7 UCLA), UC Santa Barbara remained in the NSCAA rankings for a fourth straight week, checking in at No. 25.

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 clash is slated for Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.

Home Field Advantage

Big West teams are 11-4-2 at home so far this season.  UC Riverside (3-0), Sacramento State (2-0), CSUN (1-0) and UC Davis (1-0-1) are all unbeaten on their home pitch.  Cal State Fullerton plays its home opener this Sunday against Pacific.

Highlanders Hunt Down Top 25
UC Riverside’s 2-1 victory over No. 20 Gonzaga Sunday marked the fourth straight year that the program has upset a nationally ranked opponent.  The Highlanders have five top 25 wins during that span and here are the list of victims:

9/18/16 – def. No. 20 Gonzaga, 2-1
9/15/15 – won at No. 15 UCLA, 2-1 (OT)
11/5/14 – won at No. 18 UC Irvine, 2-0
10/22/14 – def. No. 2 UC Irvine, 2-1
11/2/13 – won at No. 13 CSUN, 1-0

Hornet’s Nest
After scoring just two goals through the first four matches, the Sacramento State offense erupted for five total in last week’s wins over Portland and San Jose State.  The three scored against the Pilots, followed by two more versus the Spartans, marked the first time since Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2014, that the Hornets notched multiple goals in back-to-back contests.  Since 2014, Sacramento State is 10-2-1 overall when scoring two or more goals.

Quezada Moves Up On Shutout List
UC Davis leads the Big West with four shutouts (in seven games), all belonging to senior goalkeeper Armando Quezada.  He earned his fourth clean sheet in Sunday’s 1-0 home victory over Portland.  It was also his 11th career shutout, moving him into a tie with Ryan McCowan (2007-10) for fifth place on the all-time list.

Spanos Streak Continues
Cal Poly ran its unbeaten streak inside Spanos Stadium to 11 straight thanks to Saturday’s scoreless draw against No. 11 San Diego State.  The Mustangs are 8-0-3 during the streak which dates back to the start of the 2015 season.  A big crowd is expected to be on hand when Cal Poly hosts No. 7 UCLA on Friday night.

DePuy Nears Top 10
UC Santa Barbara senior Nick DePuy, last year’s leading Big West goal scorer with 15, has netted just two goals through the first seven games.  But his next goal will lift him into the Big West career top 10 and will place him alongside two former Gaucho greats in Luis Silva (2008-11) and Neil Jones (2001-04) – both of whom scored 28 goals during their careers.


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 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.