Opening week of the 2016 men's soccer conference season is upon us, and a rematch between last year's division champions – Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara – is the featured match on the schedule.
Conference Play Begins
Big West play commences this week with interdivisional games taking place at South Division home fields. UC Santa Barbara, the 2015 North Division champion, travels to 2015 South Division champ Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. Those two clubs also met in last year’s Big West Tournament final, with the Titans winning that matchup.
Since the Big West moved to interdivisional in play in 2012, the North has held a decided edge over the South, posting a 35-22-7 record. UCSB has owned the most success against its counterparts from the South with a 12-2-2 overall mark, including 4-0-0 last year. UC Davis is 9-5-2 all-time in regular season matchups against the South. The two South Division programs boasting the highest degree of success versus the North are CSF and CSUN – both with 7-7-2 records.
ALL-TIME NORTH VS. SOUTH North Squads Record vs. South
Cal Poly 7-6-3
Sacramento State 7-9-0
UC Davis 9-5-2
UC Santa Barbara 12-2-2 Totals 35-22-7
ALL-TIME SOUTH VS. NORTH South Squads Record vs. North
Cal State Fullerton 7-7-2
UC Irvine 4-10-2
UC Riverside 4-11-1 Totals 22-35-7
DePuy On Lookout For 30th Career Goal
UCSB senior Nick DePuy scored his 29th career goal in a game against California last week, tying him for No. 9 all-time in Big West history alongside former Gaucho and current Major League Soccer player Chris Pontius (2005-08). The forward needs one more score to become just the ninth player in league history to collect 30 goals.
Spanos Streak Continues
Cal Poly’s 1-0 win over then-No. 6 UCLA on Friday extended its unbeaten streak at Alex G. Spanos Stadium to 12 straight. The Mustangs, 9-0-3 during the streak, return to their home field on Oct. 6 versus CSUN.
Lomeli Takes Control Of Record
UC Riverside senior Romario Lomeli tallied two assists at San Francisco on Sunday to give him a Big West-leading five for the season. In addition, he became the Highlander career leader in the category with 16, overtaking Otis Earle (2011-14) for the top spot.
After scoring just two goals through the first four matches, Sacramento State has potted nine goals in its last four. Unsurprisingly, the Hornets are unbeaten in their last four contests (3-0-1), right in time for conference play.
CSUN has won 21 straight games when scoring multiple goals.