Gauchos Lead The North
The North and South Divisions completed two weeks of competition against each other, and finished with 23 points each. UC Santa Barbara emerged atop the north with 10 points and a 3-0-1 record. The Gauchos are unbeaten in their last nine regular season matchups against south division opponents, going 7-0-2 since 2014. UCSB owns a four-point lead on Sacramento State and UC Davis entering the week, and is in position to win the north for the fourth year in a row.
Highlanders Top The South
UC Riverside is the leader in the south division at 3-0-1 and 10 points. The Highlanders are off to their best conference start in their Division I history, and are only one win away from tying the program mark for most Big West victories in a season. CSUN sits in second place with seven points. The Highlanders face the two teams currently at the bottom of the south division this week in UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. Both teams have three points. Another Record On Notice
UCR, in addition to attempting to establish a new standard for conference wins, looks to do the same in overall victories. At 8-4-1, the Highlanders are just two wins shy of tying the program record of 10 set in 2012.
DePuy Reaches Milestone
UCSB senior Nick DePuy, who earlier this season became just the ninth player in Big West history to score 30 career goals, nabbed another milestone during Saturday’s match against CSUN. With five shots taken against the Matadors, DePuy finished the match with 204 in his career, making him just the seventh player in league history to amass at least 200 shots.
Dhillon Scores Again
Senior Justin Dhillon scored his sixth goal of the season in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against CSUN. Dhillon has accounted for six of Cal Poly’s eight scores this season.
Blue-Green Rivalry On Tap
The nation’s greatest college soccer rivalry is back this Saturday when UC Santa Barbara travels to Cal Poly. The Central Coast showdown at 11,075-seat Spanos Stadium has sold out in each of the last five seasons, and in six of the last eight.
On Equal Ground
Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara have played 13 times since 2010, and the results are even. The teams are 5-5-3 against each other during that span, and 10 of those 13 contests have been decided by one goal or drawn.
A Balanced Approach
Junior Emilio Huerta became the 10th different UC Riverside player to score this season when he deposited the team’s second goal in Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over Sacramento State. No other Big West school has as many goal scorers as do the Highlanders, and the balanced scoring has served UCR well with a league second-best 21 goals.
Causeway Cup Rivalry Renewed
UC Davis visits Sacramento State this week seeking its first victory over the Hornets since Nov. 9, 2013. Since then, the Hornets are 2-0-2 against the Aggies. UC Davis leads the Big West in goals scored (8) through four conference games.
DePUY ON MAC HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
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.
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 218-86-38, with a 107-30-19 mark in league contests. George Kuntz has accumulated a combined 169 wins between two Big West institutions in UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton – the No. 2 win total all-time. His 72 Big West victories is third behind Vom Steeg and CSUN boss Terry Davila, who is 76-53-27 in his 15 seasons as a Big West mentor. Davila is No. 3 all-time in overall wins with 157 behind Vom Steeg and Kuntz.
Since the Big West moved to interdivisional in play in 2012, the North has held a decided edge over the South, posting a 42-29-9 record. UCSB has owned the most success against its counterparts from the South with a 15-2-3 overall mark, and is unbeaten in its last nine meetings. UC Davis is 11-7-2 all-time in regular season matchups against the South. The only South Division program boasting an above .500 record versus the North is CSUN (9-8-3). However each division accumulated 23 points against the other in this year’s contests.