#RaiseTheCup: Gauchos, Matadors Host Semifinal Matchups
Links associated with this release:
2016 Men's Soccer Tournament Central
2016 Men's Soccer Release No. 12
The quest to #RaiseTheCup continues Wednesday as Sacramento State invades CSUN and defending champion Cal State Fullerton heads to UC Santa Barbara in Big West Men's Soccer Tournament semifinal action.
#BWCMSOC | #RaiseTheCup
#SACvsCSUN | #CSFvsUCSB
Big West Tournament – Semifinals Part I
The Big West Tournament semifinal round begins this Wednesday with the division No. 2 seeds traveling to the No. 1 seed from the opposite division. North No. 2 Sacramento State visits South No. 1 CSUN in one semifinal.
• Sacramento State notched the first Big West Tournament victory in school history in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph against UC Riverside at Hornet Field. The Hornets hosted their first tournament game in their second appearance overall.
• The Hornets are 0-1 in tournament road games, having lost in the 2014 first round at UC Irvine.
• CSUN is rested after earning a first round bye as the champion from the South Division. The Matadors last played on Oct. 29 – giving them 10 days of rest entering the semifinal game.
• The Matadors are 4-3-0 all-time in the Big West Tournament, including 2-1-0 in the semifinals. CSUN is seeking its second tournament championship after winning in 2012.
• The two teams played evenly in the Oct. 1 regular season contest at CSUN. The Matadors took a 1-0 decision on an 82nd minute goal in which Patrick Hickman got his head on a long throw-in from Gabe Robinson and redirected the ball off the post. CSUN held a 12-11 shot advantage for the game.
Big West Tournament – Semifinals Part II
In the other semifinal, South No. 2 Cal State Fullerton journeys to North No. 1 UC Santa Barbara in a rematch of last year’s tournament final.
• These two programs have two previous meetings in the tournament – both in Santa Barbara for the championship. The Titans won by a 1-0 score last year while the Gauchos were 3-1 victors in 2010.
• CSF is the two-time defending tournament champion under head coach George Kuntz. No Big West program has ever won three consecutive titles since the tournament began in 2008.
• The Titans are unbeaten in their last six Big West Tournament contests (4-0-2), all under Kuntz. CSF is 5-2-2 all-time in its tournament history, including 3-1-0 in the semifinal round.
• UCSB is appearing in the tournament for the fourth straight year. The Gauchos are 5-6-1 all-time with a 4-2-1 record in the semifinals.
• UCSB is 5-4-1 all-time at Harder Stadium in tournament games. The Gauchos are hosting a semifinal for the fourth straight year.
• The Gauchos defeated the Titans, 2-1 in overtime, in the Oct. 1 regular season match. Kevin Feucht provided the golden goal in the 92nd minute, which marked the fifth straight game he had scored. He headed in a ball on the far post for the game-winner.
• UCSB has won 10 or more games in 16 straight seasons. The Titans are one win away from hitting the 10-win mark for the third year in a row.
The Kuntz Factor
Cal State Fullerton head coach George Kuntz is 12-1-2 all-time in the Big West Tournament, and has won six of the eight titles. He won four at UC Irvine (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013) and two more in his first two seasons roaming the sidelines of Titan Stadium.
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 221-87-40, with a 110-31-21 mark in league contests. George Kuntz has accumulated a combined 173 wins between two Big West institutions in UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton – the No. 2 win total all-time. His 75 Big West victories is third behind Vom Steeg and CSUN boss Terry Davila, who is 79-54-29 in his 15 seasons as a Big West mentor. Davila is No. 3 all-time in overall wins with 160 behind Vom Steeg and Kuntz.