Men's Soccer Hits The Pitch For 2010 Season Openers
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The 2010 men's soccer season finally gets underway this week as each of the seven Big West men's soccer clubs hits the pitch for non-conference action. The season marks the 10th campaign since men's soccer was reinstated as a league sport and will also feature the College Cup at a Big West school as UC Santa Barbara hosts the championship event at Harder Stadium December 10-12.
Triple Digits in Reach
The 2010 season could see history made in the coaching ranks as two Big West coaches are nearing the century mark in victories as a member of the conference. Cal State Northridge’s Terry Davila needs just four W’s to reach 100, while UC Irvine manager George Kuntz will reach the mark with nine wins. If the duo reaches the benchmark, they will become just the fifth and sixth coaches in Big West history to win 100 games during conference membership. Davila can also become just the third head man to win 50 or more conference games with his first win in ‘10 against a Big West foe.
Look Ma...I’M ON TV!
The Big West will once again be on the airwaves this season as a pair of games will be broadcast live coast to coast on Fox Soccer Channel. The first game will be a non-conference tilt between national powers as Duke travels to UC Santa Barbara for an 8 pm (Pacific) clash. The two teams have not met since the College Cup semifinals back in 2004, a 5-0 Gaucho victory at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The second game features one of the budding rivalries of collegiate soccer as UCSB heads to San Luis Obispo to take on Big West foe Cal Poly October 27. The Gaucho/Mustang tilt has been one of the most attended matches in the country, as the previous Fox Soccer Channel matchup between the clubs at Spanos Stadium saw a sellout crowd of 11,075. In fact the match has been so popular that four of the top 10 regular season crowds in NCAA history have witnessed it, all coming in the last three seasons.
College Cup The Goal
The College Cup is the goal for each DI men's soccer program, but this season the showcase event has a Big West feel. For the first time since 2006, the College Cup will be held at an on-campus venue as UC Santa Barbara hosts the showcase at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium December 10-12. The 17,000-seat venue will have an improved look as a new field, pressbox and plaza are among the many improvements geared at preparing the stadium for the College Cup.
UCI's Thompson Named to MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
UC Irvine's Spencer Thompson will have even more attention thrust on his shoulders this season as the senior was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, the preseason ledger of the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The native of Ahwatukee, Ariz., is one of 39 players on the initial list and the lone player from a Big West school. Thompson was named to the list following a 2009 season in which he recorded 18 points (7 g, 4 a) and was named first team All-Big West and first team All-Far West region. The recipients of the MAC Hermann Trophy are selected by NCAA Division I coaches who are members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Voting for the MAC Hermann Trophy is conducted in late November, when a field of 15 semifinalists is reduced to three finalists. Those three will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, where a news conference will be held to announce the winner, followed by a banquet to honor the three finalists.
UC Santa Barbara's Danny Barrera was not only recognized for his stellar play at the end of last season, but at the start of 2010 as well. The junior won the Big West Midfielder of the Year honors as well as first team All-Big West accolades a year ago, and was named to preseason All-America lists by College Soccer News and Soccer America for this year. Barrera is the Gauchos’ leading returning scorer from the '09 season, a campaign which saw him score five goals and add nine assists for 19 points.
Going For Three
In the two-year history of the Big West Tournament, UC Irvine has made it its personal stomping ground with back-to-back titles. The Anteaters have won it in different styles as they were the top-seeded bunch in 2008 and the #3 squad in 2009. A UCI threepeat would be a rare occurance as the only club to achieve that feat, whether it be tournament or regular season, in Big West history is former member Fresno State. The Bulldogs won four consecutive titles from the 1988-1991 seasons.
Cal State Fullerton may have just missed out on the postseason in 2009, but the Titans had plenty of highlights in a solid bounceback year. After going just 19-35-5 in coach Bob Ammann’s first three seasons, including a 5-14-1 mark in ‘08, the Titans rebounded in ‘09 to the tune of an 8-9-2 mark. In addition, after winning just eight conference matches from 2005-08, CSF posted a respectable 4-5-1 mark against Big West opposition. Cal State Fullerton showed signs of a big turnaround early in the year as the club downed Penn State 2-1 in overtime in its 2009 season opener. The win was the program’s first over a BCS school on the road since 2001. With eight starters and 12 letterwinners returning for the 2010 season, look for CSF to continue its upward trajectory.
CP's Zamora Takes Aim At Goal List
Cal Poly's David Zamora has been one of the more consistent stars in the Big West over the past three seasons, earning All-Conference honors after each of his previous three campaigns. The senior striker's consistency also has him on the doorstep of the all-time goals list as Zamora's 21 career scores is just four away from 10th on the ledger.
UCSB, UCI Earn Spots in Preseason Polls
UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine are coming off 17 and 15-win seasons, respectively, and with their returning lineups and recruiting classes, have landed on the preseason lists of several publications. UCSB is ranked #5 is Soccer America, #6 by College Soccer News and #8 by the NSCAA. UCI appears on the College Soccer News preseason ledger at #20 and #25 by the NSCAA.
The Madness Begins In Anaheim
The 2011 Big West Basketball Tournament is moving to Honda Center. Action at Honda Center begins on March 10 with the men’s quarterfinal games, and continues with the men's and women's semifinal and championship games on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12.
To purchase tickets, visit and the basketball tournament championship page to download a ticket application. All-session tickets are available now at $64, which includes first round women’s games on campus sites. There are also limited premium seating tickets available (first four rows along the court) for $144.