UC Irvine Joins National Rankings For First Time In School History
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Women's Soccer Weekly Release No. 7
Enjoying an 8-1-2 start and coming off a victory against No. 17 Oregon State, the pollsters have taken notice of the UC Irvine women's soccer program. The Anteaters entered the Soccer America rankings at No. 23 thanks to a current eight-game unbeaten streak.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Christina Murillo, Cal State Fullerton
Murillo moved into eighth place all-time in the Cal State Fullerton record book with her 16th career goal in the Titans’ 2-1 victory at San Diego State on Friday. She also tallied her 36th career point, which placed her ninth in CSF history. Murillo’s five goals this season ties her career high (5 as a freshman in 2007) and accounts for almost half of the team’s total goal production (12) in 2010. She has scored four of the team’s last seven goals.
Coaches Project UC Santa Barbara To Win 2010 Title
The nine head coaches selected UC Santa Barbara to win the 2010 Big West women’s soccer title in their annual preseason poll released on August 12. The Gauchos collected four first-place votes and 75 points to earn the nod over defending regular season champion Cal Poly (61 points - 2 first-place votes) and UC Irvine (60 points - 2 first-place votes). Pacific was picked to finish fourth with 59 points and the remaining first-place vote. Cal State Northridge (45 points), Long Beach State (44), Cal State Fullerton (34), UC Riverside (15) and UC Davis (13) rounded out the poll. The favorite Gauchos return eight starters and 21 letterwinners from the 2009 squad that finished 9-10-3 overall and in third place in Big West action at 5-2-1.
Conference Play Is Here
Big West teams begin league action this week with a full slate of games. Long Beach State appears to await the toughest test with both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara coming to town. The Gauchos and Mustangs were projected to finish one-two in the preseason coaches’ poll. Meanwhile, the 49ers were picked to finish sixth in that same poll, but appear to be every bit the contender with three victories against non-conference opponents on their résumé. LBSU is 7-3-1 overall with wins against No. 21 Washington State, No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 19 Arizona State.
UC Irvine enters conference play as the Big West’s hottest team. The Anteaters have won five straight and are unbeaten in their last eight games. UCI has also played impressively against ranked opponents, posting a 2-0-1 record. The team defeated No. 17 Oregon State, 1-0, in its own Anteater Invitational last weekend. UCI also toppled then-No. 17 San Diego (1-0) and tied then-No. 14 California (1-1). The ‘Eaters, picked to finish third in the preseason poll, hosts Pacific and UC Davis.
The Big West turned in the finest non-conference performance of the season, tallying an 8-2-3 record last week. The wins boosted the Big West’s overall non-conference mark to 39-37-11. In addition to Long Beach State’s against No. 19 Arizona State and UC Irvine’s triumph versus No. 17 Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly went on the road to defeat San Diego State. UC Davis also won a pair of home games against San Francisco and Montana, and enters Big West play 5-3-1.
Two Teams In Top Five In West Region
UC Irvine and Long Beach State are two of the strongest teams in the West Regional, according to the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com rankings released Monday. The Anteaters remained at No. 3 for the third consecutive week. The 49ers moved up to No. 5 after their victory over a ranked Arizona State team. UC Santa Barbara is the third Big West team in the rankings at No. 8.
Taking Their Shots
No one can fault Pacific for not trying. The Tigers dominated play in their two matches last week, outshooting opponents Montana and Hawai’i by a combined 48-7. That included a 27-1 advantage in shots on goal. But Pacific was able to convert those opportunities into only one goal as sophomore Maricela Padilla scored her first goal of the year in the Tigers’ 1-0 win against the Grizzlies. The Tigers have managed to score just six goals in 10 games, and rank eighth in the Big West in goals per game (0.6). Two of those goals came against ranked opponents - No. 9 Santa Clara and No. 16 California.
UC Irvine Enters Top 25 Rankings For First Time
Soccer America released its women’s soccer top 25 rankings Monday afternoon, and UC Irvine is representing the Big West this week. The Anteaters cracked the list at No. 23. It is believed to be the first time that the program has ever entered the top 25.
Anteater Keeper Logs Another Shutout
Senior goalkeeper Danielle deSeriere of UC Irvine earned her Big West league-high tying fourth shutout of the year when the Anteaters defeated Oregon State 1-0 on Friday. It was also her 24th career shutout, which puts her in a tie for fifth place in the Big West career record book. She stands just two shutouts away from moving into a tie for fourth on the list. deSeriere is also ranked in the Big West career top 10 for goals against average and minutes played.
In 2009, UC Santa Barbara was the preseason Big West favorite. However, the Gauchos struggled in non-conference play and started the season 3-7-1 overall. But the Gauchos recovered and finished strong, going 6-3-2 the rest of the way and winning the Big West Tournament. In 2010, the Gauchos are faring a bit better, taking a 4-4-2 mark into conference play. But the expectations were probably higher considering they were picked to win the league again. Offensive struggles are at the core of UCSB’s struggles. After scoring nine goals in their first three games (all wins), the Gauchos have managed four scores in their last seven. UCSB is unsurprisingly 1-4-2 during that span. But it’s a whole new season with conference play.
Matadors Return To Play
Cal State Northridge was the only team not to play last week. The Matadors return to action after an eight-day hiatus to host San Diego on Monday. They have lost two straight after a stretch of winning four of five.
In Search Of Offense
UC Riverside extended its streak without scoring a goal to seven straight games after a scoreless tie versus Nevada and a 3-0 loss to Oregon State last week. The Highlanders have scored one goal in 10 matches entering Big West play.
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