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Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer Season Kicks Off With Eight Games This Week

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MSOC Release No. 1

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This Week in the Big West - August 22-28, 2011

8/23/2011

All seven Big West men's soccer teams are in action this week to commence the 2011 season.  UC Santa Barbara is ranked as high as No. 9 in preseason national polls and hosts Seattle before playing three of its next five contests against ranked opposition.

KEEP AN EYE ON


Nick Posthuma, Cal State Fullerton
Posthuma enters his senior season as one of the top offensive threats in the Big West.  In 2010, his nine goals tied for second-most among conference players and he ranked third with 19 points.  Posthuma, a first team all-conference selection, is rated No. 84 on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s top 100 collegiate senior list of professional prospects.  His nine goals last season more than doubled the four he produced in his first two years as a Titan.

MORE NOTABLES

UC Santa Barbara Cast In Favorite’s Role In 2011

The seven Big West men’s soccer coaches tabbed UC Santa Barbara to capture the 2011 regular season crown.  The Gauchos nabbed six of the seven first-place votes while Cal Poly received the remaining first-place nod.  UCSB, which has claimed three of the last five Big West regular season championships, collected 48 points overall.  The Mustangs were picked to finish second with 40 points.  Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine earned 32 and 30 points for third and fourth place, respectively.  Rounding out the poll was Cal State Northridge (20 points), UC Davis (14) and UC Riverside (12).  UC Santa Barbara returns six starters and 14 letterwinners from the 2010 team that finished 14-5-3 overall, won the Big West Tournament and made the program’s ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Garza Named To MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List

UC Santa Barbara junior Sam Garza represents the Big West on the 42 player Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List for the 2011 season.  The Hermann Trophy is regarded as the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer, and the recipients are selected by head coaches of NCAA Division I programs who are members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.  Garza, the 2010 Big West Co-Offensive Player of the Year who scored nine goals in 21 matches, is the fifth Gaucho to be named to the prestigious list.  He follows Chris Pontius (2008), Andy Iro (2006, 2007), Eric Avila (2007) and Tyler Rosenlund (2005) as former UCSB standouts who were recognized.

UCSB Breaks National Attendance Record In 2010
UC Santa Barbara broke its own NCAA Division I single-season men’s soccer attendance record in 2010 with an average count of 5,873 fans per game.  The Gauchos welcomed a total of 70,471 fans through the turnstiles for 12 home matches.  The 70,741 figure is also an NCAA record, topping the previous national record of 58,392 set by Connecticut in 2007.  UC Santa Barbara hosted the nation’s most attended game in 2010 when 15,896 fans filed into Harder Stadium for a Sept. 24 showdown with UCLA.  The Gauchos have led the nation in average attendance for each of the last four seasons, improving their numbers from 3,435 in 2007 to 3,444 in 2008 to 4,335 in 2009.  In 2010, fellow Big West member Cal Poly also featured an impressive following, ranking No. 4 nationally with an average attendance of 3,013 fans.

2010 Top Five Average Home Attendances
Team              Games    Total       Average
1. UCSB             12        70,471     5,873
2. Akron             13         41,770    3,213
3. Connecticut    11        34,384     3,126
4. Cal Poly           8        24,100     3,013
5. Maryland        14        41,157     2,940

Fox Soccer Channel Cameras Rolling At Harder

The Big West will twice be featured in nationally televised men’s soccer matches as part of the NSCAA College Game of the Week on Fox Soccer Channel.  The exposures mark the eighth and ninth times since 2007 that Big West schools will be represented on the network.  UC Santa Barbara will host both televised appearances in a package that includes 12 men’s and eight women’s telecasts.  The Gauchos welcome defending national champion Akron to Meredith Field at Harder Stadium on Wednesday, October 5 for a 7:00 p.m. (PT) kickoff.  The spotlight then shines on perhaps the most intense rivalry in all of college soccer as UCSB entertains Big West foe Cal Poly on Friday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. (PT).  This is the third time in the last four seasons that the Blue-Green rivalry will be showcased in front of the television cameras.  The 2008 matchup at Cal Poly’s Spanos Stadium drew a sellout crowd of 11,075.

Here is a list of televised games involving Big West teams on the Fox Soccer Network in the last four seasons:

Date            Game                         Attendance
10/27/10      UCSB at CP               8,125
10/15/10      Duke at UCSB           11,242
10/2/09        Indiana at UCSB        10,114
9/11/09        Rutgers at UCSB        3,925
10/17/08      UCSB at CP               11,075
9/5/08          Kentucky at UCSB     2,753
10/3/07        UC Irvine at UCSB     5,543

UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine In Preseason Polls
Big West members UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine enter the 2011 campaign toting preseason recognition.  The Gauchos, ranked as high as No. 9 in the College Soccer News preseason poll, are also rated No. 10 by Soccer America and No. 14 by the NSCAA.  The defending Big West regular season champion Anteaters carved out a No. 24 preseason ranking from the NSCAA.  UCI finished 14-3-3 overall in 2010.

All Seven Big West Teams In Action This Week
The opening weekend of the 2011 season features all seven Big West members for a total of eight games, five on home pitches.  Host teams include Cal Poly against UNLV, Cal State Fullerton versus Hope International, Cal State Northridge against Canisius, San Diego visiting UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara entertaining Seattle.  UC Davis makes a short trip to Saint Mary’s and UC Riverside takes a jaunt to Cal State Bakersfield.  UCI is the only team with multi-game action.  The Anteaters hop a plane to take on Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday.

Fontein, McLain Top Returning Netminders
A pair of 2010 All-Big West Second Team goalkeepers look to play key roles in preventing favorite UC Santa Barbara from capturing the regular season title.  UC Irvine senior Andrew Fontein and Cal Poly senior Patrick McLain solidify their respective defenses with strong play in net.  Fontein led the Big West and set a UCI single-season record with a 0.59 goals against average in 2010.  His .826 save percentage ranked second only to McLain, who topped all Big West netminders with an .835 mark.  Meanwhile, McLain posted a 1.04 GAA while ranking second in the league with an average of 5.46 saves per game.