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Men's Soccer

Cal State Northridge Labor Day Classic Highlights This Week's Slate

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MSOC Release No. 2

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This Week in the Big West - August 29-September 1, 2011


The Cal State Northridge Labor Day Classic is featured on this week's men's soccer slate as the host Matadors and Cal State Fullerton battle non-conference foes New Mexico and No. 2 Akron, the 2010 NCAA national champion.



Enrique Cardenas, UC Irvine
Cardenas played sparingly as a freshman, appearing in nine matches and starting one with no goals and six shots on the season.  With losses to UC Irvine’s top seven goal scorers, which accounted for 34 of the team’s 46 goals a year ago, an infusion of offensive weapons were needed for the 2011 squad.  Cardenas obliged in a reserve role during a 4-0 shutout at Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday, scoring twice and taking a team-high five shots.


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.

Davila Becomes Sixth Coach To Hit Century Mark
Terry Davila reached a milestone in Cal State Northridge’s 2-0 win in the season opener on Friday.  In doing so, Davila became the sixth head coach in Big West history to amass 100 victories as a member of the conference.  He improved to 100-66-32 (.586) since the Big West resurrected men’s soccer in 2001.  Three of the seven current head coaches in the league have reached 100 wins, as leader TIm Vom Steeg of UC Santa Barbara has 151 and UC Irvine’s George Kuntz is fifth with 107.

1. Tim Vom Steeg, UC Santa Barbara    151
2. Jose Elgorriaga, Fresno State              126
3. Al Mistri, Cal State Fullerton                 119
4. Barry Barto, UNLV                                 116
5. George Kuntz, UC Irvine                     107
6. Terry Davila, Cal State Northridge     100

Opoku, Hernandez Earn National Honors
UC Santa Barbara sophomore David Opoku and UC Irvine senior Christian Hernandez received national recognition for their exploits in last week’s action.  Opoku, who scored two goals to lead the Gauchos to a 3-1 season-opening win against Seattle, earned a spot on both the Team of the Week and the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.  Hernandez also excelled with a pair of game-winning goals against San Diego and Nebraska-Omaha to earn his place on the Team of the Week.

Spanos Stadium Home Cooking Good For Cal Poly 
Cal Poly knocked off UNLV 1-0 in the season opener on Friday thanks to Ian Clark’s goal in the 75th minute.  It was the seventh consecutive match in which the Mustangs remained unbeaten at home, going 5-0-2 during that span.  Cal Poly is in the midst of a five-match homestand and welcomes New Mexico and Seattle to Spanos Stadium this week.

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

Poll Position
Week one successes improved the status of UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine in the national polls.  The Gauchos moved up to No. 8 in both the Soccer America and College Soccer News rankings, while vaulting five spots to No. 9 in the NSCAA Continental Tire poll.  UC Irvine took a huge jump – 10 slots to be exact – all the way to No. 14 in the NSCAA Continental Tire rankings.

Tournament Tests Confront Big West Teams
A couple of high-profile tournaments are on tap this week as the Big West goes for win against ranked competition.  Cal State Northridge hosts the Labor Day Classic, which also includes fellow Big West member Cal State Fullerton, UNLV and defending national champion Akron.  The Zips are currently ranked as high as No. 2 nationally.  Meanwhile, UC Santa Barbara heads back east to participate in the Duke Nike Classic in Durham, N.C.  Awaiting the Gauchos will be the host and 22nd-ranked Blue Devils as well as N.C. State.  The Big West’s nine-game non-conference ledger this week also includes one more shot at a top 25 foe, as UC Davis hosts No. 4 UCLA on Sunday.

Dee-fense, Dee-fense
The first week of the season yielded excellent results as far as the standings were concerned, pointing to the conference’s 6-2-0 record as evidence.  Five of those six victories came by way of shutout.

Shutouts Tracker
UC Irvine senior goalkeeper Andrew Fontein entered the 2011 season ranked eighth in the Big West career record book with 20 shutouts.  He picked up two more this past week, moving him closer to the No. 7 spot occupied by UC Santa Barbara’s Kyle Reynish, who had 24 from 2003-06.