Cal State Northridge Emerges Unscathed Amidst Week One Upsets
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Mens Soccer Release No. 7
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This Week in the Big West - October 3-9, 2011
The opening week of conference play in men's soccer was predictably wild as three top 25 teams were pinned with at least one loss. Meanwhile, Cal State Northridge came out of the fray in first place with a 2-0 record and six points. The Matadors travel to UC Irvine on Saturday in hopes of furthering a season-best three-match winning streak.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
KEEP AN EYE ON
Cody Suppé, UC Riverside
Suppé recorded his sixth victory of the season, making eight saves in UC Riverside’s 3-1 victory over No. 7 UC Santa Barbara. The six wins are one off the program record for goalkeeper wins in a single season. Suppé, who leads the Big West in saves (47), saves per game (4.7) and save percentage (.825), is on pace to finish with the third-most single-season saves in Highlander history.
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.
Matadors Emerge Unscathed In Wild First Week
In a wild first weekend of conference play in which all three nationally ranked programs lost – Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara – it was Cal State Northridge that emerged from the dogpile with a 2-0 record. The Matadors blanked both UC Davis and then-No. 19 Cal State Fullerton by identical 3-0 scores to pick up six important points in the early going of league action. Cal Poly is also undefeated in Big West play following a key win at No. 7 UC Irvine. The Anteaters, UC Riverside and UC Davis all picked up three points after splitting the opening weekend. But the biggest story was preseason Big West favorite UC Santa Barbara starting out 0-2 following losses to UCR and UCI.
All seven Big West men’s soccer programs have either equalled or exceeded their non-conference win totals (not counting postseason play) from a year ago. Cal State Fullerton has enjoyed the biggest improvement, making a +4 jump in the win column. Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara emerged from the opening month of play with two additional wins from a year ago. The turnaround is particularly noticeable as far as the Big West’s overall non-conference record, a sparkling 33-16-9 which includes wins over teams from the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Pac-12 and West Coast conferences. UCI ranks ninth in the nation in winning percentage (.818), while six of the seven Big West teams sport above .500 records.
NON-CONFERENCE RECORD COMPARISON
School 2010 2011 Gms Left
Cal Poly 3-3-1 3-3-2 0
Cal State Fullerton 2-5-2 6-1-2 0
Cal State Northridge 1-7-1 3-4-1 1
UC Davis 2-6-0 2-4-2 0
UC Irvine 7-1-1 8-1-0 1
UC Riverside 3-4-1 5-2-1 0
UC Santa Barbara 4-2-2 6-1-1 1
UCSB-Akron Featured On NSCAA Game Of Week
The Big West will be featured on national television Wednesday as No. 15 UC Santa Barbara hosts defending NCAA Men’s College Cup champion and third-ranked Akron in the NSCAA Game of the Week, which will be shown on FOX Soccer Channel. A huge crowd is expected to be on hand at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium as the last two televised FOX games drew in excess of 10,000 fans. UCSB had 13,772 fans came through the turnstiles for a non-televised Sept. 23 game against San Diego. That was the largest crowd to witness a collegiate men’s soccer match this season.
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 Cal Poly 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 Cal Poly 11,075
9/5/08 Kentucky at UCSB 2,753
10/3/07 UC Irvine at UCSB 5,543
Gauchos Off To 0-2 League Start
UC Santa Barbara’s rocky start to league play puts the program in the unfamiliar position of cellar dwellar in the standings. The Gauchos have not opened league play 0-2 since the 2000 season when they belonged to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The last time UCSB began Big West play 0-2 was in 1988. The Big West sponsored men’s soccer from 1983-91 before discontinuing the sport and eventually resurrecting it in 2001.
Record Crowd Celebrates UC Riverside Upset
A UC Riverside record crowd of 2,016 witnessed an 3-1 upset of No. 7 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. That total more than tripled the previous benchmark of 638 set on November 3, 2010 in a 1-0 win over UC Davis. It also pushed UCR’s season attendance to 3,572 which broke the record of 3,036 set in 2010. The Highlanders will build upon the new mark with four more home matches remaining on the 2011 schedule. In addition, the win over UCSB marked the program’s third against a ranked opponent in its 10-plus year Division I history. On Sept. 4, 2007, UCR handed No. 21 San Diego State a 2-0 defeat and earned a 2-1 triumph against No. 7 UC Davis on Oct. 18, 2008.
Cal Poly Topples Top 10 Opponent
Cal Poly defeated its highest ranked opponent in program history, delivering a 1-0 win against No. 7 UC Irvine on Wednesday. It was first win for the Mustangs at UCI in seven years and first under head coach Paul Holocher. The Mustangs are tied with three other teams for the Big West lead in shutouts (5).
More On The Matadors
Cal State Northridge has posted three consecutive 3-0 victories and has held opponents scoreless for the last 302 minutes and 53 seconds.
Home Field Disadvantage
Cal State Fullerton is a combined 8-7-3 away from Titan Stadium in 2010 and 2011 but only 5-7-1 at home during the same time period. CSF, ranked No. 28 by College Soccer News, look for a reversal of fortune versus No. 7 UC Irvine Wednesday.