Big West Men's Soccer Kicks Off Friday
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This Week in the Big West - August 20-26, 2012
Men's Soccer Release No. 1
A majority of Big West men's soccer teams begin their 2012 seasons on the road this week, including defending conference regular season and tournament champion UC Irvine visiting San Diego.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
• The Big West expands to eight teams for the 2012 men’s soccer season with the addition of associate member Sacramento State. The Hornets join Cal Poly, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara in the North Division. The South Division includes Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.
• Each school plays a 10-game conference schedule – two games against each team within the division and one game against each team in the opposite division.
• The top two schools in each division advance to the Big West Tournament on Nov. 7 and 10. The No. 1 seed from the North Division squares off against the No. 2 seed from the South Division, while the South Division champion faces the runner-up from the North. The winner of the tournament earns the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
• A pair of clubs open the campaign with familiar representation in the nation’s top 25. UC Irvine, which won a school record 16 games in 2011, opens the season ranked No. 13 and No. 15 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire and College Soccer News polls, respectively. UC Santa Barbara is coming off of a 15-7-1 season. The Gauchos sit at No. 9 in College Soccer News and No. 11 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire rankings.
• Opportunities abound for new and developing talent to adopt starring roles in 2012. Only one member – UC Irvine senior defender Everett Pitts – returns from the 2011 All-Big West First Team. UC Davis forward Matt Wiesenfarth, the 2011 Big West Freshman of the Year, headlines a list of four returning players from last season’s all-conference second team.
• The Big West appears on the NSCAA College Game of the Week on Fox Soccer twice this season. UC Santa Barbara hosts UCLA (Sept. 21) and Cal Poly (Oct. 19) in a showcase of the program that has led the nation in average attendance for five straight seasons. The Gauchos hosted 13 home matches and averaged 4,782 fans in 2011. The nation’s highest attended 2011 game was the Nov. 4 match between UCSB and visiting Cal Poly, which witnessed 13,822 fans at Harder Stadium.
• For the fifth year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara contests. For the 2012 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge. Head to thisweek for weekly event schedules.
BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West’s ten member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women’s volleyball as well as men’s and women’s basketball. Also covered are select contests in men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Conference Championships.