Big West Announces 2012 Men's Soccer All-Conference Team
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2012 Men's Soccer All-Conference Team
Cal State Northridge joined Central Coast combatants Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara among the major awards honorees as the 2012 Big West Men’s Soccer All-Conference team was announced today. The conference’s Coach of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Defender of the Year awards went to Terry Davila, Michael Abalos and Joe Franco of Cal State Northridge, respectively. UC Santa Barbara’s Nic Ryan and Ema Boateng captured Midfielder of the Year and Freshman of the Year accolades while Mackenzie Pridham of Cal Poly was named the Offensive Player of the Year.
Davila led a resurgent Cal State Northridge squad to the Big West South Division title in claiming his fifth Coach of the Year honor. He earned top coaching accolades previously in 2002, 2003, 2005 (co) and 2009. After missing the Big West Tournament the last two seasons, CSUN won the division title with a commanding 21 points and 7-3-0 record. Davila also guided the Matadors to a 13-6-0 regular season mark, representing the program’s fourth-highest win total and the most win since the 2005 squad had 15. The 14th-year head coach also reintroduced CSUN to the national rankings for the first time since Sept. 21, 2009. The Matadors have been ranked as high as No. 14 in the Soccer America poll this season. Davila, who has led CSUN to six seasons of double-digit victories, owns a 134-104-36 career record.
Abalos (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) became the third different Matador to claim Goalkeeper of the Year honors on the fourth separate occasion, joining Joe Barton (2002) and Kevin Guppy (2005 & 2008) on the esteemed list. The 6-3 senior posted a 12-6-0 record with a 0.99 goals against average and 53 saves. Among Big West netminders, Abalos ranked first in shutouts (6), fourth in goals against average, fifth in saves and fifth in save percentage (.746). A starter all 18 of his appearances, Abalos allowed one goal or less on 15 occasions for the Big West South Division champion Matadors. In addition, the fourth-year starter joined the Big West career top 10 in several categories, ranking among the leaders in saves (256, 9th), wins (28, t-7th), shutouts (20, 9th), minutes played (6326, 4th) and matches in goal (70, 4th).
Franco (Monrovia, Calif./St. Francis HS) anchored one of the Big West’s stingiest defenses to garner Defensive Player of the Year honors. The senior helped the Matadors tie for the league lead in fewest goals allowed (18) and post the second-lowest goals against average (0.93). In addition, Franco’s play was instrumental in CSUN topping the league circuit with eight shutouts. Franco also had a goal and an assist as a starter in all 19 matches. He is the first CSUN player since Edwin Miranda (2002-03) to collect the conference’s top defensive award.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Midfielder of the Year award was bestowed upon a UC Santa Barbara player. Ryan (San Jose, Calif./Branham HS) followed in the footsteps of Danny Barrera (2009-10) and Luis Silva (2011) to capture this year’s honor. The senior led the Gauchos and tied for third in the Big West with eight goals. He added three assists for 19 points, which also tied him for third conference-wide. Ryan contributed five goals and two assists against Big West opposition, accounting for game-winning scores versus UC Riverside (Sept. 28) and UC Irvine (Oct. 5). He scored at least one point in 10 of UCSB’s 19 matches, and his four game-winning goals was the conference’s fourth-highest total.
Boateng (Kumasi, Ghana/Cate HS) became the third Gaucho in the last four seasons and the fifth overall to receive Freshman of the Year acclaim. The forward scored four goals and added four assists to place third on the UC Santa Barbara squad with 12 points. He ranked sixth in the Big West with 42 shots and tied for fifth with two game-winning goals. The Gauchos posted a 5-2-1 record when Boateng recorded at least one point. Boateng’s second-half goal against No. 12 UCLA in a nationally televised match on FOX Soccer Channel helped the Gauchos forge a 1-1 tie on Sept. 21.
Pridham (Toronto, Ontario/Bellarmine College Prep) earned the distinction of being Cal Poly’s first Offensive Player of the Year recipient. The junior forward produced 11 goals to rank second in the Big West and his six game-winning strikes led all conference players. Pridham became just the fourth player in school history to accumulate double-digit goals in a season and his total placed him third on the all-time single-season list. In addition, his 23 points ranked No. 2 in the Big West and fourth in Mustang single-season annals. Pridham saved his best performances for conference opponents as eight of his scores occurred during Big West play and four were of the game-winning variety. Starting all 18 games for the Mustangs, Pridham also tied for third in the conference with 55 shots.
The all-conference team had an entirely new feel as all 14 members are first-time selections. Six different schools were represented on the first team, led by three apiece from Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara.
The complete 2012 All-Big West Men’s Soccer Team can be viewed by clicking on the attachment at the top: