Four Clubs Seek First Big West Tournament Title
Links associated with this release:
Big West Men's Soccer Tournament Central
Men's Soccer Release No. 12
One of the four schools in this year's Big West Men's Soccer Tournament – Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge and UC Davis – will be crowned champion for the first time in school history when the tournament concludes on Saturday, Nov. 10 with the championship match appearing live on FOX Prime Ticket.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Four schools begin their quest to hoist the 2012 Big West Men’s Soccer Tournament crown when semifinal action begins Wednesday at two different sites.
• The championship match on Saturday, Nov. 10 will be broadcast live on FOX Prime Ticket, FOX San Diego and FOX College Sports at 1:00 p.m. The host school will be Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge or UC Davis.
• In the four-year history of the Big West Tournament, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara have hosted seven of the eight all-time semifinal matches. This year’s tournament features a different look as UC Davis and Cal State Northridge have earned hosting roles.
• UC Davis, the North Division champion and No. 1 seed, squares off against South Division No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies eked out a 2-1 win over the Titans on Oct. 7 in Davis, as Alex Aguiar and Alex Henry booted goals. The Aggies won seven of their final nine regular season games to land the top seed from the north. After falling in the 2008 and 2011 semifinals, UCD seeks its first tournament victory.
• Cal State Fullerton heated up toward the tail end of conference play and amassed wins in four of its last five contests. The Titan offense generated 11 goals in those four wins, including five in a pair of wins over UC Riverside that ultimately clinched CSF’s tournament spot. The Titans embraced the underdog role in their lone tournament appearance as a No. 4 seed in 2010, advancing to the finals before their season ended.
• The other semifinal matchup showcases two of the top defensive clubs in South Division No. 1 seed Cal State Northridge and North Division runner-up Cal Poly. Both teams allowed a conference-low tying 18 goals, while the Matadors sport a 0.93 goals against average with the Mustangs not far behind at 0.98. CSUN tied for the Big West lead with 37 goals. CSUN won 11 of its last 14 contests en route to the North Division title. CP went 5-1-1 down the stretch to clinch the postseason berth.
• Neither the Matadors nor the Mustangs have reached the tournament final, but one certainly will this time around. CSUN lost in the 2009 semifinals in its lone prior appearance. Cal Poly has fallen in heartbreaking fashion in three previous tournament trips, losing in penalty kicks in 2008, double overtime in 2009 and overtime in 2010.
• Cal Poly junior Mackenzie Pridham’s six-game winning goals are tied for third all-time in a Big West single-season. Cal State Northridge sophomore Sagi Lev-Ari, the Big West’s top goal scorer with 12, has five-game winning strikes to tie for seventh all-time.
• UC Davis won the North Division primarily on the strength of a stingy defense that allowed one goal or less in the final nine Big West contests, seven of which resulted in victories. The Aggies rank last in the Big West in goals (21), assists (16) and points (58). However, UCD is clutch. In its last six wins, the game-winning goal has been scored in the second half or overtime.
• Cal State Fullerton is noted for being a second half team too. The Titans have notched 21 of their 27 goals for the season in the second half or later.