UC Santa Barbara Seeks To Clinch Tournament Berth
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This Week in the Big West - October 21-27, 2013
Men's Soccer No. 9 Release
Off to its best Big West start (5-0) in school history, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team hosts Sacramento State Tuesday with an opportunity to seal a conference tournament berth with a win or tie and extend its six-match unbeaten streak. Later in the week, the Gauchos travel to rival Cal Poly in a matchup that has witnessed three sellouts in the last five seasons at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Back On Track: Cal Poly ended a three-game losing streak, utilizing two second half goals from Mackenzie Pridham in a 2-1 triumph at Sacramento State on Saturday. The Mustangs recorded their ninth win, and can reach double-digit victories for the fourth time in Paul Holocher’s eight-year head coaching tenure when UC Davis visits Alex G. Spanos Stadium Tuesday.
Pridham Matches Goal Total: Pridham’s fifth career multi-goal match increased his season total to 11, equalling his output from 2012 and tying Cal State Northridge junior Sagi Lev-Ari for the Big West lead. The forward also collected his fourth game-winning goal of the season and 11th of his career, which ties him with UC Irvine’s Matt Murphy (2005-08) for the third-most in Big West history.
Nation’s Best Rivalry: Cal Poly hosts Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara this Friday. The 11,075-capacity Alex G. Spanos Stadium has sold out two straight and three of the last five years, tying for 10th all-time among the best-attended matches in NCAA history.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Best Big West Start: Cal State Fullerton’s 2-2 draw against UC Irvine Saturday gave the Titans a 3-1-1 record in Big West play. That represents the program’s best conference start since the Big West resurrected men’s soccer in 2001.
First Place On The Line: The Titans are tied with Cal State Northridge for the South Division lead with 10 points apiece. The teams battle for sole possession of first place in Northridge on Wednesday. CSF is 5-1-1 in its last seven outings.
Scoring Flurry: A wild exchange of goals took place between the Titans and Anteaters in their 2-2 tie. Three goals were scored in a span of 53 seconds. CSF retook the lead at 2-1 with exactly five minutes to play, just seven seconds after UCI had knotted the score line. But the Anteaters struck again at the 85:46 mark to pull even.
Losee Ties For Scoring Lead: Junior Garrett Losee tallied a goal for the second straight game, which moved into a tie with Ian Ramos for the scoring lead with seven points.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Broken String: One of the nation’s most prolific offenses, Cal State Northridge was held without a goal in a 0-0 draw against UC Riverside on Saturday. The Matadors had at least one goal in 16 straight matches before encountering the Highlanders. CSUN had not been shutout since Nov. 3, 2012 against UC Irvine.
Hobbs Comes Up Big: Sophomore keeper Adam Hobbs helped preserve Cal State Northridge’s fifth shutout of the season when he stopped five UCR shots in the double overtime draw. He had three of those saves in the overtime periods, including one with six seconds remaining in the first extra stanza.
Showdown Lowdown: South Division co-leaders Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton joust at Matador Soccer Field this week. Matador head coach Terry Davila is 10-3-1 in head-to-head meetings with Titan counterpart Bob Ammann, including a 6-1 record at home. The Titans dealt CSUN its only home pitch setback on Oct. 13, 2010, in a 3-1 outcome.
Skid Continues: Sacramento State lost a tough 2-1 battle against Cal Poly, extending its losing streak to five straight games. It is the longest slide for the Hornets since opening the 2007 season with five consecutive defeats. They play their next three games on the road, beginning with a Tuesday encounter versus North Division leader UC Santa Barbara.
Souvenir: Freshman and Sacramento native Andrew Gosselin notched his first career goal in the 71st minute to tie the score at 1-1 against Cal Poly. Gosselin became the sixth different Hornet to score this season.
Keeping It Close: Although the Hornets are winless in Big West play, three of their five losses have been decided by one goal.
Linenberger Honored: Head coach Michael Linenberger was honored prior to the Cal Poly match to recognize his 25 seasons as program’s mentor. Linenberger was presented a plaque in front of current and former players as part of the ceremony.
Heartbreaker: UC Davis came within less than a minute of pulling off the upset against No. 20 UC Santa Barbara, but a converted Gaucho penalty kick with 56 seconds to go in regulation tied the match. UCSB then clinched the 3-2 win with 55 seconds before full-time.
Wiesenfarth Continues Hot Streak: Ever since his game-winning goal at No. 20 New Mexico, his first score of the season, junior Matt Wiesenfarth cannot be denied. The forward collected his fourth goal in the last six games with a header against UCSB. His nine points during that span have allowed Wiesenfarth to take over the Aggie scoring lead.
Finding Offensive Rhythm: The Aggies have recorded multiple goals four times in their last six matches. Previously, they had gone eight straight games with one goal or less.
On The Other Hand: The normally stingy Aggie defense allowed a season-high three goals to UCSB, marking the first time in 28 matches that had happened. UCF was the last foe to score three goals against UCD on Sept. 9, 2012.
High Drama: UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton combined for three goals in a 53-second span, and 46 shot attempts for the entire match as Saturday’s showdown between the cross-county rivals ended in a 2-2 tie. It was the first tie between the two schools since Nov. 1, 2003 when that meeting ended with no score.
Cardenas Rolling: Senior Enrique Cardenas notched his sixth goal of the season in the tie against CSF, tying his career-high he initially set as a sophomore in 2011. He has recorded a career-high 17 points (6 goals, 5 assists) and leads the team in all three categories. The forward has registered at least one point in six of the last eight games.
Chance For Separation: UCI’s match on Wednesday against UC Riverside is an important one, given that the Anteaters hold a three-point advantage on the Highlanders for the third and final Big West tournament berth from the South Division. An Anteater victory would provide some strong separation in that race for the coveted tournament spot. In 2012, the Anteaters were swept by the Highlanders.
Strong Showing: UC Riverside demonstrated the quality of depth in the Big West with Saturday’s 0-0 result against No. 6 Cal State Northridge. The Matadors, who entered the match as one of the nation’s top offensive clubs, was shutout for the first time in 17 matches. In addition, UCR outshot the Matadors by a 16-15 count.
Khosravi Sets Career-High: Sophomore keeper Ashkan Khosravi earned his third career Big West Defensive Player of the Week award, sporting a career-high eight saves in the draw with Northridge.
Crucial Road Trip Ahead: The Highlanders play their next three conference games in enemy territory - UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. UCR went 1-4 in league road games last season. However, that one road win came against none other than UC Irvine, a 4-3 overtime thriller. The Highlanders scored a total of eight goals in their home-and-home matchup with UCI en route to the season sweep. And in an additional bit of history, UCR also won at then-No. 9 UCI, 3-2, on Oct. 29, 2011.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Barometer Of Success: The Gauchos notched their 10th win of the season in Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 triumph at UC Davis. UCSB secured its 13th straight season with 10 or more wins in the process. UCSB is riding a six-game winning streak, the program’s longest since reeling off seven straight in 2010.
Quite The Accomplishment: UC Santa Barbara’s 5-0 start in Big West play is its best in school history. The unbeaten mark has allowed the Gauchos to open up a nine-point lead on Cal Poly and UC Davis in the North Division. They could clinch a spot in next month’s Big West Tournament as early as Tuesday when Sacramento State visits Harder Stadium.
Overtime Excellence: The Gauchos have won three straight matches in overtime, and after trailing in each match. UCSB has participated in three straight OT games on just two other occasions, and won all three just one other time (2004). The team is an impressive 4-1 in matches that have gone extra time this season, in stark contrast to the 2012 club that struggled to a 1-3-3 mark in OT.