Men's Soccer Conference Play Set To Begin
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This Week in the Big West - September 28-October 4, 2015
2015 Men's Soccer Release No. 6
This Week in the Big West - September 28-October 4, 2015
Big West men's soccer conference action kicks off on Thursday featuring a battle between preseason divisional favorites, as UC Santa Barbara travels to UC Irvine.
Momentum: Cal Poly finished out its non-conference slate with a second consecutive win, a 2-0 shutout at Loyola Marymount. The Mustangs enter Big West action at 5-2-1, marking the fourth straight year the program has registered an above .500 non-conference record.
Hamilton Enters Top 10: Senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton tallied his 28th career win in the shutout of Loyola Marymount, moving him into a tie for No. 10 all-time in Big West history for total victories. He is two victories shy of becoming just the ninth backstop in league history to reach the 30-win plateau.
On Top Early: The Mustangs have scored first in seven of eight matches, and are 5-1-1 in those games.
Nifty Stat: Cal Poly is 3-0 this season when scoring multiple goals. Dating back to the start of the 2013 campaign, the Mustangs have registered a 19-2-1 mark when scoring two or more goals in a match.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Above .500: The Titans finished non-conference play at 5-4-0, representing the first time since 2011 that the program readied for Big West play with an above .500 record. That 2011 squad was 6-1-2 to close out the non-conference schedule.
Sanchez Productive: Sophomore Diego Sanchez has recorded at least one point in five of the last seven games, and at least one goal in four of the last six. The Titans are 4-1-0 this season when Sanchez tallies at least one point.
Quick Start Needed: Cal State Fullerton hosts Sacramento State to open Big West action on Thursday. The Titans are seeking to halt a four-game losing streak in conference season openers. CSF last won a league opener in 2010.
Shutout City: Led by the steady goalkeeping play of junior David Elias, the Titans lead the Big West with four shutouts.
More On Elias: Elias is tied for the Big West lead with two others with five victories this season.
Finding A Groove: CSUN heads into Big West play on a three-game winning streak, all road wins against WCC sides, and has outscored the opposition 7-1 during the streak. The Matadors have allowed just one goal over the last four games.
Gonzalez Giving It A Go: Senior Carlos Gonzalez scored his fourth goal in the last three games, including his second game-winner when he headed home a cross from Jumoke Hutton in the 86th minute for a 1-0 victory over San Diego Sunday.
Start A New Streak: The Matadors had gone 11 straight seasons without losing a Big West opener, until last year when they fell at UC Santa Barbara to kick off league play. CSUN looks to start a new streak on Thursday at home against Cal Poly.
Manios Taking His Shot: After redshirting all of last season due to injury, senior Steven Manios is one of the busier players in the league, tying for ninth with 17 shots taken.
On A Roll: Sacramento State blanked its second straight West Coast Conference opponent, earning a 2-0 win at Saint Mary’s on Sunday after a 1-0 clean sheet versus Pacific last week. The Hornets are 3-1-1 over their last five games entering Big West play.
Recipe For Success: Dating back to last season, the Hornets are unbeaten in the last nine games (6-0-3) in which they allow one or zero goals.
Mad Bum For The Win: Redshirt freshman Brad Bumgarner scored his team-leading third goal in the Saint Mary’s win. It was his second-straight game-winner. Bumgarner now has three goals on just four shots on goal this season.
Roadies: The Hornets posted a 3-2-0 Big West road record last year, and look to continue that success with away battles this week against Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.
A Nose For The Goal: Sacramento State’s 10 goals through eight games this year is on pace to better its 2014 total of 18 goals in 20 contests. The Hornets are on an uptick offensively after scoring just 11 goals in all of 2013.
Busting Loose: UC Davis has reeled off 11 goals in its last three games, outscoring those opponents 11-2 to take a three-game winning streak into conference action. It represents the most goals scored over a three-game stretch since Sept. 7-14, 2007 when the Aggies collected a combined 12 goals against Oregon State, Portland and IPFW.
What A Turnaround: After having scored just one goal through their first three matches, the Aggies proceeded to tally 16 goals over their next six, and now rank second in the Big West (17) in the category. UC Davis is doing it mostly with balance, as 10 different players have found the scoring column.
Shine Lucas Shine: Senior Lucas Mohageg has scored a goal in five of the last six matches, and his five goals tie him for second in the Big West. He already has eclipsed last year’s total of four goals with an entire league slate ahead of him.
Congrats: Sophomore Evan Barrett scored his first career goal in Sunday’s 3-1 win over San Francisco.
Thrill Of Victory: UC Irvine broke a six-game winless streak with gusto in last Thursday’s 4-1 blitzing of Loyola Marymount. The four-goal outburst is something that UCI accomplished just once last season, and for just the second time since 2011. The last four-goal output for UCI inside Anteater Stadium was Sept. 23, 2011 versus UNLV (4-0).
And The Agony Of Defeat: On the heels of the LMU victory, the Anteaters were in solid position to hand UCLA its third loss against a Big West opponent in 2015. The Bruins were reduced to 10 men just 13 minutes into the match when one of their players was issued a red card. UCI built a 3-0 second-half lead with 24 minutes to play, but watched UCLA score three goals in succession to tie the score, including the equalizer with 10 seconds left in regulation. UCLA completed the comeback with an overtime goal and a 4-3 victory.
Offense Rediscovered: UCI’s offense produced just three goals through the first seven games. With seven goals in the last two outings, the Anteaters have their highest back-to-back goals output since scoring a combined seven versus Wisconsin and Illinois-Chicago in 2011.
Playing Well: UC Riverside enters Big West play with a 3-1-1 record over its last five games, including a 3-0 shutout of San Jose State in its previous outing. It marked the third time this season that the Highlanders won a game by a 3-0 score.
Barometer Of Success: UCR knows that when it scores two or more goals in a game, the likelihood is that success follows. Since the 2011 season, the Highlanders are a gaudy 30-1-1 when hitting that goal benchmark. The only exception during that stretch was on Oct. 20, 2012, a 3-2 double overtime setback to Cal State Fullerton.
Lethal Duo: Seniors Michael Salazar and Norberto Ochoa are tied for second in the Big West with five goals apiece, giving them the distinction of the league’s highest scoring duo alongside UC Santa Barbara’s Nick DePuy (7) and Ahinga Selemani (3).
Record Watch: Senior Ashkan Khosravi picked up his 20th career win in the San Jose State game, and is one shy of tying the UCR record held by Charles Alamo (2003-07).
UC SANTA BARBARA
Hitting Their Stride: The Gauchos scored a combined eight goals in their two victories last week – four apiece against UCLA and San Diego. UC Santa Barbara has scored a collective 11 goals over its last four games.
Conference Chatter: UCSB begins its Big West ledger at UC Irvine and CSUN this week. The Gauchos have won three consecutive conference openers.
Acheampong’s Influence: Freshman Geoffrey Acheampong has figured prominently in UCSB’s recent success, posting four assists in the last four games. The team is 3-0-1 when he scores a goal or records an assist.
Vom Steeg Watch: Ushering in the start of Big West play brings a reminder that UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg is just three wins shy of becoming the first Big West boss to accumulate 100 career conference wins.
Living Up To The Billing: UCSB was predicted to be a prolific offensive team in 2015, and so far the team has confirmed that notion, leading the conference with 18 goals.