Battle For Division Crowns, Tournament Berths Intensify This Week
2015 Men's Soccer Release No. 10
The North and South Division champions, along with the six-team Big West Tournament field, will be determined this week as only two games remain in the men's soccer regular season.
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT • NOVEMBER 7, 11 and 14
IF THE TOURNAMENT BEGAN TODAY...
Saturday, November 7 - First Round
South No. 3 CSUN at North No. 2 Cal Poly
North No. 3 UC Davis at South No. 2 UC Irvine
Wednesday, November 11 - Semifinals
South No. 3/North No. 2 winner at South No. 1 Cal State Fullerton
North No. 3/South No. 2 winner at North No. 1 UC Santa Barbara
Title Within Reach: Cal Poly seeks its first North Division title, entering the final week of regular season conference play just one point behind UC Santa Barbara. The Mustangs own the head-to-head tiebreaker against UCSB for tournament seeding purposes.
Getting Offensive: The Mustangs have strung together five straight matches with multiple goals, scoring 11 of their 23 goals on the year during that span. Cal Poly has failed to score at least one goal just twice.
Minty Fresh: Senior Chase Minter has recorded at least one point in six of the last nine contests. He had a pair of assists in last week’s win over Sacramento State, giving him 21 for his career and putting him within one of the Big West top 10.
Overtime Dramatics: Five of Cal Poly’s last seven matches have gone to overtime, and the last three have included some dramatics, including Saturday’s tilt at UCSB in which freshman forward Jared Pressley scored with just four seconds left in regulation to send the game into extra frames.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Titans Still Lead: Cal State Fullerton dropped back-to-back games for the first time since starting the season 0-2, as CSUN and UC Riverside edged the Titans by identical 2-1 scores last week. CSF can clinch the South Division with a win on Wednesday at UC Irvine, coupled with a loss or tie by CSUN.
Future Is Bright: Of CSF’s 24 goals scored this season, 17 have been accounted for by either freshmen or sophomores. Sophomore Diego Sanchez is the team leader with six goals, followed by the freshman tandem of Brandon West and Ross McPhie with three apiece.
Quick Start: In each of CSF’s last four losses, the team has scored first only to concede the next two goals to its opponent. The last time an opponent scored first in a match was on Sept. 18 at San Diego.
Double-Digit Seekers: At 9-5-1, the Titans need one more win to wrap up their second straight 10-win season, which the program has not achieved since 1999-2000.
Still In Contention: The Matadors are still in the hunt for a South Division title, trailing first place Cal State Fullerton by three points with two games to go. The most direct path to a title is two CSUN wins combined with two Fullerton losses, or one loss and a tie by the Titans.
Hobbs Eclipses 200 Career Saves: Senior goalkeeper Adam Hobbs became the fourth individual in school history to collected 200 career saves after stopping eight shots last week against CSF and UC Irvine. He has 203 career saves.
Strange Occurrences: CSUN is unbeaten (6-0-1) in its last seven road matches. However, the Matadors have struggled at home, having lost four straight there and winless in their last six (0-5-1) at Matador Soccer Field. CSUN hosts UC Riverside and travels to UCI this week.
Morley Strikes Again: After having no goals in each of his first three seasons at CSUN, senior Trevor Morley has three this year. He had the game-winner at CSF on Wednesday.
Hornets Still Standing: The Hornets remain in contention for a Big West Tournament berth, sitting just one point out of the third and final spot from the North Division. Sacramento State must engineer positive results this week against the top two teams in the division – UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.
Best Formula For Success: Sacramento State’s 1-0 victory against UC Davis on Saturday extended the team’s unbeaten streak to 11 straight games when allowing the opposition to score one goal or less. The Hornets are 7-0-4 since the 2014 season using those parameters.
Mad Bum Keeps Rolling: Redshirt freshman forward Brad Bumgarner scored his third goal in the last five games to give the Hornets a 1-0 victory over Causeway rival UC Davis on Saturday. It was his third game-winner and sixth of the season, tying him for fourth-most in the Big West.
Hello, Shutout: After allowing their foes to score multiple goals in six of the first seven conference games, the Hornets picked up their first shutout in Big West play with the win over UC Davis.
Cooling Off: After posting six wins during an eight-game stretch – with multiple goals scored in each victory – the Aggies have cooled off considerably. Over the last three games, UC Davis is 0-2-1 with just two goals scored.
Another Aggie Scores: Junior Steven Guzman became the 13th Aggie to score a goal in a match this season when he deposited his first career strike to level the score against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. UC Davis had the same number of goal scorers in 2007, its debut season at the Division I level.
Close Calls: UC Davis has played in 10 games decided by a one-goal margin this year, posting a 4-6 record.
Getting On Top: UC Davis is 6-0-1 this season when scoring the first goal of a match.
Reaching Their Goals: The Aggies have scored 27 goals in 2015, their highest total since the 2008 NCAA-bound squad, led by future Major League Soccer standout Quincy Amarikwa, netted 37.
On The Move: Following a difficult 0-3-1 conference start, UC Irvine has found momentum with wins in three of its last four outings. The recent success has propelled the Anteaters right back into the conference tournament discussion. UCI is tied for second in the South Division with 10 points entering the final week of league play.
Breslin Achieves 40th Career Win: Senior Michael Breslin became just the third goalkeeper in Big West history to amass 40 career victories as he reached the milestone in last Wednesday’s 5-1 victory over UC Riverside.
Three-Headed Monster: The trio of seniors Jaime Phillips and Eduardo Calzada, and freshman Ivan Canales have combined to amass 47 of the squad’s 75 points. Phillips ranks third in the Big West with 17 points and is second with seven assists.
Offensive Outburst: UCI’s 5-1 win against UC Riverside last Wednesday included a season-high 28 shots, and a program record 17 shots on target, breaking the previous mark of 16 that the squad tied earlier in conference play.
Still Alive: The Highlanders still have a shot at a Big West Tournament berth, but their best chance at getting into the postseason party is to win both of their final two games – at CSUN on Wednesday and at home versus Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. UC Riverside can achieve either the No. 2 or 3 seed from the South Division.
Wipe That Brow: UC Riverside took a season-long five-game losing streak into Saturday’s tilt with division leader Cal State Fullerton, and stared at elimination from tournament contention with a 1-0 deficit late in the game. But a CSF player was whistled for a red card with just over a minute to go, and UCR’s Stephen Copley leveled the score with a header goal with 10 seconds remaining. The Highlanders completed the miraculous comeback with 93 seconds elapsed in overtime on a penalty kick goal.
Khosravi Takes Over Record: Senior goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi became the school’s career wins leader with 22 in Saturday’s win at Cal State Fullerton.
OT Note: UCR is 2-1-1 in overtime matches this season.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Double Digits: UC Santa Barbara’s 2-1 win over UC Davis on Wednesday gave the team at least 10 wins for the 15th straight season. The Gauchos, seeking their third straight North Division title, own a one-point lead entering the final week of conference action.
Offensive Machine: The Gauchos have scored multiple goals in nine consecutive games, and exactly two goals in seven straight. UCSB’s 35 goals scored is tied for sixth-most in the country, and just two off the national leader of No. 1-ranked Creighton.
Crowd Support Again Tip Top: The Blue-Green rivalry again proved to be the greatest in college soccer as 14,919 fans filed into Harder Stadium on Saturday to watch UCSB and Cal Poly battle to a 2-2 double overtime tie. The draw was the second-largest in regular season NCAA history.
Shot Reduction: UCSB’s shot totals against UC Davis (8) and Cal Poly (9) were the lowest of the season since recording just six in a loss to Akron on Sept. 25. The Gauchos have had double-digit shots in their other 14 games.