The Big West men's soccer conference schedule gets underway Thursday with four games.
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Big West Play Begins
The race for Big West supremacy in the North and South Divisions begins in earnest this week as interdivisional play features eight games on the schedule.
The 10-game league slate commences on Thursday with CSUN at Sacramento State, UC Irvine at UC Davis, UC Riverside at Cal Poly and UC Riverside at UC Santa Barbara.
UC Santa Barbara Aims To Keep Title Streak Alive
UC Santa Barbara has won four consecutive North Division championships, posting a 26-5-9 record during that span. The only year the Gauchos did not succeed win in capturing their division was in 2012, the first time the Big West instituted divisions. The Gauchos are unbeaten in their last five straight conference openers, going 4-0-1 over that stretch. They take on a Cal State Fullerton side which eliminated UCSB from last year’s Big West Tournament in the semifinals.
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Cal Poly Winning Streak At Four
After an 0-4 start which included losses against three top-ranked programs, Cal Poly has responded with four consecutive victories. The Mustangs have knocked off Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, CSU Bakersfield and Portland in succession, outscoring those foes a combined 6-1. Cal Poly’s 3-1 victory over Portland represented the first time this season the team had scored multiple goals in a game. Cal Poly, 3-0 at home this season, hosts UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton in Big West action this week.
Del Curto On Cusp Of Milestone
Sacramento State senior goalkeeper James Del Curto is on the doorstep of a milestone. He has 199 career saves, one away from becoming just the fifth player in school history to accumulate 200. The Hornets enter Thursday’s Big West opener against CSUN tied for the most wins (4) among teams in the North Division.
Titans Ready For Big West Play
Cal State Fullerton is unbeaten in its last four games going into the opening week of Big West play. A tough roadtrip to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly looms for the Titans, who have lost 13 straight regular season games at Harder Stadium. CSF has not won a regular season matchup at UCSB since Oct. 15, 2000. However, the Titans have experienced success at Harder in the conference postseason tournament. In fact, they have eliminated the Gauchos in each of the last two seasons on their home field.
UC Riverside Seeks Win Column
UC Riverside remains the only Big West team without a win. The Highlanders are off to an 0-7-0 start, although five of those losses have been by just one goal. UCR has lost a school Division I record 13 straight games dating back to last season.
‘Eaters Ranked Nationally In Assists
UC Irvine is tied for No. 9 in the NCAA in total assists with 18. The Anteaters are just two away from cracking the top five in that category. Big West individual leader Daniel Crisostomo is tied for 12th in the country with five assists.