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Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer Season Kicks Off Friday



2018 Men's Soccer Weekly Release No. 1


All-Conference Returnees
A number of 2017 all-conference honorees return to the pitch for the 2018 season.

Six of the 13 players who were named to the first team are back.

Samuel Goni, Cal State Fullerton – tallied nine goals to rank No. 3 in the Big West.  Earned United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Third Team recognition.

Rodney Michael, UC Santa Barbara – tied for fourth in Big West with eight goals en route to Freshman Player of the Year honors.

Nabi Kibunguchy, UC Davis – one of two freshmen to make the all-conference first team.  Selected United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region Third Team.

Ross McPhie, Cal State Fullerton – the 2017 Big West Co-Midfielder of the Year.  Scored seven goals to tie for No. 6 overall among conference players.

Roy Boateng, UC Davis – anchored stingy Aggie defense that allowed fewest goals (8) in conference play.  Honored as Big West Defensive Player of the Year.

Henrik Regitnig, CSUN
– posted 1.30 GAA with four shutouts and 73 saves.  Went 10-9-2 en route to Big West Goalkeeper of the Year accolades.

A Look At The Schedule
Big West schools have 75 games on the non-conference schedule prior to the conference opener on Oct. 3.  A whopping 53 of those 75 games will be contested against rival conferences from the West Coast (30), Western Athletic (15) and Pac-12 (8).

In addition, seven games take place against opponents ranked in the preseason Top 25 of the United Soccer Coaches poll.  Cal Poly, CSUN and UC Santa Barbara all play No. 22 Seattle.  UC Riverside travels to No. 21 Michigan and No. 7 Michigan State.  CSUN has a game at No. 24 Washington, while UCSB hosts No. 9 Butler.

In The Openers
Cal Poly hosts Fresno Pacific in its season opener...the Mustangs last opened at home in 2015...Cal State Fullerton has lost six straight season openers, and has not won a true road opener since 2011...CSUN opens at San Francisco, marking the first time since 2014 the Matadors start the season on the road...the Matadors have won three consecutive season openers...Sacramento State looks to snap a four-game losing streak in season openers with a match at Portland...UC Davis last won a season opener in 2012...the Aggies are 0-3-2 since then, seeking a breakthrough at Omaha...UC Irvine opens the campaign on the road for the third straight year, visiting San Diego...the Anteaters are seeking their first win in a true road opener since 2014...UC Riverside begins the schedule with two straight road games for the second year in a row...UC Santa Barbara is unbeaten in seven straight season openers, going 6-0-1 over that span.

School Strk
Cal Poly L2
Cal State Fullerton L6
Sacramento State L4
UC Davis L1
UC Irvine L2
UC Riverside L1
UC Santa Barbara T1


Taieb Selected To MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
UC Santa Barbara junior defender Faouzi Taieb earned a spot on the 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, it was announced by United Soccer Coaches and the Missouri Athletic Club.

Taieb is one of 32 student-athletes on the radar for the nation’s most prestigious award which honors the nation’s top player.  He is the eighth Gaucho all-time to crack that list, joining Tyler Rosenlund (2005), Andy Iro (2006, 2007), Eric Avila (2007), Chris Pontius (2008), Sam Garza (2011) and Ismaila Jome (2014).

He is the 13th Big West player to be considered for the MAC Hermann Trophy since 2005.

Taieb, a native of Marseille, France, is a key addition on the Gaucho backline.  A transfer from St. Francis Brooklyn, Taieb earned ECAC and NEC Defensive Player of the Year honors after anchoring a defense that allowed just two goals during conference play.  He also was named to the All-Northeast Region First Team as a sophomore, and as NEC Rookie of the Year as a freshman.

The MAC Hermann Trophy, presented by World Wide Technology, will be announced on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.  Fifteen semifinalists will be named near the end of the college season based on voting by NCAA Division I coaches and from those candidates, three finalists will be placed on the ballot for the coveted award.
Through The Years
Here is a list of Big West players who have appeared on the MAC Hermann Trophy Preseason Watch List since 2005.

2018 – Faouzi Taieb, UC Santa Barbara   
2017 – None           
2016 – Nick DePuy, UC Santa Barbara   
2015 – Chase Minter, Cal Poly    
2014 – Sagi Lev-Ari, CSUN              
            Ismaila Jome, UC Santa Barbara       
2013 – Mackenzie Pridham, Cal Poly   
2012 – None       
2011 – Sam Garza, UC Santa Barbara
2010 – Spencer Thompson, UC Irvine
2009 – Patrick Sigler, Cal Poly
2008 – Chris Pontius, UC Santa Barbara
2007 – Andy Iro, UC Santa Barbara
            Eric Avila, UC Santa Barbara
2006 – Andy Iro, UC Santa Barbara
2005 – Tyler Rosenlund, UC Santa Barbara

Shaffer Closes In On Win No. 100
Dwayne Shaffer enters his 22nd year as the head coach at UC Davis.  In 11 seasons coaching at the Division I level, Shaffer has compiled a 97-88-37 record.  He is three victories shy from becoming just the seventh individual in history to win 100 games as a coach in the Big West.  Tim Vom Steeg (227, UC Santa Barbara), George Kuntz (184, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton), Terry Davila (171, CSUN), Jose Elgorriaga (126, Fresno State), Al Mistri (119, Cal State Fullerton) and Barry Barto (116, UNLV) are the others to accomplish the feat.  Vom Steeg, Kuntz and Davila are still leading their respective programs.

Linenberger Nears Coaching Milestone
Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger enters his 30th season seeking a landmark 200th career victory.  He has accumulated a record of 197-286-61 as a head coach, including a mark of 40-57-16 during a six-year period in the Big West.  Linenberger has guided the Hornets to the Big West Tournament in each of the last two seasons.

Career Leader Canales
UC Irvine senior Ivan Canales enters the 2018 season as the Big West active career leader in goals (15), assists (15), points (45) and shots (94).  He needs seven assists and 28 points to enter the Big West career top 10.  In 2017, he registered career-best with eight goals and 20 points.  He also scored three game-winning goals.

Titanic Streak
Cal State Fullerton has recorded 10 or more wins in four straight seasons, the longest current streak among Big West programs.  The Titans have won more games (43) than any other conference school, coinciding with the arrival of head coach George Kuntz in 2015.

Big First Impressions
Two of the nine Big West players who earned recognition on the United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region Teams in 2017 included Nabi Kibunguchy of UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara’s Rodney Michael.  They represented the first two Big West freshmen to earn all-region accolades since UCSB’s Ismaila Jome in 2013.

Cal State Fullerton senior Ross McPhie has accounted for seven career game-winning goals, the most among any current Big West player.  He needs two more to tie former Titan Hector Orellana (2001-03) for eighth all-time in conference history.  The 2017 Big West Co-Midfielder of the Year has a knack for the dramatic, as half of his 14 career goals have clinched wins for the Titans.