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Men's Soccer

UC Santa Barbara Invades Pacific Northwest With 2-0 Mark


2018 Men's Soccer Weekly Release No. 2

Five Big West squads seek to maintain unbeaten records after one week of men's soccer action, including 2-0 UC Santa Barbara, which heads to the northwest for tough road matches against No. 20 Portland and Seattle.


The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s.  All season long the Big West will celebrate the history of all 18 conference-sponsored sports.

• Men’s soccer was first sponsored in 1983 through the 1991 season, after which Big West teams moved into the MPSF.  It was resurrected as a Big West sport in 2001.  The initial membership in 1983 consisted of Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, Pacific, San Jose State, UC Santa Barbara and UNLV.

• Current UC Irvine coach Yossi Raz earned the Big West’s first ever Freshman of the Year award as a rookie at CSUN in 2001.    Raz had seven goals and two assists in his first season as a Matador, ranking fifth in the Big West with 16 points.  He is now in his second campaign at the helm of the Anteaters.


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).

For Openers
Cal State Fullerton’s 1-1 tie against Missouri State snapped a run of six straight losses in season openers...Sacramento State earned a 1-1 tie at No. 22 Portland to halt a four-game losing streak in season openers...UC Davis, 0-3-2 in season openers since 2013, notched a 1-0 win at Omaha to squelch that streak...UC Santa Barbara remained unbeaten in its eighth consecutive season opener with Friday’s 2-0 win against St. John’s...the Gauchos are 7-0-1 in that span.

Clemmensen, Lapsley Earn National Honors
Carter Clemmensen and Wallis Lapsley joined the national honor roll thanks to solid performances on the season’s opening weekend.

Clemmensen, a freshman forward at UC Santa Barbara, was named the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal against both St. John’s and UC Riverside.  He came on as a substitute against the Red Storm and scored the first goal of his career – and UCSB’s first of the year – in the 41st minute.

Joining Clemmensen on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week as well as earning College Soccer News National Team of the Week recognition is Lapsley, the junior UC Davis goalkeeper.  Lapsley posted his fifth and sixth career shutouts last week against Omaha and Creighton, making a combined nine saves as the Aggies completed the roadtrip to the state of Nebraska with a 1-0-1 record.

Working Overtime
Big West teams have gone to overtime in six of the 14 games played so far, going 1-0-5 overall.  The win came courtesy of UC Irvine, a 1-0 victor over UCF, the program’s first in OT since defeating Stanford in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.  The ‘Eaters had been winless in their last 12 overtime contests going 0-9-3.


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 98-88-38 record.  He is two 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 197-287-62 as a head coach, including a mark of 40-58-17 during a six-plus year period in the Big West.  Linenberger has guided the Hornets to the Big West Tournament in each of the last two seasons.

Vom Steeg Collects 250th Career Victory
UC Santa Barbara’s 2-0 start also resulted in head coach Tim Vom Steeg picking up his 250th career victory.    Vom Steeg hit the landmark number when the Gauchos defeated UC Riverside, 3-1, on Sunday.  The 20th-year bench boss improved to 250-113-46 all-time.  He has 229 of his wins while coaching in the Big West.

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.