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Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer Squads Embrace Home Cooking


2018 Men's Soccer Release No. 4

After playing 29 of the first 42 non-conference games on the road, Big West men's soccer squads are surely happy for the opportunity to play on their own pitches this week.  Cal State Fullerton, CSUN and Sacramento State have chances to beat ranked foes at home.


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.

• UC Santa Barbara’s Luis Silva, the 2011 Midfielder of the Year, was the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2012 Major League Soccer Superdraft by Toronto FC.  He is tied with CSUN’s Sean Franklin (4th overall, 2008, LA Galaxy) as the highest MLS draft pick in Big West history.

• Patrick Sigler (2008-11) owns the distinction of being the only player in Cal Poly history to earn All-Big West First Team accolades three times.  Sigler is in elite company as one of only 15 players in Big West history to be selected first team all-conference three or more times.  Sigler also was the 2008 Big West Co-Freshman of the Year.


UC Davis Stays Put At No. 17
UC Davis remained unbeaten at 4-0-2 after a successful roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest that included a shutout win over Gonzaga and a tie with Oregon State. The Aggies kept their No. 17 national ranking in the United Soccer Coaches poll and are ranked No. 3 in the Far West region. UC Davis is unbeaten through six games for the first time since 2014, when that team opened the season 4-0-7. After playing on Monday, UC Davis is slated for just one more game this week – a Saturday afternoon home tilt against Santa Clara.

Big West Preps For Ranked Battles
Opportunities to pick up wins against nationally ranked foes are available this week.  CSUN and Cal State Fullerton host No. 17 Cornell, while the Matadors also travel to No. 11 UCLA.  In addition, Sacramento State and UC Riverside welcome No. 23 Saint Mary’s to their respective home fields.  The Highlanders also play their home opener on Friday against UNLV following a season-opening six-match roadtrip.

Overtime Talk 
The eight Big West teams have played 14 overtime games so far in 2018 with a record of 4-1-9 (.607).  UC Irvine has played in the most OT games with four, going 2-1-1.  Cal State Fullerton has the most ties with three.  Seven of the eight teams have played in at least one OT game, with the exception being UC Santa Barbara.

Aggies In Elite Company
UC Davis enters this week as one of just 22 programs in Division I that is still unbeaten (4-0-2).

CSUN Features Top Offense
Four players have combined to score a Big West leading 13 goals for CSUN –which is tied for 11th-most in the nation.  Eleven of those 13 goals have come via the foot of three newcomers to the Matadors – junior Johnny Rodriguez and freshmen Khalid Hunter and Wolfgang Prentice.  Rodriguez and Hunter share the conference lead in goals with four apiece along with Sacramento State’s Dominic Scotti.


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 Earns Career Win No. 100 As Big West Head Coach
Dwayne Shaffer, in his 22nd year as the head coach at UC Davis, reached a huge milestone on Sept. 2.  He won his 100th game as a head coach in the Big West, following a 5-1 victory over CSU Bakersfield.  In 11 seasons coaching at the Division I level, Shaffer has compiled a 101-88-39 record.  Shaffer became 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 198-289-62 as a head coach, including a mark of 41-60-17 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 to the season 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 Aug. 26.  The 20th-year bench boss is now 251-117-46 all-time.  He has 230 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.