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Men's Soccer

UC Davis, UC Riverside Brace For Men's Soccer Tourney Final

Links associated with this release:
2018 Men's Soccer Tournament Central



Big West Men's Soccer Release No. 12

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The battle for the Big West Men's Soccer Tournament title comes down to No. 5 seed UC Davis at No. 2 seed UC Riverside on Saturday.


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.

• A Big West Tournament game has been decided by penalty kicks six times – all but one occurring in the last five years.  The first PK game came in the tournament’s inaugural season of 2008.  UC Santa Barbara defeated rival Cal Poly in the semifinals, winning 4-3 in PK’s after the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie through two overtimes.  The 2014 and 2017 title games went to PK’s, as did two contests in the 2016 event – Cal State Fullerton over UC Davis in the first round and CSUN over Sacramento State in the semifinals.


First-Time Tourney Champion Will Be Crowned

The 11th annual Big West Men’s Soccer Tournament will conclude with a first-time champion when No. 5 seed UC Davis clashes with second-seeded UC Riverside on Saturday at UCR Soccer Stadium.  Both programs are seeking their first tourney titles.  The Aggies previously reached the championship game in 2012 and 2017, coming up short both times.  The Highlanders are making their first appearance in the title game.  The winner will earn the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The selection show to reveal the 48-team postseason bracket will take place Monday, November 12 at 10:00 a.m. (PT) on

History Lesson
The 10-year run of the tournament has produced four schools as champions.  UC Irvine leads the list with four titles.  Cal State Fullerton is next with three crowns, while CSUN has two. UC Santa Barbara has claimed one title.  UCI (2008) and CSUN (2012) are the only two schools to succeed at winning the title in their first title game try.

Road Warriors
Twice in Big West Tournament history has the champion emerged while playing exclusively on the road. The 2009 UC Irvine team – as a No. 3 seed – won at No. 2 Cal Poly and top seed UC Santa Barbara to capture the trophy.  Most recently, Cal State Fullerton endured three rounds of road challenges, knocking off UC Davis, UC Riverside and UC Irvine in 2014.  UC Davis is a conference-best 7-2-3 on the road this season after toppling CSUN in the first round and top seed UC Irvine (on penalty kicks) in the semifinals.  The seven road wins are the most by any Big West program since UCI went 8-4-2 in 2014.

What A Turnaround
UC Riverside survived an 0-7-1 start to the 2018 season, surrendering 24 goals in that eight-game span.  Seven of the first eight opponents scored three or more goals against the Highlander defense.  However, a 2-1 win in overtime against crosstown rival Cal Baptist on Sept. 22 reinvigorated the Highlanders.  Since that point, UCR has posted a 7-2-1 record with a miniscule nine goals allowed during that 10-game stretch – and six of those goals occurred in the two losses – 3-1 to UC Irvine (Oct. 3) and 3-0 to UC Davis (Oct. 13).  The Highlanders have shutout six of their last nine opponents.

All-Time Meetings
UC Davis and UC Riverside have met just once before in the Big West Tournament.  The Aggies earned a 3-1 decision in the 2013 first round in Davis.  In this season’s regular season meeting, UC Davis received second half goals from Justin Wright, Adam Mickelson and Dylan Wood in a 3-0 shutout at UCR Soccer Stadium on Oct. 13.  UCR last won at home against UC Davis on Oct. 7, 2017.

All-Time Tourney Records
UC Davis is 5-6-3 all-time in its Big West Tournament history.  The Aggies have registered a tie in each of the last three seasons – all as a result of going to penalty kicks.  They were unsuccessful twice in PK showdowns against Cal State Fullerton – 2016 first round and 2017 finals – but broke through on the PK stage in last Saturday’s semifinals at UC Irvine.  UC Riverside owns an all-time tourney mark of 2-5-0.  Both wins have come in the last two years.

Knack For The Dramatic
UCR has scored three golden goals this year – Cal Baptist (Sept. 22), Cal Poly (Oct. 6) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 3).

Making History?
UC Davis is attempting to become the lowest seed in Big West Tournament history to win the title.


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

Several Coaches Hit Milestones
A number of Big West head coaches have achieved milestones during the 2018 season.

• UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer, in his 22nd year at UC Davis, won his 100th game in the Big West on Sept. 2 against CSU Bakersfield.  He is now 108-92-41 all-time in 11 seasons of coaching at the Division I level.  He is just the seventh individual in history to win 100 games as a Big West coach.  Tim Vom Steeg (237, UC Santa Barbara), George Kuntz (191, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton), Terry Davila (180, CSUN), Jose Elgorriaga (126, Fresno State), Al Mistri (119, Cal State Fullerton) and Barry Barto (116, UNLV) are the others to accomplish the feat.

• Sacramento State head coach Michael Linenberger – in his 30th year at the helm of the program – earned his 200th career win on Oct. 3 against UC Santa Barbara.  He is 201-297-63 as a head coach, including 44-68-18 during six-plus years in the Big West.

• UC Santa Barbara head coach Tim Vom Steeg picked up his 250th career victory on Aug. 26 versus UC Riverside.  He owns an all-time record of 258-119-48, with 237 of those wins coming while in the Big West.

• CSUN’s Terry Davila surpassed his mentor for the school’s career wins record with a 1-0 triumph over Cal Poly on Oct. 13. The 20th-year head coach earned win No. 193, moving past Marwan Ass’ad, who compiled a 192-102-26 mark from 1983-98.  Davila is now 194-153-51 overall at the school.

Canales Joins Exclusive Club
UC Irvine senior Ivan Canales became the seventh player in Big West history to accumulate career totals of 20 goals and 20 assists.  He recorded his 20th career assist in a 3-2 win at Cal Poly on Oct. 21.  Canales is the Big West’s active career leader in goals (25), assists (20), points (70) and shots taken (144).  He is the conference co-leader in goals with 10 this season.  His current head coach, Yossi Raz, collected 22 goals and 28 assists at CSUN from 2001-04.

Canales Enters Big West Top 10 For Game-Winning Goals

UCI forward Ivan Canales leads the Big West with six game-winning goals this year, the clinching strike coming in wins against James Madison, Loyola Marymount, Brown, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly.  His goal against the Mustangs, coming with just two seconds remaining in overtime, was the ninth game-winner of his career.  That placed him in a tie for eighth all-time in the conference record book with Cal State Fullerton’s Hector Orellana (2001-03).

Career 20 Goals, 20 Assist Club

Name, School Goals Assists Years
Gerrell Elliott, Fresno State 54 28 1988-91
Doug Borgel, UNLV 43 23 1987-90
Luis Silva, UC Santa Barbara 28 23 2008-11
Ivan Canales, UC Irvine 25 20 2015-18
Randy Prescott, Fresno State 23 23 1983-85
Yossi Raz, CSUN 22 28 2001-04
Rich Ryerson, UNLV 20 20 1983-86