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Men's Soccer

UC Irvine Unbeaten In Conference Play


Men's Soccer Weekly Release No. 8

The UC Irvine men's soccer team is off to a 2-0 Big West start for the first time since 2010.


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.

• The winningest club in Big West history belongs to UC Santa Barbara. In 2004, the Gauchos won a conference record 21 games, and advanced to all the way to the finals of the College Cup.  In the championship match against Indiana, UCSB controlled the majority of possession but finished regulation and two overtimes tied at 1-1.  The Gauchos lost in the ensuing shootout, 3-2, to conclude the year 21-2-2.

• The Big West has had nine players selected in the first round of the Major League Soccer Superdraft.  Nick DePuy of UC Santa Barbara was the most recent first round draftee, going 19th overall to the Montreal Impact in 2017.  Big West first round selections have occurred in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017.


UC Irvine Seizes Early Lead In Big West Race
UC Irvine emerged from week one of Big West men’s soccer action with two victories and six points.  The Anteaters toppled UC Riverside and Sacramento State to take hold of first place, two points ahead of CSUN.  The Matadors collected four points during week one.

In defeating the Highlanders and Hornets, UCI won its conference opener and started 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2010.  The 2010 season also marked the last time UCI opened up Big West play 3-0.  UCI has never started 4-0 in conference.  The squad travels to No. 25 UC Davis and hosts UC Santa Barbara for two crucial Big West games this week.

Two victories this week would also secure UCI’s first 10-win season since 2014 when the ‘Eaters finished 16-6-3.

UC Davis Stumbles, Remains Ranked In Top Drawer Soccer Poll
UC Davis entered league play with the highest win total and best winning percentage among all Big West members, but week one of the conference schedule did not treat the Aggies well.  They tied Cal Poly and lost to CSUN, going winless to start Big West play for the first time since going 0-2 in 2010.  The struggle dropped UC Davis out of the United Soccer Coaches top 25 poll after a five-week run, going from No. 16 to an “others receiving votes” designation this week.  However, the Aggies remained in the Top Drawer Soccer poll for the second straight week, as they fell just two spots to No. 25.

Davila Preps For Record Setting Win
CSUN’s Terry Davila tied the school’s all-time record for most wins by a head coach in Saturday’s 3-0 blanking of UC Davis.  In his 20th season on the Matador sidelines, Davila tied his mentor, Marwan Ass’ad, for the record with win No. 192.  Ass’ad finished a 16-year run (1983-98) at CSUN with a mark of 192-102-26.  Davila is 192-149-51.  He can break the record outright on Wednesday when CSUN visits Sacramento State.  The Matadors also host Cal Poly on Saturday.

Canales On Cusp Of 20/20 Club
UC Irvine senior Ivan Canales is the Big West active career leader in goals (20), assists (19), points (59) and shots taken (118).  The forward has accumulated 14 points on five goals and four assists this season.  With one more assist, he will become just the seventh individual in Big West history to compile career totals of at least 20 goals and 20 assists.  Others who have reached the milestone include the current UC Irvine head coach, Yossi Raz, who collected 22 goals and 28 assists with CSUN from 2001-04.

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
Randy Prescott, Fresno State 23 23 1983-85
Yossi Raz, CSUN 22 28 2001-04
Rich Ryerson, UNLV 20 20 1983-86


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 104-90-40 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 Reaches Coaching Milestone
Sacramento State’s Michael Linenberger – in his 30th year at the helm of the program – earned a landmark victory when his Hornets defeated UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 3.  It was his 200th career win.  Linenberger has accumulated a record of 200-293-63 as a head coach, including a mark of 43-64-18 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 255-118-46 all-time.  He has 234 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 won more games (43) than any other conference school in that four-year span, 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 eight career game-winning goals, the most among any current Big West player.  He needs one 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 16 career goals have clinched wins for the Titans.