Halloween Treat: Men's Soccer Tournament Kicks Off Wednesday
Links associated with this release:
2018 Men's Soccer Tournament Central
Big West Men's Soccer Release No. 11
The battle for Big West Men's Soccer Tournament supremacy begins Wednesday when No. 6 seed Cal State Fullerton visits No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara and fifth-seeded UC Davis travels to fourth-seeded CSUN.
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
• In 10 previous years of the Big West Tournament, there have been several dramatic moments. The latest goal in tourney history occurred on Nov. 12, 2016, when CSUN’s Jeremy Degraffenreidt scored at the 1:09.08 mark in the finals against Cal State Fullerton. The latest goal in regulation happened just last year when Kyle Higgins of UC Davis scored with two seconds remaining against CSUN in the semifinals. On the flip side, the fastest goal in tourney history belongs to UC Irvine’s Cameron Iwasa, 35 seconds in versus UC Riverside on Nov. 9, 2011.
Meet The Tournament Field
The 11th annual Big West Men’s Soccer Tournament begins on Wednesday with six teams vying for championship hardware. The two Halloween first round matchups pit No. 6 seed Cal State Fullerton at No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara, and No. 5 seed UC Davis at No. 4 seed CSUN. Top two seeds UC Irvine and UC Riverside have been awarded automatic byes into this Saturday’s semifinals. The Anteaters will host the winner of the Aggie-Matador clash, while the Highlanders will entertain the winner of the Titan-Gaucho battle. The championship match will take place on Saturday, November 10 at the site of the highest remaining seed.
UCSB and CSF are meeting for the fourth time in the tournament – all at Harder Stadium. The Titans won in Santa Barbara in the 2016 semifinals and 2015 finals, while the Gauchos were victorious in the 2010 championship match. UCSB won this year’s regular season matchup, 1-0, thanks to a 92nd minute overtime goal by Noah Billingsley. That extended UCSB’s unbeaten streak over CSF to 15 games at Harder Stadium during the regular season.
It will also be the fourth tournament meeting all-time between CSUN and UC Davis. The Aggies own a 2-1 edge, most recently winning in last year’s semifinals, 4-2, in Davis. They also defeated the Matadors in the 2015 first round, but lost in the 2012 finals. CSUN blanked then-No. 16 ranked UC Davis, 3-0, back on October 6.
The 10-year run of the tournament has produced four schools as champions. UC Irvine leads the list with four titles, but none since 2013. Cal State Fullerton is the reigning tourney champ – and has won three of the last four titles. CSUN won in 2012 and 2016. UC Santa Barbara claimed its lone crown in 2010. As programs seeking inaugural titles, UC Davis has made two unsuccessful trips to the finals (2012 and 2017), while UC Riverside has advanced no further than the semifinals.
The Kuntz Factor
No head coach has experienced more success in a Big West Tournament setting than George Kuntz. Between stints at UCI and CSF, Kuntz has won seven of the 10 tournament titles. His teams at UCI won in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Once he took over the reins at fellow Orange County side CSF, the Titans promptly captured titles in 2014, 2015 and in 2017. The 2014 and 2017 title teams won in penalty kicks. Kuntz owns a Big West Tournament career record of 14-2-3 between the two schools.
Hard To Beat At Harder Stadium
UCSB is 9-0-0 at home this season, its best record at Harder Stadium since the 2002 Gauchos went 10-0-0. The Gauchos look to tie that mark in Wednesday’s showdown with CSF.
This And That
Three Big West squads have reached the 10-win plateau. UCSB clinched a 10-win season for the 17th time in the last 18 years. Last week’s victory over Sacramento State gave UC Davis its 10th win of the year, giving the program back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2007 (12 wins) and 2008 (13). UCI’s 11-win season is the program’s first in double digits since 2014.
UC Davis has had the most road success this season of any Big West team, going 6-2-2 away from Aggie Soccer Field this season – the most road wins for an Aggie team since 2001 (7-4). Cal State Fullerton has set a program record with seven ties in 2018 – the third-most all-time in a single-season in Big West history. The 2014 UC Davis squad is the record holder with nine ties. UC Riverside posted eight ties in 2007.
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 107-92-40 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 258-119-47, 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 194-152-51 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 (142). 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
|Gerrell Elliott, Fresno State
|Doug Borgel, UNLV
|Luis Silva, UC Santa Barbara
|Ivan Canales, UC Irvine
|Randy Prescott, Fresno State
|Yossi Raz, CSUN
|Rich Ryerson, UNLV