McNeely Grabs Big West Defensive Player of the Week Honors

Josh McNeely (Photo by Francis Lipinski)
Josh McNeely (Photo by Francis Lipinski)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After backstopping the Gauchos to a pair of shutout victories this past weekend, freshman goalkeeper Josh McNeely has been named the Big West Defensive Player of the Week, it was announced by the conference today.

McNeely is the first UCSB player to receive the honor since Austin Mansker in September 2012.

The Calabasas, Calif. native had two standout performances in net for the Gauchos, finishing with a clean sheets against Cal State Fullerton on Friday and UC Riverside on Sunday. McNeely had to make four stops against the Titans on Friday, and was at his best with five saves the Highlanders on Sunday, including a trio of close-range saves off a UCR free kick in the final ten minutes of the match.

McNeely has been extremely impressive since assuming the duties between the pipes earlier this season. The LA Galaxy Academy product leads the conference in goals against average (0.65), save percentage (.812) and shutouts (four). He has not allowed a goal in his last 180:00 minutes in net for the Gauchos.

Josh and the rest of the Gauchos will be back in action this weekend when they take on Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine in Big West road contests. Friday's matchup will pit the Gauchos against the South Division leading Matadors, while UC Irvine has had a steady season as well, as they were ranked as high as No. 18 in the country last week.

To follow all the action this weekend, including live video/audio coverage and up-to-the-minute stats, click here