UCSB Selected To Win Third Consecutive Big West Men's Soccer Crown

Aug. 14, 2003

IRVINE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara, which has won the last two Big West Conference men's soccer championships and is ranked 19th in the nation by College Soccer News, has been tabbed by the league's coaches to make it three in a row, the Big West announced today.

UCSB, which advanced to the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament, returns five all-conference players. Junior forward Drew McAthy, who scored 17 goals in 2002, and senior midfielder Memo Arzate, who had a school-record 18 assists, were each selected First Team All-Big West in 2002. Seniior midfielder David McGill, junior defender Tony Lochhead and junior goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, were all Second Team All-Big West choices.

The Gauchos finished the 2002 season with an overall record of 18-3-1. Not only did the program advance to its first NCAA Tournament ever, it won its first-ever NCAA Tournament match, a 2-0 shutout of the University of San Diego. In addition, UCSB closed the year with it highest national ranking ever, 12th.

"This program has achieved a great deal and I am pleased that the Big West coaches recognize that. I hope we can continue in that direction."

Tim Vom Steeg - UC Santa Barbara head coach

In winning the last two Big West Conference crowns, the Gauchos have posted a two-year league mark of 16-2-1. Last year, UCSB became the first league school to go unbeaten, recording a 9-0-1 record. They closed the conference season with seven straight victories after notching a 0-0 tie against Cal State Northridge.

"This program has achieved a great deal and I am pleased that the Big West coaches recognize that," said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "I hope we can continue in the that direction."

UCSB was followed in the poll by last year's runner-up, Cal State Northridge. UC Irvine was selected third.

Coaches Poll Results
1.  UC Santa Barbara (4)         34
2.  Cal State Northridge (1)     26.5
3.  UC Irvine (1)                23
4.  Cal State Fullerton          22.5
5.  Cal Poly                     11
6.  UC Riverside                 9
() First-place votes