Oct. 11, 2004
Santa Barbara, Calif. -
For the second time in the last three weeks, UC Santa Barbara men's soccer player Neil Jones has been named the Big West Conference's Player of the Week. Jones contributed on six of the No. 1 ranked Gauchos' nine goals this past to week to share the honor with Cal State Northridge's Willie Sims.
The Auckland, New Zealand native was first awarded the honor this season two weeks ago when he scored five goals in two games. But he was given the accolades this week more for his ability in setting up his teammates' goals. In UCSB's two conference matches this past week Jones scored two goals and assisted on four others for a team leading eight points.
Jones' first points of the last week came in the form of a game-tying goal in the second half of the Gauchos' 4-3 overtime win against Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday. He then assisted on the Tino Nuñez's game-winner in the 108th minute.
At Cal Poly on Saturday Jones tacked on two more assists and one more goal in UCSB 5-1 rout of the Mustangs. With his seven goals this season Jones now has 25 in his career, tying him for sixth all-time in school history. And adding in his team and conference leading seven assists, the senior now has 65 career points, putting him sixth all-time in Gaucho history.
This week's conference honors marks the third time that Jones has been named the player of the week in his career and the fifth straight time a player from Santa Barbara has received the honor. He joins defender Tony Lochhead who was named POW in week two and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, was has also earned the mark twice, from weeks three and five.
Lochhead, Kennedy, Jones and the rest of the No. 1 ranked UCSB squad return to action this Wednesday, October 13 in a Big West showdown at UC Riverside. The Gauchos should enter the match with the Highlanders as the consensus No. 1, being that they reclaimed the top-ranking in the Soccer America after spending last week ranked 2nd. UCSB was ranked No. 1 last week in the NSCAA, Soccer Times and College Soccer News national polls, and already sporting the top-ranking from CSN this week, the Gauchos now just await the release of the remaining two. Should UCSB retain the spot it will be its third week in-a-row there and its fourth straight week a top at least one of the four major polls.