Every time senior midfielder Memo Arzate steps onto the soccer field, records seem to fall.
Arzate recorded four assists last week to claim a share of the Big West Conference career assists record with 31. For his efforts, Arzate earned Big West Player of the Week and was placed on College Soccer News’ Team of the Week.
The conference Player of the Week honors were the first of the season for Arzate and second of his career. He was named to College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week twice last season, but this honor is his first of the 2003 season.
The senior has already amassed 13 assists in the year to go along with the 18 he posted in his first year as a Gaucho in 2002. What makes the record particularly impressive is that Memo transferred to UCSB from Compton Community College last season and has tied the record in only a year and a half.
Now that he has met the NCAA minimum requirements, Arzate’s average of 0.96 assists per game is the highest ever in the 44-year history of NCAA sponsorship of men’s soccer.
The senior’s week began with two assists against Riverside in the Gauchos’ 2-1 victory on the road Wednesday. Arzate wasn’t finished wreaking havoc on opponents as he recorded two more assists against #20 Northridge on Saturday, including an assist on the game-winning goal by freshman midfielder Jeff Murphy. Santa Barbara defeated Northridge 3-2, putting distance between the two in the race for the Big West Conference Title.
Arzate made his presence felt immediately in his debut season with the Gauchos in 2002, recording an assist in his first game at Santa Barbara, a 5-3 win over Michigan. He was the catalyst of one of the nation’s most potent offenses, recording a new single-season school and Big West Conference record of 18 assists. His 18 assists were second in the nation. Arzate was named an honorable mention All-American by College Soccer News after averaging 0.86 assists per game. Arzate recorded an assist hat trick in games against Westmont and Sacramento State last season, the only player in Division I to do so.
Arzate finished last season with a bang, tallying assists in six straight regular season games to end the year and playing a critical role in the Gauchos’ seven-game winning streak at the end of 2002.
Memo and the Gauchos continue their assault on the record books this week, traveling to San Luis Obispo on Wednesday to play conference rival Cal Poly at 7 p.m.
– Nexus Staff Report