Sarah Porter & Drea Toler (W Basketball) by Sean White
Both had to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Toler coming from Oregon and Porter from Ole Miss, but they managed to prove that they were well worth the wait in each of their debut seasons.
Neither began the season as starters, but Porter made her first start of the season in the team’s fourth game at NAU.
From that point on, Porter became the Gauchos’ go-to scorer, as she tied with Toler for second on the team in points per game at 10.2 and was second in the Big West in three-point percentage at 41.1 percent.
Whether driving in the lane or utilizing her jump shot, Porter displayed her ability to produce from anywhere on the court. She achieved notable milestones in her first season, including breaking former Gaucho Erin Alexander’s single-game three-pointers made record with nine against UC Riverside in the Big West Quarterfinals, where she ended with a career-high 31 points.
Porter’s 76 three-pointers is second all-time in UCSB’s single-season history.
By the end of the season, Toler made just three starts, but her impact coming off the bench made her one of the best role players in the conference. She was most effective during UCSB’s conference schedule, recording double-figures in scoring in 13 of 20 games.
In addition to scoring, Toler’s quickness and play around the rim complemented her distribution of the ball. Helping lead UCSB’s backcourt, her averages of 4.6 assists per game and total of 148 assists both led the Big West.
Nonetheless, Toler proved herself as a two-way player, tying with her backcourt partner, senior point guard Onome Jemerigbe, for second in the conference in steals with 52 on the season.
With Toler having one year and Porter having two years of eligibility remaining, it can be expected that each will take on bigger roles heading into next season.
Kevin Feucht (M Soccer) by Tommy Pardini
After a productive sophomore season that resulted in six goals and two assists for the UCSB men’s soccer team, junior midfielder Kevin Feucht dominated the Big West in his penultimate season with the Gauchos.
Feucht took his goal-scoring abilities to a new level after scoring the second most goals in the Big West (11), while racking up the highest goals-per-game average (0.55) in the conference.
The long, lanky 6’3” midfielder controlled the center of the pitch throughout the season with his aggressive yet finesse style of play.
Feucht was the runner-up in the Big West in total points (24) and ranked first in points per game (1.20). The Gauchos were 6-4-2 when Feucht recorded a point.
The German national became the sixth UCSB player ever to score a goal in five straight games as he helped UCSB capture its fourth consecutive Big West North Division title.
His breakout performance earned him the 2016 Big West Midfielder of the Year award, making him the fifth Gaucho to earn the award since 2004.
In addition, Feucht was one of two juniors to be named to the All-Big West First Team, which marks his second straight selection for the honor.
For Feucht, the next logical step in his career would involve winning the Big West Offensive Player of the Year, which could perhaps lead to him entering the discussion of the MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation’s player of the year.
However, returning to the NCAA College Cup in his senior year would certainly be the more desired feat for one of the Big West’s elite talents.
A version of these stories appeared on p. 7 of the June 8, 2017, edition of the Daily Nexus.