Just three days prior to its anticipated first round match versus the University of San Diego, the UCSB men’s soccer team posted nine players to the All-Big West team yesterday.
That’s right, nine players were selected from a team that plays only 11 men on the field at a time.
After winning the Big West title for the second consecutive season, Santa Barbara was rewarded for its undefeated run through the conference. Senior forward Rob Friend led the way with his second straight Big West Offensive Player of the Year award. Friend recorded 19 goals and 42 points, both school records. Freshman defender Alan Keely anchored Santa Barbara’s defense, which yielded just 0.88 goals per game, garnering him the title of Big West Freshman of the Year for his efforts.
Joining Friend and Keely on the first team is senior co-captain Dan Young, an honorable mention selection in 2001. Junior playmaker Memo Arzate and sophomore forward Drew McAthy also made the first team. Arzate led the Big West with 18 assists and set a UCSB record in his first season with the Gauchos after coming over from Compton Community College. McAthy, an honorable mention as a freshman, led the Big West with 16 conference goals, including seven game winners. Arzate and McAthy were likely Friend’s only competition for the coveted Big West Offensive Player of the Year this season.
Junior midfielder David McGill, sophomore defender Tony Lochhead and sophomore goalkeeper Danny Kennedy nailed second team spots on the All-Big West team. McGill tallied 14 assists, second only to Arzate in conference. Kennedy, also an honorable mention in 2001 as a freshman, led the Big West with an impenetrable 0.99 goals against average. Lochhead earned his second straight second team honors.
Junior midfielder Matt Kubota rounded out the award ceremony with the Gauchos’ only honorable mention selection. Kubota finished the season third for Santa Barbara with eight assists.