November 7, 2006

Seven Gauchos Awarded All-Big West Honors

Nov. 7, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - A total of seven members of the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team garnered All-Big West honors, as announced by the league office when the annual all-conference teams and awards were released Tuesday. In addition to four players being selected for the first team, Andy Iro earned a second-straight Defender of the Year Award, while Kyle Reynish was named the 2006 Co-Goalkeeper of the Year.

After a school-record nine Gauchos earned all-conference honors in 2005, seven players were chosen to this year's team. UCSB had a conference-high four players garner first team accolades along with UC Irvine, who also saw four players earn a spot on the first squad. In addition to winning a second consecutive Big West Defender of the Year Award, Iro was one of two players to earn first team honors for the third time in 2006. With the junior earning the conference's top defensive honor, a Gaucho has now been selected five out of the six years it has been awarded.

The preseason All-American and Hermann Trophy candidate was joined by sophomore midfielder Eric Avila, as the Gauchos' two repeat first team appearances. Avila led all Gaucho midfielders and was second overall with five goals this season, which was the eighth-highest total in the BWC.

Also receiving first team honors were seniors Bryan Byrne and Kyle Reynish, both moving up one step from last season's second team selections. Byrne led the team and the Big West with seven assists in 2006 to go along with two goals for 11 points. Second team selection Reynish was chosen as the conference's Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, sharing the honor with the Anteaters' Kenny Shoeni. The Valencia, Calif. native led the Big West with a 0.83 goals against average, 11 shutouts, and a save percentage of .822.

UCSB's other three all-conference award winners were all first-time honorees and all received second team honors. After scoring two goals and notching one assist, senior midfielder Eric Frimpong grabbed a second squad selection, while Jeff Murphy was the fourth Gaucho senior honored after starting every game on the left side of the conference's top defense. Finally, forward Bongomin Otii received second team honors after leading all Big West freshmen with six goals this season.

Santa Barbara's total of seven all-conference selections was the second most amongst the league's six teams, one behind Irvine who had eight players chosen overall. Cal State Northridge also had seven players named all-conference.

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