Nov. 18, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior forward Chris Pontius was the lone UC Santa Barbara men's soccer player to be selected to the All-Big West First Team in an announcement made by the conference on Tuesday. It is Pontius' second straight selection to the conference's First Team, one of only two Big West players to have that distinction this year.
Pontius scored a career-high 14 goals and had four assists for 32 points, which led the conference. Pontius led the Gauchos to second place in the conference and helped the team earn a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament. Last year the forward from Yorba Linda, Ca. was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year but missed out on the honor again this year despite besting his goals, assists and points totals.
That honor went to UC Davis' Quincy Amarikwa, who scored 15 goals but had just one assist and 31 total points. The conference's Midfielder of the Year award was won by Amarikwa's teammate, Dylan Curtis while UC Irvine's David Sias was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Cal Poly's Eric Branagan-Franco and Cal State Northridge's Kevin Guppy were honored as Co-Goalkeepers of the Year while Patrick Sigler (Cal Poly) and Andrew Fontein (UC Irvine) were Big West Co-Freshmen of the Year.
Irvine's George Kuntz was named the conference's Coach of the Year after leading the Anteaters to the Big West title.
Pontius' superb season has helped him re-write many of UCSB's record books. He now has 29 career goals, fifth all-time in UCSB history while his 67 career points ranks sixth in Gaucho history.
"We really must have had a remarkable season if we could finish the regular season as one of the top 15 teams in the country with only three players making the first or second team out of 26 players," said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg.
UCSB received a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will have a first-round bye. The Gauchos will play the winner of the Cal-University of San Francisco game on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Harder Stadium at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by clicking here, calling (805) 893-UCSB or coming to the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus.