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Men's Soccer


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Prior to its first season in the Big West Conference, the Sacramento State men's soccer team was picked to finish fourth in the North Division and junior keeper Cesar Castillo was named to the preseason all-conference team, the league announced on Thursday.

The Hornets, who went 9-8-2 overall and 5-4-1 in their last season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, finished fourth in the regular season standings before bowing out of the postseason tournament quarterfinals. Head coach Michael Linenberger, in his 24th season, guided the Hornets to MPSF Tournament titles and first round NCAA Tournament wins in 2009 and 2010.

UC Santa Barbara, which was ranked No. 11 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason top-25, was unanimously voted to win the Big West's North Division by the coaches while UC Irvine, which came in at No. 13 in the NSCAA poll, was picked to win the South Division.

UC Santa Barbara received all eight first-place and the Gauchos return six starters from last season's squad that finished 15-7-1 overall and reached the NCAA Tournament for the 10th straight season. UC Irvine is the defending Big West regular season and tournament champions advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.The Anteaters return five starters return from the team that notched a school record 16 wins.

Behind UCSB in the North Division poll were UC Davis, Cal Poly and the Hornets. After UC Irvine in the South Division were Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.

Sacramento State returns five starters and 12 total letterwinners off last season's rosters, including senior forward Max Alvarez, who tallied a team-high five assists to go with five goals. Also back for the Hornets is keeper Castillo, who amassed a team-high 49 saves on 181 shot attempts with a 1.78 goals against average. Castillo was one of 11 players to earn preseason all-Big West recognition. The San Rafael, Calif. native was a Goal.com freshman All-American in 2010.

2012 Big West Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
North Division Points
1. UC Santa Barbara 32 (8)
2. UC Davis 20
3. Cal Poly 16
4. Sacramento State 12
South Division Points
1. UC Irvine 29 (6)
2. Cal State Northridge 23 (1)
3. UC Riverside 15
4. Cal State Fullerton 12 (1)
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
2012 Big West Preseason All-Conference Team
Dion Acoff Senior UC Santa Barbara
Edwin Rivas Sophomore Cal State Northridge
Matt Wiesenfarth Sophomore UC Davis
Machael David Senior UC Santa Barbara
Aaron Long Junior UC Riverside
Chris Santana Junior UC Irvine
Jose Diaz Senior UC Riverside
Peter McGlynn Senior UC Santa Barbara
Everett Pitts Senior UC Irvine
Cesar Castillo Junior Sacramento State
Michael Abalos Senior Cal State Northridge

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