Los Angeles Soccer: Thomas Ramos
Christian Hernandez and Christian Santana each contributed a goal and an assist as No. 7 UC Irvine pulled three points ahead in the Big West Conference men's soccer race with a 5-1 romp Wednesday night at UC Riverside.
Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS), Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) and Norby Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS) scored first-half goals for the Anteaters (12-2-0), and an own goal 2˝ minutes into the second half made it 4-0. Santana netted Irvine's finale 10 minutes later.
The Anteaters have won four in a row since opening Big West play with a 1-0 loss to Cal Poly and lead Cal State Northridge, which is 3-1-0, by three points. UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and UC Davis have six points from four games.
UC Riverside (6-5-1) has stumbled badly since its Big West opener, an upset of UC Santa Barbara, losing three in a row -- including a 5-0 decision against Cal Poly in its previous match.
In other men's action:
- No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (9-3-1) throttled visiting Cal State Fullerton (6-4-2), romping to a 6-0 Big West triumph Tuesday as Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) and David Opoku each scored twice. The shot total was close: 16-13 for the Gauchos. Fullerton lost its third in a row.
- Cal State Northridge (6-5-1) is 3-1 in the Big West after a 2-0 victory Tuesday at Cal Poly. Thomas Ramos and Brian Behrad (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) netted the goals.
Colorado's and Utah's addition to the old Pac 10 -- part of the megaconference movement running riot in the NCAA's Division I -- has changed the landscape in America's No. 2 college soccer conference (the Atlantic Coast remains No. 1).
Four Pac 12 teams are in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's top 25: No. 1 Stanford, the Bruins, No. 17 Cal and No. 24 Oregon State. Washington State is receiving votes.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chandler Hoffman's hat trick lifted UCLA (4-2-1) to a 3-2 comeback win over UC Santa Barbara -- and back into the NSCAA's top 25. The junior from Alabama has seven goals in his past six games.
Local conference Players of the Week:
Ramos scored in the 44th minute and assisted the 60th-minute strike off a corner kick by Brian Behrdad (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) to pull the Matadors (2-3-1) even.
Star striker Gyasi Zardes (Hawthorne/Leuzinger HS) netted his seventh and eighth goals of the season for Bakersfield (2-0-2), tallying in the 26th and 30th minute.
In other men's action:
- Trenton Titus (Chino Hills/Ayala HS) assisted three goals and Carlos Garcia-Partida and Oktay Bulut netted their fourths of the season as Azusa Pacific (4-1-0), No. 7 in the NAIA poll, routed St. Xavier (Ill.), 5-0.
- Jorge Serrano (Sylmar/Sylmar HS and College of the Canyons) scored one first-half goal and assisted three more to lead NAIA No. 15 The Master's (6-0-0) in a 7-0 romp over Arizona Christian.
- David Taylor scored a hat trick in 13˝ minutes, carrying defending conference champ Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (3-1-0) to a 3-1 victory over Cal Lutheran (0-4-0) in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener.
- Whittier (1-3-0) also won its first conference game, a 2-1 win over La Verne (1-2-0) as Srdan Jovanovic's second goal arrived in overtime. Nick Eary scored twice as Redlands (2-2-0) scored six against Pomona-Pitzer (1-3-0). Occidental (1-2-0) also won.
In women´s action:
- Erin Edmonds and Traci Lopez scored goals as Pomona-Pitzer (3-0-0) surprised Redlands (2-1-1), ranked No. 19 in the NSCAA Division III poll, with a 2-0 triumph in a SCIAC opener.
- Freshman Taylor Will scored twice as defending SCIAC regular-season champ Cal Lutheran (4-1-0) romped, 4-0, over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (0-1-2). La Verne (2-1-2) also won.