On the eve of the Big West Men’s Soccer Championships getting underway, CSUN’s David Diaz was named The Big West Men’s Soccer Freshman of the Year on Tuesday.
Diaz is the first Matador to be named Big West Freshman of the Year since 2005 (Kevin Guppy) and the fourth CSUN men’s soccer player to be selected for the honor. A member of the Big West All-Freshman team, Diaz tied for the team lead in assists with Dylan Gonzalez as duo ended the regular season tied for 11th in the conference in the category. Diaz scored twice during the 2022 campaign and is second on the club in scoring with seven points.
Earning first team All-Conference honors for CSUN were AJ Johnson and Jamar Ricketts. Johnson anchored a Matador defense which allowed only 21 goals in 17 matches. Offensively, Johnson added one assist and seven shots.
Ricketts has scored a team-high four goals and leads the squad in points (10) and shots (31). Ricketts is ninth in the Big West in goals and shots. He is tied for second on the team in assists (2) with three other players. Ricketts begins the week 17th in Division I in game winning goals (3).
Levin Gerhardt and Cooper Wenzel were selected second team All-Conference. Gerhardt scored two goals and posted one assist for five points in 15 matches during the 2022 regular season. He took 19 shots, the fourth most on the Matadors.
Wenzel is fourth in Division I in minutes played (1530). After making a career-high seven saves against UC Irvine on Oct. 22, Wenzel leads the Big West and is 16th in Division I in saves (67) and 45th in Division I in saves per game (3.94). Wenzel is 10th nationally in shutouts (7) and is now fifth in school history for most shutouts in a season.
Rounding out the All-Conference selection is Gonzalez who earned honorable mention honors. A redshirt senior, Gonzalez scored his first career goal against Saint Mary’s on Sept. 21. Gonzalez and Gerhardt are tied for fourth on the Matadors in the category.
Picked seventh in the preseason, CSUN tied for second in the Big West this season and advanced to the post season for the first time since 2019. The Matadors (8-5-4, 5-3-1 Big West) are the seeded fourth in the Big West Championships and will host the fifth seed, UC Davis Wednesday night. Coverage on ESPN+ begins at 7 p.m. with Ghizal Hasan on the call. All links will be on GoMatadors.com.
The Aggies defeated Sacramento State 2-1 last Saturday to advance to the Big West Championships. UC Davis is 5-8-4 overall, 4-3-2 in league play.
Ethan Hoard has taken 37 shots, the fifth most in the conference. He is one of five UC Davis players who have scored two goals this season. Max Glasser and Ryan Dieter have both recorded a team-leading three assists with Glasser leading the squad in points (7).
Charles Janssen has started 15 times in goal for the Aggies and is 5-6-4 with all five of his victories coming via shutout. His 38 saves are the eighth most in the Big West.
UC Davis defeated CSUN 1-0 on Oct. 8 in Northridge. The Aggies have won four in a row against the Matadors and now lead the all-time series 13-8-5.
UC Riverside defeated UC Santa Barbara 4-1 Saturday night to move to 17 points (6-7-4, 5-2-2) and win the Big West regular season title and earn the No. 1 seed in the championships. CSUN, UCSB, and UC Irvine all tied for second with 16 points.
The Matadors are the No. 4 seed as the Matadors went 0-2 against UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. The Gauchos and Anteaters are both 1-0-1 against the other and CSUN. UCSB (9-3-6, 4-1-4 Big West)) has the better goal differential in conference games and are the No. 2 seed and gain the other first-round bye.
UC Irvine (5-11-2, 5-3-1 Big West) is seeded third and will host Sacramento State (9-7-2, 4-5 Big West) on Wednesday night as the Matadors host UC Davis.