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FC Tucson's Players Eye Postseason
Long, Velasco lead standout performances in regular season

FC Tucson News Release --

Monday, November 5, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. — The college soccer regular season came to an end for most of FC Tucson’s former players this weekend. For some the regular season ended with heartbreak. For others it’s the beginning of a possible postseason run to a national title. And for a few one final weekend will determine a conference champion.

Even before all the regular season and conference tournament matches are finished, FC Tucson’s first fall watching its alums play NCAA soccer was a success. As of this writing two former players (Aaron Long and Ricardo Velasco) finished their seasons as the their team’s leading goal-and-point scorers. Two others (Max Alvarez and Nick Marshall) finished the year as one of his team’s top three goal-and-point scorers.

For those still playing, the final weekend before the NCAA tournament should be a fun one. In New Mexico, Travis Campbell and the Lobos begin their conference tournament and, what they hope is a run to the NCAA national title.

In California, five FC Tucson players on two teams have a shot at the West Coast Conference title. San Diego, featuring Eli Galbraith-Knapp, James Cohn and Michael D’Arrigo, leads the conference with 24 points. Santa Clara, featuring Carlos Montes and Wes Culver, sit in second place with 22 points. And the final game of the regular season for both clubs: San Diego vs. Santa Clara.

Real life can be better than anything written in a script.

So, how did FC Tucson players fare this weekend? Check out the capsules below.

New Mexico
The Lobos sent their seniors out in style on Senior Night with a 6-0 win over Houston Baptist on Saturday night. The shut out is New Mexico’s sixth consecutive shut out for a shut out streak of 555 minutes. Defender Travis Campbell started in his final home game at New Mexico. The Lobos will be the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament.

The Pilots split a pair of matches over the weekend with a 2-1 loss to Loyola Marymount on Friday night followed by a 2-1 win over first-place San Diego on Sunday, November 4. Midfielder Thomas Iwasaki started the match against Loyola Marymount while his teammate, midfielder Colin Anderson, came off the bench. Neither scored. On Sunday night, the roles were reversed, with Anderson in the starting XI while Iwasaki came off the bench. Neither player notched a point.

Sacramento State
The Hornets needed to win one of its final two regular season matches to reach the Big West Conference Tournament. But Sacramento State agonizingly dropped its final two matches to end its season. Last Wednesday night, the Hornets lost to UC Santa Barbra 2-1. Forward Max Alvarez and defender Matt Linenberger started but neither found the score sheet. On Saturday a win would’ve sent Sacramento State to the conference tournament but UC Davis won 2-1 to end the Hornets’ season. Alvarez started the match and scored Sacramento State’s lone goal. Alvarez finished the year tied for second in goals scored (4) and tied for third in points (10).

San Diego
San Diego’s winning streaked topped out at eight matches over the weekend. On Friday night the Toreros downed Gonzaga 1-0 for its eighth consecutive win. Midfielders James Cohn and Eli Galbraith-Knapp started the match but neither scored. But on Sunday the winning streak ended in a 2-1 loss to Portland. Cohn and Galbraith-Knapp started and Cohn notched an assist on San Diego’s lone goal. The Toreros remain in first place in the West Coast Conference with 24 points, two points ahead of second-place Santa Clara.

San Francisco
San Francisco picked up just one point over the weekend against Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s. On Friday, Santa Clara dropped the Dons 1-0 thanks to a late goal. Goalkeeper Brendan Roslund started while defender Danny Kirkland came off the bench. On Sunday, San Francisco got on the scoreboard, but could only earn a 1-1 draw against Saint Mary’s. Roslund made six saves while Kirkland, off the bench, notched an assist.

Santa Clara
Down a man in a 0-0 tie, the Broncos needed a positive result to keep pace with first-place San Diego. Santa Clara not only rebuffed San Francisco’s attack but the team also scored a game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining for a 1-0 win. Defender Wes Culver started the match and forward Carlos Montes came off the bench but neither scored a point. Santa Clara is now just two points behind San Diego in the conference standings heading into the season’s final weekend.

UC Riverside
The Highlanders needed a win on Wednesday night to stay in the conference tournament hunt and they got it in a 4-3 overtime win over UC Irvine. Midfielder Aaron Long started the match but did not score. The win set up a Saturday night showdown with Cal State Fullerton. The winner would earn a berth to the Big West Conference Tournament. The loser’s season would end. UC Riverside would be shut out of the tournament with a tie. Despite a Long goal with 9:50 remaining in the game, UC Riverside lost 2-1 to end their season. Long finished the year as the team leader in goals (6) and points (13).

The Rebels’ regular-season finale ended in a heartbreaker. UNLV fell to CSU Bakersfield 1-0 in double overtime. Forward Nick Marshall started the match but did not score. Marshall finished the season tied for second in goals scored (5), tied for second in assists (3) and second on the team in points (13). Marshall led the team in game-winning goals with two. UNLV has at least one more match, a Thursday tilt with Air Force in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament.

Yavapai Community College
The Roughriders lost 4-2 to Northwest (WY) College in the NJCAA West District Playoffs. It was the first time in 20 West District Playoff appearances that Yavapai lost. The Roughriders finished the season 21-3-0. Forward Junior Gbapou did not appear on the score sheet. 

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