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Anteaters garner high honors

November 09, 2006

UC Irvine senior Brad Evans repeated as Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, highlighting several top honors collected by Anteaters among the men's soccer coaches' all-conference selections.

UCI sophomore Matt Murphy was named Midfielder of the Year, while senior Kenny Shoeni shared Goalkeeper of the Year honors and George Kuntz was named Coach of the Year.

Evans, Murphy, Schoeni and senior Anthony Hamilton represented the Anteaters on the all-conference first team.

Senior defender Cameron Dunn and senior midfielder Doug Franco were second-team honorees.

Evans, a three-time first-team all-conference performer, scored six of his eight goals in conference games. The Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 and the Conference Midfielder of the Year in 2004, he finished with 31 goals and 73 points in four seasons. He is UCI's all-time leading goal scorer and is tied for the top spot in points.

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Murphy's 10 goals and 25 points ranked second in the conference. He also scored four game-winning goals to help the Anteaters (13-4-3) set a school single-season record for wins.

UCI was 6-3-1 in conference and finished second behind UC Santa Barbara.

Schoeni, who transferred from Vanderbilt after the Commodores dropped their program, had nine shutouts, a school single-season record, a 0.90 goals-against average and a .757 save percentage.

Kuntz, whose next win will be his 100th at UCI, helped the Anteaters come within one point of a share of the program's first conference championship. UCI ranked No. 20 in the nation in scoring at 1.9 goals per game and had an eight-match unbeaten streak from Sept. 8 to Oct. 4.

Hamilton, the only Anteater to start all 20 games this season, had eight goals and five assists. The forward also had one game-winning goal.

It was Hamilton's second consecutive first-team recognition.

Franco was a stalwart in the midfield, while Dunn, whom Kuntz called the heart and soul of the team, was a spirited defender who led both on an off the pitch.

Neither Franco, nor Dunn scored this season.

Dunn, who missed six games due to injuries, was a first-team all-conference performer as a junior.

UCI senior Craig Ettinger, who had three goals and one assist, received honorable mention.

Matt Tracy, a Newport Harbor High product who is a junior defender at Cal State Northridge, also received honorable mention.

UCSB junior Andy Iro was named Defensive Player of the Year, while Gauchos senior Kyle Reynish shared the top goalie distinction with Schoeni.

Cal State Fullerton's Michael Farfan was named Freshman of the Year.

UCI, which was ranked no lower than No. 25 in four commonly recognized national polls, did not attain one of the 48 berths into the NCAA College Cup Tournament.


— Barry Faulkner

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