UC Merced Men’s Soccer Team Earns First National Top 25 Ranking

(By UC Merced Athletics) After a historical season, the University of California, Merced men’s soccer team earned themselves their first national ranking and are 24th in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll.

The Bobcats resume is very impressive as they finished a program best 13-2-5, advanced to the California Pacific Conference Championship game and qualified for their first ever NAIA National Championships.

Led by Cal Pac Freshman of the Year Marcus DeCouto , the Bobcats ranked top ten in eight major statistical categories and outscored their opponents 72-15. Goalkeepers David Hernandez and Bernardo Garcia also played a huge role in that scoring margin and were in between the posts for eleven shutouts, including five in a row to end the regular season.

Bobcats in the Rankings

#2 in Shots on Goal Per Game (11.8)

#3 in Shots per Game (20.9)

#4 in Assists per Game (3.05)

#5 in Total Assists (61)

#6 in Total Goals (72)

#6 in Goals per Game (3.6)

#6 in Shutouts per Game (0.55)

#7 in Total Shutouts (11)

On top of that, the Bobcats had eight players with individual postseason honors, including three All-Conference First Team honors, one All-Conference Second Team honor and four All-Conference Honorable Mentions.

Brennen Canfield, one of the First Team members, also earned two Cal Pac Defender of the Week awards and on November 7, the senior was named the National Defender of the Week for his role in shutting out No. 16 Marymount California University. The shutout also snapped Marymount’s (CA) 28-game winning streak against conference opponents.

Looking ahead to next season, the Bobcats return 72 percent of their scoring, as well as starting goalkeepers David Hernandez and Bernardo Garcia.

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