BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--CSU Bakersfield's qwest for the MPSF Men's Soccer Championship begins Friday night against Air Force.
The Roadrunners are the No. 2 seed in the league tournament and face the third-seeded Falcons. Air Force defeated UNLV 4-2 Thursday night in the first round of the tournament. Kick is set for 4 p.m. PST.
Tournament host and No. 1 seed New Mexico plays No. 4 Denver in Friday's other semifinal at 6:30 p.m. PST. The Pioneers had to go to overtime to beat San Jose State 2-1 Nov. 8.
Friday night's winners will play for the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament at 12 p.m. PST on Sunday.
For the second consecutive season, CSU Bakersfield forward Gyasi Zardes (R-Jr., Hawthorne, Calif., Leuzinger HS) has been selected Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men's Soccer Player of the Year.
One of 42 players on the national player of the year watch list, Zardes reset the CSUB Division I record this season for most points in a game with eight, on another school record four goals, at Seattle U on Oct. 14. The eight points also tied for third most in single-game MPSF history, while the four goals shared an all-time conference-high.
He delivered another hat trick five days later at Houston Baptist. In the NCAA Statistical reports through Nov. 4, Zardes ranks third nationally in points per game (2.31), fourth in points (37), fifth in goals per game (0.88) and goals (14), seventh in assists per game (0.56), and ninth in assists (9).
Zardes is the third MPSF Soccer player to repeat this honor (Jason Boyce-Washington & Sheldon Thomas-CS Fullerton shared in ‘96 & ‘97), and fourth to win the award more than once (Andrew Boyens-New Mexico, ’04 & ’06).
Two other CSUB players were named first team All-Conference. Jesus Sanchez (Sr., Chula Vista, Calif., Castle Park HS) and Kory Kindle (Sr., Ventura, Calif., Ventura HS). Earning second team All-Conference honors were Andrew Devlin (So., Derry City, Northern Ireland, North West Regional College) and Lucas Dall'Orso (R-Jr., Dallas, Texas, Locke HS). Joe Masumiya (So., Lakewood, Calif., Lakewood HS) was chosen honorable mention All-Conference.