Four UCI soccer players have kicked up their careers to the professional level.
Tanya Taylor became the first player drafted in UCI women's soccer history when the Boston Breakers selected her in the fourth round of the Women's Professional Soccer Draft. Taylor, the 2010 Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, helped lead UCI to a 19-3-2 overall record and the NCAA Sweet 16.
Men's players Spencer Thompson, Amani Walker and Corey Attaway were selected in the 2011 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft. Thompson was picked second in the first round by the Portland Timbers, while Walker was taken ninth overall by the Chicago Fire. Attaway was a second-round choice and the 29th overall pick by the Seattle Sounders.
Women's water polo will host the UCI Invitational Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26. Eight games will be played each day at Anteater Pool and Corona del Mar High School, and many of the nation's top-ranked teams will compete.
Coach Dan Klatt's Anteaters, ranked No. 11 in the national preseason poll, will be joined by UCLA, USC, UC San Diego, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Northridge, UC Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State, Arizona State and University of Hawaii.
UCI has won the last two Big West Conference titles. Senior Cortney Collyer and sophomore Jessy Cardey earned All-American honors last season.
In the food world, a slider is a miniature hamburgers. In baseball, it's a hard-to-hit pitch. Those worlds collided when 11 college baseball coaches — including UCI head baseball coach Mike Gillespie — competed not on the ball field but in the kitchen. They were contestants in the third annual Southern California Baseball Coaches Media Day/ESPN Zone Anaheim Cooking Challenge at ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney Jan. 26.
Coaches were given 15 minutes to prepare their entrées, which were graded by judges on presentation, creativity and taste. UCLA head coach John Savage, a former Anteater head coach, walked away with the best presentation award with his "Filet de Gillespie" sliders. Savage named the dish as a tribute to Gillespie — his former boss at USC.
John Chin, a 2010 All-American at UCI, received the Golfstat Cup trophy at the Jan. 22 homecoming men's basketball game.
The nation's top-ranked collegiate golfer last season, he was awarded the trophy by Golfstat founder Mark Laesch. As a senior at UCI in 2009-10, Chin ranked No. 1 in the final 2010 Golfstat Cup, with a 70.05 average, and finished first in four tournaments.
Chin also made the 2010 Golfweek and Ping All-America first team (first in UCI's NCAA Division I history) and was named to the 2010 All-Nicklaus team. He was a member of the 2010 United States Palmer Cup team that defeated Europe 13-11 last June in Northern Ireland.
Additionally, Chin was a three-time Big West Conference Golfer of the Year and two-time medalist at the Big West championship — including in 2010, when he won the 54-hole tournament by nine shots. He made his professional debut at the Reno-Tahoe Open last July.