Volume IV, Issue 3: November 2011
Athletics

Athletics

Soccer teams win Big West championships

Ledezma head-bumps soccer ball
Soccer player Natalia Ledezma takes one for the team.

UCI's men's and women's soccer teams both scored as Big West Conference regular-season champions this season.

Coach Scott Juniper's women's squad won the league title with a 6-1-1 mark. Sophomore Natalia Ledezma, a transfer student from UCLA, led the team with 12 goals and eight assists during the regular season, while senior Lexi Kopf had 11 goals, including five game-winners. Freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Randazzo recorded six shutouts.

The women's team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time last season, when UCI reached the Sweet 16.

The men's team, guided by head coach George Kuntz for the 17th year, won its third conference championship in the past four years with a 6-3-1 mark. Seniors Christian Hernandez and Miguel Ibarra each had seven goals and eight assists during the regular season, while senior goalkeeper Andrew Fontein recorded eight shutouts.

UCI was one of just four schools in the nation to have both soccer teams ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index during the season.

Anteater alums help U.S. men's water polo win Pan Am gold

Jeff Powers throws ball in pool during water polo game
Alumnus Jeff Powers played a pivotal role in the Pan American Games.

Former Anteater standouts Ryan Bailey '06, Tim Hutten '08 and Jeff Powers '03 were key members of the U.S. national men's water polo team that captured the gold medal in the Pan American Games, held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October.

Hutten and Powers each scored fourth-quarter goals in the 7-3 win over Canada. With the victory, the U.S. team qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Powers scored a total of 11 goals at the games, Hutten nine and Bailey eight.

Bailey has played on the last three U.S. Olympic teams, Powers the past two and Hutten was on the 2008 squad. They each earned multiple All-America honors while competing for UCI.

Scott Brooks gives back to his alma mater

Scott Brooks, Hannah Holladay and Courtney Byron
Scott Brooks with women's tennis student-athletes Hannah Holladay (left) and Courtney Byron.

The 2011 UCI/Scott Brooks Golf Invitational presented by Irvine BMW raised $40,000 for student-athlete scholarships at UCI — more than double last year's total.

Scott Brooks '87, head coach of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, spent the day on the course visiting with each foursome, along with UCI head coaches and student-athletes stationed at each tee. During a question-and-answer session at an evening reception, he spoke about how receiving a scholarship to play basketball for the Anteaters provided him with opportunities that were otherwise out of reach.

"I'm happy to be associated with this event to help raise scholarship funds for the student-athletes at UCI," said Brooks, in his first year as tournament host. "I am, and always will be, an Anteater and will do anything I can to assist UCI Athletics and the university."

As a senior in 1986-87, he led the West Coast in scoring with an average of 23.8 points per game, and he was second in the nation in three-point field goals per game with a 4.0 average. On the night the Bren Events Center opened, Jan. 8, 1987, Brooks scored 43 points as UCI defeated Utah State, 118-96.

Water polo coach headed to 2012 Olympics

Dan Klatt
Kelley Cox
Women's water polo coach Dan Klatt

With the U.S. national women's water polo team also winning gold at the Pan American Games, UCI women's water polo coach Dan Klatt will head to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

He's an assistant coach for the American squad that defeated Canada, 27-26, in a marathon final. Team USA scored in the 15th round after two scoreless overtime sessions to claim its third straight gold medal at the games.

Klatt, a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic men's water polo team and a 1998 All-American for the Anteaters, is in his eighth season as head coach of the UCI women's program. He has led the Anteaters to three straight Big West Conference tournament titles and last spring guided the team to its first appearance in the NCAA tournament, at which UCI placed fifth.