UCSB’s Ryan, Boateng receive Big West accolades

Ema Boateng

UCSB freshman Ema Boateng scored four goals during his first college season. (James Crosby Photo)

Senior Nic Ryan was named the 2012 Big West Midfielder of the Year and forward Ema Boateng garnered Freshman of the Year honors the conference announced on Monday evening.

Junior midfielder Fifi Baiden joins Ryan and Boateng on the All-Big West First Team. Junior defender Daniel Welsh garnered Second Team accolades and senior Josue Madueno was an Honorable Mention pick.

Ryan becomes the fourth consecutive Gaucho to garner the league’s Midfielder of the Year honor. He follows in the footsteps of Danny Barrera (2009-10) and Luis Silva (2011). The senior led the Gauchos and tied for third in the Big West with eight goals. He added three assists for 19 points, which also tied him for third conference-wide. Ryan contributed five goals and two assists against Big West opposition, accounting for game-winners against UC Riverside (Sept. 28) and UC Irvine (Oct. 5). He scored at least one point in 10 of UCSB’s 19 matches, and his four game-winning goals are the conference’s fourth-highest total. The All-Big West honor is the first of Ryan’s four-year career with the Gauchos.

Boateng becomes the third Gaucho in the last four seasons, and the fifth overall, to receive Freshman of the Year acclaim. The forward scored four goals and added four assists to place third among the Gauchos with 12 points. He ranked sixth in the Big West with 42 shots and was tied for fifth with two-game-winning goals. The Gauchos posted a 5-2-1 record when Boateng recorded at least one point. His second-half goal against No. 12 UCLA in a nationally televised match on FOX Soccer Channel helped UCSB forge a 1-1 draw on Sept. 21.

Baiden garners his first league honor after a standout junior season. The defensive midfielder played in 18 of the Gauchos’ 19 games this season and started 17. He tallied two assists and helped UCSB’s defense limit its opposition to just 18 goals.

Welsh, a defender in his first season with the Gauchos, was also a linchpin in UCSB’s defensive efforts this season. He started in 17 games and tallied two assists while helping UCSB to a 0.90 goals against average and five shutouts.

Madueno, a midfielder, has garnered his second consecutive All-Big West Honorable Mention accolade. The senior was one of two players ? along with Ryan ? to play in every game this season. He contributed a goal in the 3-0 victory over San Diego (Sept. 14).

UCSB ended the 2012 campaign with a 10-6-3 overall record, marking the program’s 12th consecutive winning season.