Walker tops UCI honorees

Senior forward Amani Walker shared Big West Offensive Player of the Year honors to highlight six UC Irvine players named All-Big West Conference in men's soccer.

Walker, who led conference players with 11 goals, was joined on the first team by senior defenders Corey Attaway and Joel Bagby, as well as junior midfielder Miguel Ibarra.

Senior forward Spencer Thompson and junior goalkeeper Andrew Fontein were second-team honorees.

Walker, who had four game-winning goals and added two assists, helped the 'Eaters win the conference regular-season championship with a 7-1-2 record against Big West foes. UCI lost in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament and were denied an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, despite finishing 14-3-3 and being ranked in the top 10 nationally for several weeks. Walker is a repeat first-team selection.

Attaway is a two-time first-team honoree, who added five goals and three assists to his stalwart play on a back line that helped produce 11 shutouts and allowed just 13 goals. Three of his goals were game-winners.

Ibarra had a conference-best 10 assists to go with one goal. His quickness proved problematic for opposing defenses.

Bagby, who started all 20 games at center back, had four goals and one assist. His physical presence was a factor in UCI's defensive dominance.

Thompson had six goals and six assists, while Fontein was in goal for 11 shutouts and posted an 0.59 goals-against average.

Senior midfielder Gray Bailey and sophomore defender Everett Pitts received honorable mention.

UC Santa Barbara's Sam Garza was the other Offensive Player of the Year.

UCSB, which won the conference tournament, swept the other top honors including Danny Barrera (top midfielder), Michael Boxall (top defender), Sam Hayden (top goalie), David Opoku (top freshman) and Tim Vom Steeg (Coach of the Year).

— From staff reports

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