Five Things to Know: UC Irvine Anteaters

Coach Tim Fox enters his fourth season as head coach at UC Irvine with a solid nucleus of productive offensive players returning, including a quartet of local products.

Sophomore Matt Marano (Foothill), senior James Meyer (Granite Hills, San Diego), senior Kaveh Newman (Beckman) and sophomore Austin King (Fallbrook) combined for 135 goals in 2016, or 8.4 per game for a team that averaged 12.4 goals per game.

Fox provided these five things to know as the fall program gets under way:

Key returning players

  • Matt Marano, sophomore, midfield: 66 points (52g, 14a); 2016 SLC Freshman of the Year; First-Team All-SLC middie, third-team MCLA All-American.
  • Agyeman ‘Kofi’ Bonsu, senior, midfield/FO: 2016 second-team All-SLC FO.
  • Austin King, sophomore, attack: 32 points (15g, 17a); 2016 All-Freshman Team.
  • James Meyer, senior, attack: 2016 56 points (38g, 18a).
  • Kaveh Newman, senior, middie: 2016 38 points (33g, 5a).

Best nickname

Have to give the best nickname on the Eaters to a duo, Matt Marano (sophomore middie) and Damon Roulhac (senior middie). Whenever they are on the field together it leads to the inevitable, classic chant: “Matt Damon!” Good times.

UC Irvine 2016

Team goals for 2017

  • Build upon the success of our 2016 season (7-7 against Division II opponents, 7-9 overall), our best in nearly a decade. We want to continue to grow and evolve as a program, inviting and accepting new challenges.
  • Be more competitive and successful with our SLC in-conference games.
  • Earn respect from our opponents every game.
  • Add more travel to the schedule outside SoCal.
  • Continue to portray great sportsmanship and respect for the game.

Fall-ball plans

Alongside practices, we have two fall events we’re hosting at UCI (ARC Fields):

  • The Eaters Alumni Game: Oct. 29, noon. Always a good time.
  • The Freeway Six-Way: Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Six MCLA/SLC teams scrimmaging each other, all day.

Anything interesting about next year’s schedule?

In three years, the UCI schedule has built from eight games to 12 to 16. We’ll maintain a full schedule each season from here on out. It’s exciting to add Montana State University (15-1 in 2016) to the schedule this season, as well as continuing to challenge ourselves against Division I Claremont and USC, both games at UCI this season. Our two main road trips will be to Arizona and San Francisco.