COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's soccer team is set to host its 2017 home opener this week, facing Sacramento State at 7 p.m. Friday before also welcoming Pacific to Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 12 noon Sunday.
Marking the start of a six-game homestand, the matches are part of Week of Welcome around campus. The Mustangs last played the Hornets (3-3-0) in 2013, winning 4-0, while last season Cal Poly topped the Tigers (2-5-1) in Stockton, 2-0.
Sunday's game will also be Youth Day, with free admission for kids 13-and-under. In addition, the first 100 fans will receive Cal Poly Soccer scarfs.
The Mustangs (2-4-1) were edged 1-0 at San Jose State on Sept. 8 to finish their season-opening seven-game road stretch. Cal Poly last opened with seven straight matches away from home in 1997.
ABUTIN CLIMBS IN RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly senior Megan Abutin — selected to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team on Aug. 10 and the Hoosier Challenge Cup All-Tournament Team on Aug. 20 — has continued to rise in the Cal Poly record book.
Abutin, a fifth-year student-athlete granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA after a season-ending injury in the 2016 opener at Cal, scored her 16th and 17th career goals vs. San Francisco on Aug. 27, moving into a tie for ninth in school history.
Additionally, her 21 career assists — No. 2 in program history (three back of tying Kolleen Kassis' school record set from 1992-95) — rank No. 13 nationally among all Division I players.
In the NCAA's points statistic (2 per goal; 1 per assist), Abutin has brought her combined total to 55 — No. 8 all-time at Cal Poly in the category.
BARRY, HANSEN ALSO LEAD 18 LETTERWINNERS JOINED BY 12 NEWCOMERS: Cal Poly, led by 26th-year head coach Alex Crozier (280-173-51 overall, 100-50-19 Big West), returned eight starters among 18 letterwinners, joined by 12 newcomers (eight freshmen, three transfers and one redshirt).
In addition to Abutin (a third-team NSCAA All-West Region honoree in 2014), the group of returners is led by junior defender Chelsea Barry, a 2016 all-conference second-team selection, and Emily Hansen, a 2014 All-Big West Freshman Team member with a team-high 60 career starts (19th-most in program history).
Barry tallied the game-winning goal at CSU Bakersfield on Aug. 23, and has played a team-high 605 minutes this year. Last season, she won the TopDrawerSoccer National Goal of the Week accolade on Oct. 19, distributed three assists, and anchored the back line to four shutouts and a 1.3 GAA.
Jessica Johnson, an All-Big West Conference Freshman Team honoree a year ago, currently ranks second on the squad with two goals.
Meanwhile among the freshmen, Georgina Stiegeler and Emma Hotaling have each tallied one goal, and Grace Park has an assist.
BROWN RECORDS SIXTH SHUTOUT: The Mustangs' 1-0 win over Boise State on Sept. 1 amounted to the sixth shutout of sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Brown's career.
Brown, who played every minute during a freshman season that included a Big West Defensive Player of the Week award, ranks ninth all-time at Cal Poly with 125 saves.
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT SLATED FOR NORTHRIDGE: This year's Big West Tournament will be held at CSUN, the 2016 regular-season conference champion.
The top four teams in the regular-season standings qualify for the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN3/WatchESPN) scheduled for Nov. 2, with the championship game (televised by FOX Sports PT) on Nov. 5.
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly students always get into games for free, and are also invited to join the Stang Gang. Stang Gang — Cal Poly's student fan group — features several rewards for a $10 one-time lifetime registration fee, including prizes from sponsors such as Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! and VISA, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.
For the general public, tickets are available at GoPoly.com, by calling (805) 756-4849 or by visiting the sidewalk window at the on-campus Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Families are also encouraged to sign up for the Mustang Kids Club ($5 per child/8th grade or under), as benefits include ongoing free admission to all regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events, birthday cards, free ice cream from Doc Burnstein's and a T-Shirt.
Links to follow matches live can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
Cal Poly went 5-2-2 at Spanos Stadium last fall, improving to 138-59-18 at home all-time. Other upcoming home games will also feature community events and giveaways, with more to be announced soon:
Sept. 24 (Sun. • 12 noon) • vs. Santa Clara
The matchup with the Broncos, an Elite Eight participant in 2016, will be the second Youth Day of the regular season.
Oct. 1 (Sun. • 12 noon) • vs. UC Riverside
In addition to another Youth Day, the game vs. the Highlanders will be the second annual Pups at the Pitch, as dogs are welcomed to Spanos Stadium.
MUSTANGS IN THE PROS: Two Cal Poly alumni are currently in their second seasons as professionals, both now in the Toppserien League in Norway, and a third former Mustang recently played in the World University Games.
Alyssa Giannetti, with Arna-Bjørnar (in Bergen), was ranked by EverybodySoccer as the No. 4 pro goalkeeper in the world in the U-24 category on July 27. Following her rookie season last November, Giannetti was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year by the Norwegian Football Federation.
Giannetti, who has 10 career shutouts in 34 professional appearances, helped the Bears advance to their first semifinal since 2012 on Aug. 30.
Elise Krieghoff, a forward for Vålerenga Damer (Oslo), had a hat trick on June 4 during a 6-1 win over Medkila IL. Krieghoff has made 14 appearances in 2017, and now has six goals — including a bicycle voted as the Toppserien's best goal in the 14th round.
Kendra Bonsall, who played every position except goalkeeper from 2013-16, just played as a defender for the United States at the World University Games in Taipei from Aug. 18-28.
The U.S. finished fifth, closing with back-to-back wins, 5-2 over Mexico and 3-1 over South Korea, going 4-2 for the tournament. Bonsall played 405 minutes in Taipei, primarily in the back line, and placed her only shot of the tournament on frame. Brazil won the gold, 1-0 over Japan.
Cal Poly Hosts Sacramento St. for Home Opener Friday, Pacific on Sunday
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)