SAN LUIS OBISPO – With six returning starters and six of the top 10 goalscorers from a year ago suited up, the Cal Poly men's soccer program will begin preparations for the 2018 season on Wednesday morning.
Cal Poly, which welcomes back 16 total letterwinners from last year's squad, will enjoy 17 days of preparation prior to the program's Friday, Aug. 24 regular season opener versus Division II Fresno Pacific. In between, Cal Poly supporters will receive their first look at the 2018 Mustang squad during the program's annual Green versus Gold intrasquad matchup on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Kickoff time for both events inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium is 7 p.m.
Senior captain Simon Boehme returns in goal for Cal Poly a year after starting the program's first 14 matches and finishing 40th among NCAA Division I goalkeepers with 4.43 saves per match. A 2017 All-Big West honorable mention selection, Boehme also led all Big West goalkeepers last season in save percentage (.775) and fewest goals allowed (18, two of which were converted penalties).
In front of Boehme, Cal Poly's backline is shored up by senior Nick Carroll and sophomores Freeman Dwamena and Andrew Forth. Carroll, the program's active leader with 41 career starts, notched his first career goal to fuel Cal Poly's 1-0 home victory versus Saint Mary's last year. Dwamena (1,559) – a 2017 Big West All-Freshman Team selection – and Forth (1,541) led all Cal Poly players in minutes played last season. The trio also helped the 2017 squad set a single season program record for fewest shots on goal allowed (70), in addition to producing four shutouts.
In attack, senior forward Sean Goode is Cal Poly's leading returning scorer after finding the back of the opposition net four times during his 2017 debut season. Senior forward Jared Pressley (above) – Cal Poly's active leader with 50 career games played and the program's leader last season with 14 reserve appearances – and senior midfielder Jose Rivera each scored twice last year. Also back to fuel Cal Poly's attack is junior forward Diego Alonso, who finished fifth among Big West players with a team leading five assists last season.
Following Cal Poly's Aug. 24 season-opening home match versus Fresno Pacific, the Mustangs begin a five-game road trip at Gonzaga on Monday, Aug. 27. Cal Poly's lengthiest road trip in 10 years continues at Seattle (Aug. 31), Portland (Sept. 3), Saint Mary's (Sept. 9) and CSU Bakersfield (Sept. 15).