COMPLETE GAME PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's soccer program completes its 16-match regular season schedule when visiting Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Oct. 27. Kickoff from Harder Stadium is 5 p.m. for Cal Poly (5-8-2, 1-4-1), which enters the final match day sitting eighth in the Big West Conference standings on four points. The Mustangs, however, have one route remaining to qualify for the Oct. 31, Nov. 3 and 10 Big West Tournament: defeat UC Santa Barbara to reach seven points in the standings, finish in a three-way tie with Sacramento State and CSUN and overcome goal differential in conference matches with CSUN (Cal Poly enters play Saturday with a minus-two goal differential in Big West games; CSUN is minus-one). In reaching that objective, Cal Poly must replicate a feat accomplished just once in the last 20 seasons: win at Harder Stadium. Having already qualified for the Big West Tournament with 10 points, UC Santa Barbara (9-6-1, 3-2-1) is playing for an opening-round bye or the opportunity to host an opening-round match. The Gauchos rank 33rd among 205 NCAA Division I programs with just 13 goals allowed in 16 matches this fall.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Max Milander (@MustangMax1) provides play-by-play detail for Cal Poly's Saturday matchup at UC Santa Barbara for GoPoly.com. Streaming video and live stats will also be available via GoPoly.com.
CAL POLY VERSUS UC SANTA BARBARA: Having produced draws at UC Santa Barbara for the last four years, Cal Poly is currently enjoying its best run of road results versus the Gauchos in program history. Overall, Cal Poly is unbeaten versus UC Santa Barbara in nine of the last 12 matchups and won this season's series opener in San Luis Obispo, 1-0, behind junior forward Diego Alonso's 64th-minute goal (Sept. 30). In seven matchups versus UC Santa Barbara under fourth-year head coach Steve Sampson, Cal Poly maintains a 3-1-3 record. UC Santa Barbara, however, leads the all-time series, 25-15-8.
CENTRAL COAST SERIES A TIGHTLY CONTESTED AFFAIR: Nineteen of the last 22 matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara have been decided by one goal or drawn. Seven of Cal Poly's eight victories in the last 25 attempts against UC Santa Barbara has been a one-goal triumph. Eleven of those 25 matches since 2007 have gone to overtime. Just three times since 2007 has one side scored as many as three goals against the other (Cal Poly's 4-1 home victory versus the Gauchos to close 2017 marked the first time since Nov. 9, 2001 that once team had put four goals past the other). The Mustangs are undefeated at home against the Gauchos in eight of the last 10 years while UC Santa Barbara has lost just once at home to Cal Poly in the last 20 matchups at Harder Stadium.
CAL POLY-UC SANTA BARBARA SERIES REMAINS THE CENTRAL COAST'S TOP DRAW: The best-attended sporting events annually in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn 21 of the top 56 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history with all matches occurring during the previous 12 seasons. The matchup inside Spanos Stadium has sold out all 11,075 seats for the past eight seasons – a figure that marks the 14th largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history. The 13 combined matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara during the last seven years are the 13 highest attended collegiate soccer games in the United States, outranking every NCAA Championship and College Cup contest since the beginning of the 2012 season. Since the start of the 2007 season, 245,152 total spectators and an average of 9,806 fans per match have witnessed Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara clash on 25 occasions.
A HARDER PLACE TO WIN: While Cal Poly is undefeated at home versus UC Santa Barbara in eight of the previous 10 matchups, the Mustangs have won just once at Harder Stadium in the past 19 years and 20 games. That historic win was a 2-1, overtime, come-from-behind effort on Oct. 19, 2012. Meanwhile, 2-2 draws in 2008, 2014 and 2015 and scoreless draws in 2008, 2016 and 2017 mark the six other instances since 1998 that Cal Poly has earned a road point versus the Gauchos.
CLOSE, BUT … : Six of Cal Poly's 15 matches this season have been decided by a single goal, but the Mustangs are just 1-5-0 in such results. Cal Poly's only one-goal win of 2018 was a 1-0 home triumph versus UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 30).
GOLDEN GLOVES: Buoyed by season high nine-save performances at Seattle (Aug. 31) and at Saint Mary's (Sept. 9) and an eight-save job versus UC Irvine (Oct. 21), senior goalkeeper Simon Boehme enters Cal Poly's Saturday matchup at UC Santa Barbara ranked 23rd among NCAA Division I players with 61 saves and 38th with 4.36 save per game. On pace to finish as one of the most accomplished goalkeepers in Cal Poly program history, Boehme ranks third all-time in save percentage (.772) and fifth in goals against average (1.30).
SPREAD THE WEALTH: Cal Poly's 15 matches have elicited eight different goalscorers. Following sophomore midfielder Emmanuel Perez's two-goal effort in Cal Poly's Aug. 24 season-opening victory versus Fresno Pacific, senior forward Sean Goode's doubles at CSU Bakersfield (Sept. 15) and versus UC Irvine (Oct. 21) allowed the Mustangs to become one of only two Big West programs (alongside CSUN) to feature two players with multi-goal matches. Goode, who also scored versus Westmont (Sept. 22), at UC Davis (Oct. 3) and versus Sacramento State (Oct. 17), ranks fourth among Big West players with seven goals and eighth with 36 shot attempts. Also scoring their first career goals for Cal Poly versus Fresno Pacific were junior forward Diego Alonso and sophomore defender Addison Parrish. Alonso then added his second in Cal Poly's 1-0 victory versus UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 30). Junior forward George Grote scored his first goal in three seasons during the program's 2-1 loss at Seattle (Aug. 31) while junior defender Eddie Melgoza found the back of the net for the only time in 32 career appearances during a 2-1 loss at Portland (Sept. 3). Cal Poly's most recent first-time goalscorers and freshman defender Brecc Evans, who contributed the second strike in the 2-0 victory versus Westmont, and freshman forward Reagan Rice, who capped a 3-0 victory versus Sacramento State (Oct. 17).
RIVERA LIFTS CAL POLY OVER THE LINE: With a two-assist performance in Cal Poly's 2-0 victory against Westmont, senior midfielder Jose Rivera – who contributed the program's 27th multi-assist match in the Division I era – currently ranks 11th among Big West players with a team leading three assists.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE: Cal Poly is unbeaten in 23 of its last 31 home matches at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Overall, Cal Poly is 66-26-17 since the venue's 2007 opening. During the last 12 seasons, the Mustangs have recorded 34 shutout victories at home while Cal Poly's goalkeepers have kept 41 clean sheets. Additionally, Cal Poly has drawn 1,000-plus spectators during 73 of 109 (67.0 percent) matches at Spanos Stadium and sold out the 11,075-capacity complex eight times.
SPANOS STADIUM – WHERE ATTENDANCE RECORDS ARE RETIRED: Fourteen of the top 56 (25.0 percent) best attended regular season matches in the history of collegiate soccer have occurred at Alex G. Spanos Stadium and all have been recorded since the start of the 2007 season. In total, Cal Poly has been involved in 21 of the top 56 (37.5 percent) best-attended regular season matches in collegiate soccer history.
ETC.: Cal Poly improved to 15-9-0 in season-opening matches at the Division I level with its 4-1 decision versus Fresno Pacific (Aug. 24) … the Mustangs moved to 8-7-3 all-time in Big West-opening matches following a 1-1 draw at No. 16 UC Davis (Oct. 3) … Carlos Arce-Hurtado's 10-save performance in a 1-0, overtime loss to UC Riverside (Oct. 6) marked the highest save total by a Mustang goalkeeper since Simon Boehme produced 12 at then-No. 10 Notre Dame on Aug. 27, 2017.