Mustang Homestand Continues versus New Mexico and Seattle
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly men's soccer program continues its five-match homestand versus New Mexico on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. and Seattle on Sept. 4 at 1 p.m. The Mustangs (1-0-0), unbeaten in seven-successive matches at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, opened the 2011 campaign on Aug. 27 by sliding past UNLV, 1-0. Just once during the previous 11 seasons (2007) has Cal Poly begun a campaign with consecutive victories. New Mexico (1-0-0), a 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifier, cruised past Towson (2-0) during its Aug. 26 season opener while Seattle (0-1-0) was trumped at then-No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (3-1) on Aug. 27.
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: GameTracker for all of Cal Poly's home matches during the 2011 season is available HERE.
MUSTANGS VERSUS NEW MEXICO: Current senior center back Patrick Sigler scored twice from two Kyle Montgomery assists as the Mustangs improved their all-time record against the Lobos to 3-2 with a 2-1 triumph at then-No. 23 New Mexico on Sept. 14, 2008. Cal Poly's first Division I matchup versus New Mexico produced a 5-0 victory on Oct. 30, 1994. New Mexico's last series victory was a 3-0 decision on Sept. 13, 2002.
MUSTANGS VERSUS SEATTLE: Sunday's matchup marks the first meeting between Cal Poly and the Redhawks at the Division I level.
BACKLINE A BACKBONE: Cal Poly matched a five-year-old program record during its Aug. 27 season-opening victory against UNLV by holding the Rebels to just three total shots (the Mustangs also limited Cal State Bakersfield and Maine to three shots on, respectively, Sept. 23, 2007 and Sept. 15, 2006). After allowing just two shots against UC Santa Cruz during an Aug. 21 exhibition victory, Cal Poly's back four of Patrick Sigler, sophomore Connor Drechsler, senior left back Wes Feighner and senior right back Cameron Walters – who have started the last 19 matches together – have limited opponents to just five attempts during the previous 180 minutes. Under sixth-year head coach Paul Holocher, Cal Poly has held an opponent to eight shots or less during 21 of 100 matches.
MUSTANGS HIT HOME STRETCH: Cal Poly's five-match homestand to open the regular season is the third longest such streak in program history. The lengthiest homestand in program history occurred in 1997, when the Mustangs closed the year with a 4-0-3 mark. Cal Poly also played six-successive home matches during the 2006 campaign.
CLARK ON THE MARK: Starting his first collegiate match on Aug. 27 against UNLV, sophomore forward Ian Clark helped solidify his spot up front by scoring his first career goal in the 75th minute to lift the Mustangs to a 1-0 victory. Cal Poly had registered 11 shot attempts through the opening 74 minutes when UNLV was whistled for a foul on the outside of its own penalty area. The Mustangs took a quick tap and sophomore midfielder George Malki earned his first collegiate assist by sliding the match-winning pass to Clark. Clark, who registered just one shot attempt in 10 matches last year, placed all three of his shot attempts on target versus UNLV.
McLAIN CONTINUES FINE FORM: An All-Big West Conference second team selection last season, Mustang senior goalkeeper Patrick McLain recorded a single save during Cal Poly's 1-0 season-opening victory versus UNLV to chalk up his 11th career shutout. McLain, who recorded five shutouts last year, led all Big West goalkeepers in 2010 with a program-record .835 save percentage.
FRESH FACES MAKE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Both of Cal Poly's offseason transfers made impressions on the Mustang lineup during the program's Aug. 27 season-opening victory. Junior forward Benny Estes, an All-Atlantic 10 Conference second team selection at Saint Louis last year, started versus UNLV and paced Cal Poly with four shot attempts. Dakota Collins, who appeared in 16 matches at UCLA during the previous two seasons, came off the bench to place one of his two shot attempts on target.
MONTY BACK ON THE MOVE: After sitting out the 2009 campaign and redshirting last season, senior midfielder Kyle Montgomery returned to the Cal Poly lineup to start the program's Aug. 27 season opener. Montgomery, who registered a program-record 10 assists in 2008 to earn All-Big West second team honors, registered three shot attempts during Cal Poly's 1-0 victory against the Rebels.
FORTRESS SPANOS: Cal Poly's first five matches and four of its initial five Big West contests take place inside Spanos Stadium, a venue where the Mustangs have compiled a 26-5-6 mark since the 2007 opening. During the past four seasons, the Mustangs have recorded 16 shutout victories at home and Cal Poly's goalkeepers have kept 18 clean sheets. Additionally, Cal Poly has drawn 1,000-plus spectators during 28 of its 37 matches at the complex.
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2010: In what has become a hallmark of sixth-year head coach Paul Holocher's tenure, Cal Poly will again face one of the more testing schedules in Division I soccer during the 2011 campaign. Beginning with a Sept. 2 home clash versus New Mexico, Cal Poly will contest six total matches this season against programs that qualified for the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
MUSTANGS RETURN TO THE SMALL SCREEN: Fox Soccer Channel optioned Cal Poly's Nov. 4 match at UC Santa Barbara, marking the second-successive season and third time in four years that the two rivals have appeared on national television. On FSC last season and before 8,125 spectators – the 13th-largest regular season attendance figure in NCAA history – Chris Gaschen's 93rd-minute strike delivered the Mustangs a 2-1 home victory against UC Santa Barbara. FSC also carried Cal Poly's 2008 home match versus the nationally-ranked Gauchos.
SPANOS STADIUM – WHERE ATTENDANCE RECORDS GO TO DIE: Five of the top-21 best-attended regular season matches in the history of collegiate soccer have occurred at Spanos Stadium and all have been recorded since the start of the 2007 season. In total, Cal Poly has been involved in seven of the top 21 best-attended matches.
FEIGHNER SELECTED FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Wes Feighner (Los Alamitos, Calif.) made athletics department history on Aug. 17 by becoming the first men's soccer player and just the second Cal Poly athlete to be named as a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Feighner, a three-year captain who has started 54 of 55 games during his career, is one of 30 finalists for the honor, which recognizes outstanding performances in the classroom, community and on the playing field. A kinesiology major, Feighner was honored in March as Cal Poly's Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2010-11 academic term. A seven-time selection to the Dean's List at Cal Poly, Feighner was also named to the Big West Academic Fall All-Conference team in 2009 and 2010. On the field, Feighner earned All-Big West and NSCAA All-Far West Region second team praise last year after starting all 18 of Cal Poly's matches and compiling three assists. Feighner's disciplinary record is nearly spotless, with just one yellow card in 55 matches. In the community, Feighner volunteers time for clinics at local schools through Cal Poly's Student of the Game program and has helped local AYSO coaches organize practices and strategize for matches. As a kinesiology major and through the department's PolyFIT program, Feighner helps administer body composition tests for students to be aware of potential cardiovascular disease and other health risks. The list of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season.
LOOKING AHEAD (SEPT. 5-11): Cal Poly completes its five-match homestand versus Villanova on Friday, Sept. 9 (7 p.m.) and No. 12 West Virginia on Sunday, Sept. 11 (1 p.m.). Villanova (1-0), which opened a three-match homestand and the 2011 season by downing Manhattan (2-0), hosts Drexel (Aug. 31) and Colgate (Sept. 4) before traveling west. West Virginia, which reached the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, opened its season by defeating Virginia (1-0) before falling at then-No. 4 Maryland (3-1). The Mountaineers (1-1) host Binghamton (Sept. 2) and Old Dominion (Sept. 4) before opening their west coast tour at No. 9 UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 9).
ETC.: Cal Poly's Aug. 27 victory versus UNLV marked sixth-year head coach Paul Holocher's 100th match in charge of the Mustangs … after converting just three of nine penalty attempts from 2006-08, Cal Poly has buried its last eight tries from the spot.