MUSTANG REWIND: GASCHEN GOLDEN GOAL SLAYS UC SANTA BARBARA (OCT. 27, 2010)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Topping CollegeSoccerNews.com's chart of the 14 Greatest Rivalries in College Soccer, the Cal Poly and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara men's soccer programs will renew the Blue-Green Rivalry on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Dave Grant, making his GoPoly.com debut, will provide play-by-play commentary beginning with the pre-match show at 6:55 p.m.
Cal Poly (5-5-2, 2-2-0) and UC Santa Barbara (9-3-1, 2-2-0) enter play Friday evening deadlocked in a three-way knot with UC Davis (4-6-2, 2-2-0) for third place in the Big West Conference standings. Cal Poly, however, is coming off a 2-0 home loss against Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, a night that also saw UC Santa Barbara produce a 6-0 victory against Cal State Fullerton. No. 7 UC Irvine (12-2-0, 4-1-0), inflicted with its lone Big West loss by Cal Poly on Sept. 28, leads the conference standings on 12 points. Cal State Northridge (6-5-1, 3-1-0) sits second on nine.
The Big West's top defensive squad, Cal Poly has conceded just 10 goals in 12 matches this year and leads all conference programs in shutouts (six) and goals-against average (0.79). Leading Cal Poly's defensive prowess is the back four of left back Wes Feighner, right back Cameron Walters and center backs Patrick Sigler and Connor Drechsler (above), who have started 29 of the previous 30 matches together. Cal Poly has already held opponents to a single-digit shot total on seven occasions this season.
Though UC Santa Barbara owns a 7-2-3 series advantage against the Mustangs since 2006, Cal Poly has defended Spanos Stadium well against the Gauchos. The Mustangs own a 2-1-1 mark in four previous home matches versus UC Santa Barbara and claimed upset victories of the nationally-ranked Gauchos during the 2007 (2-1) and 2010 (2-1, overtime) campaigns. In front of 9,824 spectators – the ninth-largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history – the two programs produced a scoreless draw at Spanos Stadium on Nov. 4, 2009. UC Santa Barbara's only victory against Cal Poly inside Spanos Stadium was a 1-0 double-overtime decision on Oct. 17, 2008.
The Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn seven of the top-21 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history with all matches occurring during the previous four-plus seasons. Since the start of the 2007 campaign, 65,477 total spectators and an average of 6,548 fans per match have witnessed Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara clash on 10 occasions.
Following Friday's showdown against UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly plays four of its final five regular season matches away from home. A three-match road trip opens with a 7 p.m. date at Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Oct. 19.