CAL POLY 2012 SEASON PROSPECTUS
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Mustang men's soccer program's Blue-Green Rivalry series against UC Santa Barbara will play out in front of a national television audience for the fourth time during the previous five seasons following a recent announcement that Fox Soccer Channel will carry Cal Poly's Oct. 19 showdown versus the Gauchos at Harder Stadium.
"We're thrilled to bring the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara rivalry back to a national audience. This has become a very exciting rivalry and we always enjoy the energy that surrounds this central coast derby match versus the Gauchos," said seventh-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher, whose 2011 Mustang squad set single-season program records for fewest goals conceded (17, in 18 games) and fewest goals allowed per game (0.94) and led the Big West Conference with a 0.90 team goals against average. "Games against UC Santa Barbara are always heavily contested and full of passion from both sides."
Topping CollegeSoccerNews.com's list of the 14 Greatest Rivalries in College Soccer, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn nine of the top-23 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history. Last year's match at Harder Stadium, also televised nationally on Fox Soccer Channel, drew 13,822 fans – the fifth-largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history.
Since the start of the 2007 season, 90,374 total spectators and an average of 7,531 fans per match have witnessed Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara clash on 12 occasions.
Two seasons ago on Fox Soccer Channel, 8,125 fans – the 13th-largest regular season attendance figure in NCAA history – packed Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium to watch Mustang forward Chris Gaschen strike in the 93rd minute and send UC Santa Barbara to a 2-1 defeat. The Mustangs also appeared on FSC in 2008 as a sellout crowd of 11,075 spectators at Spanos Stadium – the seventh-largest regular season attendance figure – saw UC Santa Barbara prevail in double-overtime, 1-0.
The Mustangs are expected to return five starters and 13 letterwinners from last season's squad. Cal Poly's eight-player National Letter of Intent signing class was recently rated by TopDrawerSoccer.com as one of the top incoming units in Division I.
With Cal Poly scheduled to hold its first official fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 8, Mustang fans will receive their first look at the 2012 squad during an Aug. 11 exhibition against San Francisco inside Spanos Stadium. Cal Poly opens the regular season with a three-match road trip that begins on Aug. 24 at Seattle. The Mustangs return to the central coast to open a five-match home stand on Sept. 9 versus Valparaiso.
Cal Poly fans can help fortify the program's already strong supporter base by joining the Green Army, a membership that includes tickets to all 11 of Cal Poly's 2012 home matches, a commemorative scarf, invitation to the program's annual Meet the Team Day skills clinic and access to both the season banquet and all spring matches. Additionally, Green Army members are guaranteed reserved chairback seating for Cal Poly's Nov. 3 home showdown against UC Santa Barbara at Spanos Stadium (members must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled 7 p.m. start time). Green Army season ticket packages are $100 for adults and $50 for youth supporters. A family package, which includes four tickets, is also available for $250. Half of all proceeds derived from Green Army membership go directly to supporting the Cal Poly men's soccer program's operating budget.