Amelia Parreira is a journalism senior and Mustang News columnist. These views do not necessarily reflect the editorial coverage of Mustang News.
It’s probably too rhetorical of a question to ask, but who hasn’t seen or heard about the Cal Poly men’s soccer team’s incredible 2015 season?
Well, in case you haven’t, let me give you the rundown.
The 2015 season marked one of the most successful in Cal Poly men’s soccer history. The regular season resulted in an 11-3-5 overall record and a 5-1-4 record in conference play, putting the Mustangs in a school-best second place in the Big West Conference.
This season’s men’s soccer team is nearly unstoppable, advancing to its first Big West semifinal match in Cal Poly history.
Sitting in the bleachers, looking down on the field, I can see the passionate fire the players have in their hearts. It would explain why both the offense and defense are so explosive.
Between September and October, the Mustangs went unbeaten in six straight matches. While much of the credit goes to the team as a whole, the Mustangs may not have earned as many wins if it weren’t for senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton.
This past season alone, Hamilton had 66 saves in 19 starts with eight shutouts overall. The goalie will be essential for Cal Poly to win the championship.
The team also will be successful thanks to its key offensive scorers, including senior forward/midfielder Chase Minter, senior forward Matt LaGrassa and junior forward Justin Dhillon.
Minter has scored seven goals this season along with six assists, putting his career statistics at 16 goals and 18 assists.
LaGrassa has scored 17 goals in his career as a Mustang, with five goals and three assists this season.
Dhillon scored three goals and two assists throughout the 2015 regular season, totaling eight goals and 10 assists in his career.
Senior defender Kip Colvey also made scoring contributions this season, knocking in three goals and two assists as well.
Cal Poly freshmen also played a key role in this season’s matches, and look to continue that in the postseason. That young energy is just what the team needs to not only win this year, but to carry achievement through years to come.
I am excited to see how forward George Grote grows throughout his Cal Poly career. He’s already shown potential stardom with a team-leading six assists this season, landing in third place for assists in the Big West.
Jared Pressley, another freshman forward, is bound to go far as well, and should shine in postseason games. He already has two goals on his record.
I was lucky enough to witness Pressley’s first career goal as a Mustang, the winning goal against UC Riverside on Oct. 10.
I even got the chance to talk to Pressley after that close match, and learned that he is not only a talented played but also focused on the team.
“Seeing my teammates come support me was really huge; it just shows how we have great camaraderie as a team,” Pressley said. “Not only did I score, but our whole team scored.”
Pressley expressed his team’s desire for a Big West championship victory.
“This year we want to make a splash in the Big West,” he said. “We don’t want to just be a mediocre Big West team; we want to get a berth to the NCAA, and hopefully win the national championship.”
Well, lucky for Pressley, that dream may come true very soon, whether it be this year or the year after that. I have a good feeling that the Mustangs are close to the big win they’ve wanted for so long and have worked so hard for.