The “Blue-Green Rivalry” between the mens’ soccer teams of UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly came out in an aggressive yet scoreless, double overtime draw in front of 9,824 fans, the largest crowd of the season between two Big West teams and the second largest attendance for a soccer game in Cal Poly history. With the tie, the Gauchos clinched the number one spot in the Big West Conference.
Each team tried to attack right out of the gates with the only three off-sides in the first half coming within the first five minutes, two going to the Gauchos and one to Cal Poly. The Mustangs assailed the Gauchos goal more frequently however, with four shots to the Gauchos’ two in the first half. In that time each team received one yellow card.
Throughout the game the play on the field was rough. There were 38 total fouls in the game with 22 going to the Mustangs and 16 to the Gauchos.
The crowd was tame by “Blue-Green Rivalry” standards with only a few tortillas and no empty plastic bottles being tossed on the field. There were tortilla confiscations though Cody Chaney, attending manager for Cal Poly media relations said. There was also more security, more police and no plastic bottles allowed into the stadium.
UCSB’s goalkeeper Sam Hayden had the only save in the first with a shot by midfielder Jacob Hustedt that bounced off a Gauchos’ defender into Hayden’s hands.
The first half differed considerably from the Oct. 7 match between the two teams, where the Gauchos controlled, allowing only one Cal Poly shot on goal. Santa Barbara had 22 shots in the past match and last night didn’t get their first shot until 26:56.
Sophomore midfielder Wes Feighner said that the team accomplished some of the goals they had practiced towards earlier in the week.
“We didn’t want to make the same mistake we made last time, letting them get into their rhythm,” he said.
The second half was as an even closer contest than the first with Santa Barbara upping its intensity, taking four shots in the second half with Cal Poly taking three.
Mustangs head coach Paul Holocher gave credit to the crowd and the home pitch advantage for some of his team’s play.
“Quite honestly we were given a lot of space,” he said. “Part of it’s them being on the road. At home they play like rabid dogs.”
The two teams were still scoreless at the end of regulation after a tight second-half battle. The first overtime saw four shots on goal with only one by the Gauchos. The overtimes are played in sudden death.
The second overtime saw three shots by the Gauchos but they were unable to produce the winning goal.
Cal Poly had not trailed an opponent for 540 minutes at home since their first game against UNLV. Nobody has led the Mustangs since then. Their record up to the game was 6-1 at home.
To take the first place slot Cal Poly had to beat UCSB by at least two goals and the Gauchos must lose their Saturday match against UC Davis whom Cal Poly lost to last weekend 2-0.The tie does not allow the Mustangs to host a conference playoff game.
Senior forward David Zamora said he would have preferred a win but was happy with his team’s effort for his last game as a senior.
“Who doesn’t want to play with 9,000 people cheering for you? So you come out hard you come out strong and try to do your best,” he said.