Monday’s Cal Poly athletics weekly press conference brought together the anticipation of the upcoming men’s basketball season and the end of football season and culminated with a focus on Wednesday’s face-off of men’s soccer against defending national champion UC Santa Barbara.
Both the Cal Poly and UCSB men’s soccer programs remain undefeated in the Big West Conference this season.
“(Players) feel that they can win and that they should win,” head coach Paul Holocher said.
Cal Poly (8-1-1 overall, 3-0-1 BWC) was picked fifth in the conference only to counter with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over UC Irvine, and a 3-0 defeat of UC Davis Sunday afternoon before 2,052 fans.
Sunday’s misfortune was the injury of F/MF Daniel Cumming.
Cal Poly took a 3-0 lead when Cumming volleyed a ball over the goalkeeper from 12 yards out and was injured during his ensuing celebration.
He immediately left the game with an injury believed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL). He received an MRI Monday. Holocher said after the conference that Cumming had torn his ACL and would be out for the season.
“It really put a damper on a great win but we’ve got to move forward … I think people are pretty excited (about the game against UCSB).” Holocher said. “It’s not often you get national champions on campus … They play both (offensively and defensively) very well. We have to attack them.”
The men’s soccer match against the Gauchos is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, and is free for Cal Poly students with a current ID.
Cal Poly football routed rival UC Davis on Saturday in the team’s first Great West Football Conference game of the season. Aggie Stadium saw its own fall to the Mustangs 63-28.
“We caught them on a good day and we got into a little bit of a zone. Clearly we have some firepower,” head coach Rich Ellerson said. “Everything goes on hold when we get ready to play Davis. We anticipated it well; they were missing some key players but that’s ancient history now … South Dakota (State) is a great challenger.”
The Cal Poly football team (4-2, 1-0 GWFC) will travel to South Dakota State (2-4, 0-0 GWFC) Saturday for its second conference contest.
Wingback Ryan Mole spoke on his return after a four-week absence due to a knee injury. Mole rushed for 92 yards on seven carries with a 1-yard rushing touchdown, and caught three passes for 64 yards with a 33-yard reception for a score to earn Great West Offensive Player of the Week honors.
“It feels good to be out there with a solid performance … Offense is working great right now,” Mole said. “(We take it) one game at a time, practice hard every day and play hard.”
Men’s basketball head coach Kevin Bromley expressed high expectations of both himself and the players.
“We want to win every game, improve on a daily basis, have our older (players) lead, win on the road, and show maturity and experience,” Bromley said.
The team practiced for 10 days before a four-game exhibition trip to Australia from Aug. 31 to Sept. 11.
Three starters are returning from last season, including All-Big West Second Team selection Dawin Whiten, Trae Clark, and Big West Defensive Player of the Year Titus Shelton.
Cal Poly will play an exhibition game in Mott Gym against Cal State Stanislaus, Nov. 3. The regular season will open at the BTI Tip-off Classic on Nov. 9, hosted by Northern Iowa.
“We have some tremendous young men on the court,” Bromley said.