The Cal Poly men’s soccer team continues its season-long, three-match road trip at the Sept. 11 and 13 California Legacy Classic, jointly hosted by Stanford (1-1-0) and California (1-1-0). The two-match series opens Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Cardinal’s Laird Q Cagan Stadium. Two days later at 2 p.m., the Mustangs (0-2-0) face California at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The Mustangs are in search of both their first victory and goal of the 2009 campaign, after late strikes by UNLV on Sept. 1 and No. 2 Creighton on Sept. 5 handed Cal Poly consecutive 1-0 defeats during the opening week of the season. Stanford leads the series against Cal Poly, 2-1, though the sides haven’t met in 10 years. The Cal Poly-California series is drawn, 2-2-1, with the last meeting a 4-0 victory by the Golden Bears in 2001. GameTracker for Cal Poly’s match at Stanford is available via gopoly.com.
The goalkeeper glove fits:
Mustang junior goalkeeper Patrick McLain’s 109th-minute red card during Cal Poly’s season opener against UNLV disqualified him for Saturday’s clash at No. 2 Creighton. The incident, however, provided fourth-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher an opportunity to test one of the program’s three freshmen reserves. Against the highest-ranked program Cal Poly has faced during Holocher’s tenure, freshman Brett Finkelstein recorded a pair of saves and only an 80th-minute strike by Creighton’s Seth Sinovic kept him from recording a clean sheet and Cal Poly from collecting a valuable road point.
Losing not a mustang habit:
Season-opening losses against UNLV and No. 2 Creighton marked the first time in a span of 24 matches that Cal Poly had suffered consecutive defeats. During the last occurrence in November 2007, Cal Poly fell at UC Davis, 3-2, before dropping a 4-3 home decision against Portland in the penultimate match of the year. The last time Cal Poly was held scoreless in consecutive matches also came during the 2007 campaign, when the Mustangs chalked up goalless draws against UC Riverside (Oct. 27) and at Cal State Northridge (Oct. 31). Cal Poly, which has never lost three-consecutive matches nor been held scoreless in three-straight contests under Holocher, is 7-4-5 following a defeat since the 2006 campaign.
Mustangs feature power-packed schedule:
With six total matches looming against nationally-ranked sides UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara, the Big West portion of Cal Poly’s schedule is amongst the most demanding in Division I. That didn’t stop Holocher, however, from compiling a testing non-conference schedule. Aside from a 1-0 loss at No. 2 Creighton Sept. 5, California enters its Sunday meeting with Cal Poly ranked as high as sixth in the Sept. 7 edition of the TopDrawerSoccer.com College Cup Field of 48 poll.
A 1-0 victory by UNLV during the Sept. 1 season opener for both programs marked just Cal Poly’s third loss at Spanos Stadium since the venue’s 2007 unveiling. Cal Poly, 15-3-3 at Spanos Stadium in two-plus seasons, has recorded 10 victories via shutout while Mustang goalkeepers have kept 11 clean sheets. Additionally, Cal Poly has drawn 1,000-plus spectators during 11 of its previous 12 home matches.
Sigler named to hermann trophy watched list:
Following a 2008 campaign in which he was named Co-Big West Freshman of the Year and helped anchor a defensive line that paced all conference programs with nine shutouts, Mustang center back Patrick Sigler was selected to the 38-member Hermann Trophy Watch List Aug. 11. Presented by the Missouri Athletic Club since 1967 to the most outstanding Division I player, the 38-member watch list will be cut to 15 in November with three finalists announced in early December. The 2009 Hermann Trophy recipient will be announced Jan. 8, 2010 during a banquet at the St. Louis-based Missouri Athletic Club. Sigler, the lone Big West player selected to the watch list, has started each of Cal Poly’s two matches this season and recorded a shot at No. 2 Creighton Sept. 5.
Cal poly selected third in big west preseason poll:
A second place showing in the Big West standings last year was Cal Poly’s highest in seven affiliated seasons and conference head coaches selected the Mustangs for a similar finish during the 2009 campaign. Cal Poly received 34 points in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll to finish 11 votes shy of No. 1 UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos earned four first-place votes to finish five total points ahead of 2008 regular season and tournament champion UC Irvine, which recorded two first-place votes. The complete results of the coaches poll are below.
1.UC Santa Barbara (4) – 45
2.UC Irvine (2) – 40
3. Cal Poly – 34
4. Cal State Northridge (1) – 32
5. UC Davis – 20
6. Cal State Fullerton – 13
7. UC Riverside – 12
() First-place votes
Cal poly’s professional offseason:
A trio of former Mustangs inked professional contracts during the offseason, the most high profile of which was defender Anton Peterlin. The 2008 All-Big West first team selection joined Everton Football Club of the Barclays Premier League from Ventura County Fusion of the American fourth-tier Professional Developmental League on July 1 for an undisclosed fee. After appearing in a handful of preseason matches, Peterlin has come on as a second-half substitute during both the Toffees’ 3-0 win against Burnley reserves Aug. 25 and a 4-1 loss at Manchester City reserves Sept. 1. Everton’s next match is away to Hull City reserves Sept. 14. Joining Peterlin in the professional ranks are brothers Mario and Carlos Fernandez, who are both currently on one-year contracts with Spanish side Santa Pola CF. Mario made an immediate impact upon his arrival, notching the only goal for Santa Pola CF in a 1-0 August victory against Crevillente. Santa Pola CF competes in the fifth-tier Regional Preferente de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Mark your calendars:
Arguably the most-intense rivalry in collegiate soccer, Cal Poly’s away leg of the 2009 central coast derby is scheduled for Oct. 7 at UC Santa Barbara’s Harder Stadium. Last year’s match in Santa Barbara drew 9,749 fans while the home leg — scheduled this season for Nov. 4 in San Luis Obispo — produced a sellout crowd of 11,075 supporters. That figure was also the third-largest crowd in NCAA history.
Looking ahead (sept. 14-20):
Cal Poly returns to the Central Coast to host Sacramento State Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. and San Jose State Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. Sacramento State (2-0-1), which upended Big West opponent UC Riverside, 1-0, on Sept. 4, plays at San Francisco Sept. 11 and at Santa Clara Sept. 13. San Jose State (1-2-0) plays at Loyola Marymount Sept. 11 and at UC Riverside Sept. 13.