The Cal Poly men’s soccer has been eliminated from postseason contention, but the Mustangs will still have plenty to play for amid flying tortillas in their season finale Saturday night against rival UC Santa Barbara inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Last week, Cal Poly (6-9-1, 2-5-1 Big West) kept its slim postseason hopes alive with a crucial 3-2 overtime win over North Division leader UC Davis, but the Mustangs followed that up with a 5-1 loss to third-place Sacramento State to knock them out of Big West Tournament contention. Last season, Cal Poly was knocked out of the playoffs on the final day of the regular season when UC Davis beat UCSB to claim the third and final spot in the North Division.
Cal Poly plays UC Davis (8-7-2, 5-2-1 Big West) at home Wednesday before taking on UC Santa Barbara (6-6-4, 4-2-2 Big West) in the Blue-Green Rivalry game, known for fans tossing tortillas onto the field. The last two games between UCSB and Cal Poly have ended in scoreless draws — the most recent coming two weeks ago.
Cal Poly has been led on offense this season by junior forward Sean Goode and junior defenseman Adam Olsen, who have four goals each. Cal Poly junior Simon Boehme is one of the top goalkeepers in the Big West and leads the conference in save percentage. He will be tasked with stopping UCSB forward Rodney Michael, who is one of the top point scorers in the conference.
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Despite the lowered stakes, the game is expected to be well attended — just like it always is. Cal Poly has sold out all 11,075 seats at Alex G. Spanos Stadium for the past six years, according to the school.
“The 11 combined matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara during the last six years are the 11 highest attended collegiate soccer games in the United States, outranking every NCAA Championship and College Cup contest since the beginning of the 2012 season,” a Cal Poly news release said.
▪ The postseason is still within striking distance for the Cal Poly women’s soccer team following its 1-1 draw on the road against Hawaii on Sunday.
The Mustangs moved to seven points (2-4-1) in the conference table with one game remaining in the regular season — their own Blue-Green rivalry game Sunday in Santa Barbara (2 p.m., Harder Stadium).
CSUN (14), UC Irvine (13) and UC Davis (11) occupy the top three seeds for the four-bid conference tournament, set to be hosted by CSUN on Nov. 2 and 5.
With a victory at UCSB, Cal Poly (7-9-2 overall) could tie Cal State Fullerton (currently with 10 points) for the fourth and final berth — provided the Titans were to lose each of their last two games, coupled with select other results around the conference involving UC Riverside (9), Long Beach State (7) and UCSB (7) and Hawaii (4).
In the scenario of a tie upon 10 points with Cal State Fullerton, the Mustangs would own the head-to-head tiebreaker based on their 2-0 win over the Titans on Oct. 19.
SLO High Girls Golf Wins PAC 8
The San Luis Obispo High School girls golf team captured the PAC 8 title at Chalk Mountain Golf Course in Atascadero last Wednesday with a team score of 499 to defeat Righetti by four strokes.
SLO High senior Isabel Carpenter shot an 8-over par 80 to claim medalist honors and defeat PAC 8 MVP Sarah Fouratt of Righetti. Carpenter, Fouratt — along with Mission Prep’s Sydney Haughian, Atascadero’s Katie Burson, Righetti’s Claire Alford and Arroyo Grande’s Claire Marshall — all qualified for the CIF-Southern Section Northern Individual Regional on Monday in Ojai. Carpenter and Fouratt just missed the cut in that event, both shooting 7-over par 79 at Soule Park Golf Club to fall outside the Top 36.
PAC 8 Water Polo Playoffs Begin
The PAC 8 boys water polo tournament started Tuesday, and area powerhouse Righetti (15-9, 6-0 PAC 8) is again a big favorite. Looking to challenge the Warriors’ title will be Arroyo Grande (14-9, 5-1 PAC 8). The two teams played a close match early in the season that was won by Righetti (14-11) and could meet again in the championship game at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Paso Robles lost 12-4 to Atascadero to open play Tuesday in the round-robin tournament and is a longshot to win the event, but the Bearcats do have one of the top goal scorers in the state in senior Zack Tucker. According to MaxPreps.com, Tucker scored an incredible 105 goals in 24 matches this season and is ranked No. 10 in the state in goals scored.
A.G. girls tennis’ winning streak continues
The Arroyo Grande girls tennis team completed a dominating regular season last week with a win over Atascadero, giving the Eagles 102 straight PAC 8 wins.
Arroyo Grande (19-1, 14-0 PAC 8), which is ranked just outside the Top 10 in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 1 poll, will look to keep it rolling in the postseason when the PAC 8 League Finals begin Friday.
Templeton girls volleyball keeps winning
The Templeton girls volleyball team came in at No. 2 in the latest Division 6 poll from the CIF-Southern Section. The Eagles (21-4, 13-0 Los Padres) have won 14 in a row and dropped just two of 39 sets headed into the final game of the season against Cabrillo on Tuesday.
Playoffs begin Saturday with the CIF-Southern Section Prelims.
Cal’s Larid continues breakout season
Cal running back and Arroyo Grande native Patrick Larid earned high praise from head coach Justin Wilcox on Monday following the Bears’ double-overtime loss to Arizona on Saturday.
Laird was able to rebound from a big hit in the fourth quarter and finished strong with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, along with 42 yards on five catches, after missing the previous game with an injury.
A former walk-on from Mission Prep, Laird has emerged as a go-to running back for Cal (4-4, 1-4 PAC 12). He has 530 yards rushing, 191 yards receiving and seven total touchdowns in seven games played this season.