What exactly might interest the everyday college student enough that he or she would be willing to wait in line for hours?
“Not many things, I’ll tell you that,” Cal Poly men’s soccer junior outside backer Kip Colvey said at a news conference Tuesday. “That game would be one of them.”
The game Colvey referred to is the Mustangs’ annual Blue-Green soccer rivalry match against UC Santa Barbara, which has been known to sell out the 11,075-seat Alex G. Spanos Stadium with regularity throughout the past eight years.
When student tickets for this year’s match, which is scheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m., became available Monday, the line stretching from the ticket office at the Cal Poly Rec Center was literally hours long.
Never miss a local story.
Some waited 30 minutes before the office opened to avoid the rush. Of those who didn’t get there early, some reported standing in line for more than two hours.
“It’s really exciting to see the support we get,” Colvey said, “especially against Santa Barbara. It’s something we look forward to. Our fans are amazing, and we really appreciate them.”
Said Mustangs interim head coach Phil Ruskin: “We love our fans. I don’t think you could ask for a longer line. We love it, but at the same time, two hours for a ticket to a college soccer game? That’s phenomenal. That’s just fantastic.”
It was all to be a part of CollegeSoccerNews.com’s greatest rivalry in college soccer.
Of the top 34 best-attended regular-season college soccer matches, eight of them have come at Spanos Stadium against the Gauchos. And the Mustangs don’t lose very many. They’re undefeated at home against UC Santa Barbara in the past five years with fans storming the field after victories in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
This season, Cal Poly is encouraging its fans to wear all black to create an even more daunting atmosphere.
But before Sunday’s regular-season home finale, Cal Poly has another crucial home meeting with Sacramento State tonight at 7. If the Mustangs win, they will clinch their coveted spot in the Big West Tournament. Cal Poly beat the Hornets 3-1 on Oct. 18.
Mustangs’ season setting up for storybook ending
The Cal Poly women’s soccer team has one more regular-season match to go, Sunday at Cal State Fullerton, before the Mustangs are set to host the Big West Tournament next week.
With a victory over the Titans, Cal Poly can secure a regular-season conference crown to go with some already lofty accomplishments.
Junior forward Elise Krieghoff was selected as one of eight fans’ choice candidates to be added for consideration for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, college women’s soccer’s player-of-the-year award. Online fan voting (at http://bit.ly/1FTY156) will determine if she becomes one of 15 finalists for the award.
Her addition to the list came after Krieghoff grabbed sole possession of the program’s all-time career scoring record with her 46th goal Sunday and appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter’s top plays for her record-tying goal the previous week.
On Krieghoff’s record-breaking goal, sophomore teammate Megan Abutin tied the program’s single-season record for assists.
The next step in the fairy tale would be to win the conference tournament, where the top-seeded Mustangs fell in an opening-round shootout last season. Cal Poly can also ensure it hosts next year’s Big West Tournament by winning the regular-season conference crown with a victory Sunday.
“Realistically, the only way we’re going to get into the NCAA Tournament is to win our conference tournament,” Mustangs head coach Alex Crozier said. “Win Sunday, play well next week, hopefully get two games there and then find out where we’re going to for the NCAAs. That would be the ideal finish to the next week and a half.”
Mendes shares some spotlight with Mustangs
The Cal Poly wrestling team was happy with its results in Friday’s intrasquad scrimmage and opens the season at the high-powered Clarion Open on Sunday, but spent the past Saturday celebrating Mustangs wrestling without having to hit the mat.
Wrestlers and coaches had their own separate viewing parties to watch former Cal Poly star Chad Mendes in an exciting yet unsuccessful bid for the UFC featherweight championship against Jose Aldo.
Leading up to and after the fight, Mendes interacted with Cal Poly wrestling on social media, where the connection between he and the program was mentioned regularly.
“It was a really exciting match,” Mustangs assistant coach Scotti Sentes said. “It’s really cool that you have a former Mustangs athlete in a title fight.
“We’re really trying to make our events a lot bigger and have a lot of special events,” Sentes added. The exposure has “been really great for us.”