Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara Blue-Green Matchup Ends in 1-1 Stalemate
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Freshman winger Justin Dhillon's ninth-minute goal provided the Cal Poly men's soccer program the early lead in Friday evening's Blue-Green rivalry matchup versus No. 21 UC Santa Barbara inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium, but the Gauchos equalized seconds before the halftime whistle and the match ended in a 1-1 double-overtime draw in front of the 10th-largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history.
In a match that sold out all 11,075 seats 31 hours prior to kickoff, Cal Poly's first shot on goal Friday hit the back of the UC Santa Barbara net as senior midfielder George Malki's corner found the head of Dhillon (center, right), who directed a shot between the left post and Gaucho freshman goalkeeper Josh McNeely.
The Mustangs (9-6-2, 2-3-2) kept UC Santa Barbara (11-4-1, 6-0-1) without a shot on goal until Mustang sophomore goalkeeper Wade Hamilton turned away Gaucho senior forward Goffin Boyoko in the 31st minute. Cal Poly then enjoyed chances to double its lead in the 34th and 37th, but senior forward Mackenzie Pridham was first stopped by McNeely before whistling a shot wide of the left post.
UC Santa Barbara, however, produced the equalizer 23 seconds from halftime as senior forward Achille Campion lofted a 20-yard shot from the right edge of the Mustang penalty area over Hamilton.
The Gauchos forced Cal Poly into five second-half saves, including a 61st-minute effort by Campion that sophomore center back Ruben Duran chested off the goal line.
The Mustangs, by contrast, tested McNeely just once in the second half with Pridham setting up freshman winger Ari Lassiter, only the see the former stopped on frame.
Cal Poly's best chance to win the match occurred 44 seconds into the first overtime period as McNeely dove to his left to stop a 10-yard Pridham attempt near the right post.
With the draw, Cal Poly moved one point clear of UC Davis (6-7-2, 2-3-1) for second place in the Big West Conference North Division standings. The Aggies, however, host last-place Sacramento State on Saturday at 3 p.m. Division-leading UC Santa Barbara saw a seven-match winning streak snapped with the draw.
With Friday's 11,075-fan sellout attendance figure, eleven of the top 33 regular season crowds in NCAA history have been set in matches involving Cal Poly. The Mustangs, unbeaten since 2009 at home against UC Santa Barbara, have enjoyed three successive home sellouts versus the Gauchos.
Friday's match was also the 12th in the previous 13 meetings between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara that was decided by a single goal or drawn.
Cal Poly closes its 2013 home schedule when welcoming Sacramento State on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.