SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – In front of 11,075 spectators – a sellout total matching the eighth-largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history – Cal Poly men's soccer senior center back Patrick Sigler buried a 90th-minute penalty to hand the Mustangs a 2-1, come-from-behind triumph against rival and 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Friday evening at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Cal Poly trailed the Gauchos, 1-0, with 12 minutes to play until senior right back Cameron Walters headed a corner kick attempt from senior midfielder Kyle Montgomery past UC Santa Barbara goalkeeper Andre Grandt.
Outshot by the Mustangs, 16-7, UC Santa Barbara nearly reclaimed the lead during the 83rd minute, but Gaucho junior forward Sam Garza, on a one-versus-one breakaway against Patrick McLain, saw his attempt pawed away by Cal Poly's senior goalkeeper.
Walters fired wide of the Gaucho net during the 86th and high in the 89th, but 39 seconds from time, Montgomery was hauled down in the UC Santa Barbara penalty area by sophomore defender Peter Schmetz. Sigler, who buried the decisive penalty during Cal Poly's 1-0 upset of No. 7 UC Irvine on Sept. 28, stepped to the spot and, with Grandt diving right, slotted his attempt in the bottom left corner of the net.
With the victory, Cal Poly (6-5-2, 3-2-0) – 3-1-1 during the last five home matches against UC Santa Barbara (9-4-1, 2-3-0) – moved into a two-way deadlock for second place in the Big West Conference standings with Cal State Northridge.
Cal Poly junior forward Dakota Collins fired right of goal during a third-minute breakaway and Montgomery skimmed the UC Santa Barbara crossbar with a 40-yard attempt in the 11th, but it was UC Santa Barbara that opened the scoring in the 12th with sophomore forward Dom Sarle picking out Garza, who bested McLain on the breakaway.
The Mustangs regrouped to watch Sigler have a 15th-minute attempt smothered by Grandt. Cal Poly, however, failed to produce another shot on target until Walters notched his first goal of the year and second in as many seasons against the Gauchos.
Friday's crowd figure of 11,075 was Cal Poly's second sellout at Spanos Stadium and first since a 1-0 loss against UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 17, 2008. Of the top-24 regular season crowds in NCAA history, nine have been produced during matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara and all have come since 2007.
McLain finished with three saves for Cal Poly, which opens the second half of its Big West schedule at Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Oct. 19.