SANTA BARBARA – Trailing 2-0 with 18 minutes remaining at Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara Saturday evening, the No. 23 Cal Poly men's soccer program received a 73rd-minute goal from senior midfielder Chase Minter (top) before freshman forward Jared Pressley – in front of the fifth largest regular season crowd in NCAA history – scored with four seconds to play to provide the Mustangs a 2-2, double-overtime draw inside Harder Stadium.
In front of 14,919 spectators – the largest crowd to ever witness a Blue-Green rivalry match and the 11th time a crowd figure between the two programs has reached five figures – senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton recorded three saves for Cal Poly, which forced a second successive draw at UC Santa Barbara and remained unbeaten at Harder Stadium in three of the last four seasons.
In the 10th match between the two sides to go to overtime in the previous eight seasons and the 15th meeting in the last 18 matchups to be decided by a single goal or drawn, Cal Poly outshot the Gauchos 13-9.
Saturday's draw marked just the fourth time in the last 18 years and 19 visits to UC Santa Barbara that Cal Poly had earned at least a point against the Gauchos.
With Saturday's draw, Cal Poly (9-3-4, 4-1-3) remained unbeaten in nine of its last 10 matches and improved to 15 points in the Big West Conference North Division standings to stay within a point of UC Santa Barbara (10-5-2, 5-2-1) with two regular season matches to play. Cal Poly closes the home portion of its regular season schedule when hosting UC Davis on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Match time from Alex G. Spanos Stadium is 7 p.m. UC Santa Barbara hosts Sacramento State the same night.
UC Santa Barbara grabbed the lead with the game's first shot attempt as forward Geoffrey Acheampong crossed from Cal Poly's right end line in front of goal for forward Ahinga Selemani, who redirected the pass toward the left post and past Hamilton for a 1-0 lead.
The Gauchos produced just one more shot on goal during the ensuing 31 minutes, but the Mustangs themselves were held without a shot attempt for the first 32 minutes.
UC Santa Barbara, which outshot the Mustangs 5-1 during the opening 45 minutes, then doubled their lead two minutes from the break as forward Cody Gibson dribbled deep toward Cal Poly's left endline before crossing in front of goal for forward Nick DuPuy, who headed his Big West-leading 13th goal of 2015 into the top left corner of the Mustang net.
Facing a two-goal deficit, Cal Poly still failed to produce a shot on target until the 73rd minute, when junior midfielder Jack O'Connor made a run down the left flank before cutting a pass back to Minter, who scored his team-leading fifth goal of 2015 in front of Vom Steeg.
Mustang senior midfielder Matt LaGrassa tested UC Santa Barbara goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg in the 81st minute and Cal Poly produced two more shot attempts before Pressley scored with the last swing in regulation.
A long ball was sent into the Gaucho penalty area and headed down by LaGrassa. After glancing off O'Connor, Pressley – with just two career shots on target and one collegiate goal entering the match – latched on to the loose ball and slotted a shot past Vom Steeg at the left post.
The Mustangs outshot the Gauchos 4-2 during the two overtime periods before sharing the points.