COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's soccer program concludes a four-match road trip and seeks its first victories of the year when facing Air Force on Friday, Sept. 2 (3 p.m. PT) and New Mexico (5 p.m.) on Sunday, Sept. 4. Both matches are hosted at New Mexico's UNM Soccer Complex. Opening the season against successive ranked opponents for the first time in program history, Cal Poly (0-2-0) started its two-week jaunt with a 3-0 defeat at No. 8 North Carolina (Aug. 26) and a 2-1 loss at No. 5 Wake Forest (Aug. 28). Air Force (0-1-0) began its year with a 3-1 loss at Army (Aug. 26). Alongside Cal Poly, New Mexico (0-2-0) also opened its year on the road against successive ranked opponents, dropping 1-0 decisions to No. 15 Indiana (Aug. 26) and No. 9 Notre Dame (Aug. 28).
CAL POLY VERSUS AIR FORCE: The Mustangs have prevailed in their last two matchups versus Air Force, dealing the Falcons a 1-0 defeat last year in San Luis Obispo and a 5-1 defeat in Colorado Springs on Sept. 27, 2013. Cal Poly leads the all-time series 3-1-1.
CAL POLY VERSUS NEW MEXICO: The Mustangs and Lobos have met just twice in the past 14 seasons with Cal Poly producing a scoreless draw at home on Sept. 2, 2011 and topping New Mexico 2-1 in Albuquerque on Sept. 14, 2008. Cal Poly leads the all-time series, 3-2-1.
MUSTANGS ON THE BALLOT: With its two defeats to open the year, Cal Poly lost the four votes accrued in the preseason NSCAA Division I poll. The Mustangs had been the only Big West Conference program aside from current No. 10 UC Santa Barbara to receive poll consideration at the beginning of the year.
DHILLON RETURNS IN SCORING FORM: Cal Poly's leading returning scorer from a year ago and active career leader with nine goals, senior forward Justin Dhillon's first strike of 2016 provide the Mustangs an early lead during Sunday's 2-1 loss at No. 5 Wake Forest. Cal Poly's early co-leader with three shot attempts this year, Dhillon ranks 14th in program history with his nine goals and 10th with 10 assists.
FRESH FACES DEBUT IN GOAL: Cal Poly last deployed a first-time starter in goal during the 2012 season and, following the departure of three-year starter Wade Hamilton, the Mustangs featured sophomore Simon Boehme between the posts against North Carolina and junior Eric Kam at Wake Forest. Boehme recorded five saves in his first collegiate appearance while Kam stopped four Wake Forest attempts during his debut.
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2016: Six of Cal Poly's 17 regular season matches will take place against programs ranked or receiving votes in the NSCAA Division I poll. Additionally, Cal Poly hosted No. 1 Stanford for an Aug. 17 exhibition.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE: After filing the first undefeated home season in the 10-year history of Alex G. Spanos Stadium in 2015, Cal Poly's undefeated home streak stands at nine matches. Overall, the Mustangs are 54-19-14 since the venue's 2007 opening. During the last nine seasons, the Mustangs have recorded 29 shutout victories at home while Cal Poly's goalkeepers have kept 35 clean sheets. Additionally, Cal Poly has drawn 1,000-plus spectators during 61 of 87 matches at Spanos Stadium and sold out the 11,075-capacity complex six times.
MUSTANGS FILL THE HOUSE: Cal Poly has finished among the nation's top 10 attendance leaders during all previous nine seasons at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Below is a year-by-year listing of Cal Poly's home attendance achievements among 205 Division I programs.
SPANOS STADIUM – WHERE ATTENDANCE RECORDS GO TO DIE: Ten of the top 43 best-attended regular season matches in the history of collegiate soccer have occurred at Alex G. Spanos Stadium and all have been recorded since the start of the 2007 season. In total, Cal Poly has been involved in 16 of the top 43 best-attended regular season matches in collegiate soccer history. Below is a listing of the best-attended matches in NCAA regular season history.
ETC.: Matchups at No. 8 North Carolina (Aug. 26) and No. 5 Wake Forest (Aug. 28) marked the first time in program history that Cal Poly had opened a season against successive ranked opponents ... Cal Poly fell to 14-9-0 in season opener at the Division I level following a 3-0 defeat at No. 8 North Carolina (Aug. 26).
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Camarati