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Cal Poly Opens Big West Road Play at UC Irvine Thursday, CSUN Saturday

Cal Poly Opens Big West Road Play at UC Irvine Thursday, CSUN Saturday

COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (pdf)

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Winners of five of its last six matches, the Cal Poly men's soccer program plays its first Big West Conference road matches of the season when visiting UC Irvine on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 4:30 p.m. and CSUN on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. The Mustangs (5-5-0, 1-1-0) saw a five-match winning streak snapped with a 1-0 home loss to Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 30) – a defeat that placed Cal Poly at the foot of the Big West North Division standings on three points. Cal Poly, however, trails Big West North Division leader UC Santa Barbara (4-4-2, 2-0-0) by just three points and UC Davis (4-5-2, 1-0-1) and Sacramento State (5-4-1, 1-0-1) by one. Defensively, Cal Poly has conceded just one goal from open play in its last 644 minutes. UC Irvine (5-4-2, 0-1-1), which has already matched its overall win total from a year ago, snapped a two-game slide with a 3-3 draw at Sacramento State (Sept. 30). CSUN (5-5-1, 0-1-1), meanwhile, ended a three-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at UC Davis (Sept. 30). The Matadors host UC Santa Barbara on Thursday before facing Cal Poly.

FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Live stats from both Thursday's match at UC Irvine and Saturday's meeting at CSUN will be available via GoPoly.com HERE, as will streaming video from Saturday's visit to Matador Soccer Field HERE.

CAL POLY VERSUS UC IRVINE: Cal Poly has prevailed just once at UC Irvine in its last eight trips, but that victory a 1-0 win against the then-No. 7 Anteaters on Sept. 28, 2011. UC Irvine won last year's matchup in San Luis Obispo 2-0 and leads the all-time series, 15-10-8.

CAL POLY VERSUS CSUN: The Mustangs are unbeaten in their last three matchups versus CSUN after forcing a 1-1 home draw last fall. Cal Poly, however, has won just one of its last five matches at CSUN and the Matadors lead the all-time series, 15-10-7.

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP: The 18-match regular season schedule ranks as the 29th toughest among 192 Division I programs and toughest among the eight Big West member programs with Cal Poly's past opposition having chalked up a combined 45-32-11 record and future opponents producing a 23-22-8 mark.

GOLDEN GLOVES: Backed by a career high 12-save performance versus No. 10 Notre Dame (Aug. 27) – the second highest single match save total in program history and third highest total by any NCAA Division I goalkeeper this season, junior Simon Boehme enters Thursday's game at UC Irvine ranked 29th nationally with 4.70 saves per match. Boehme, the Sept. 18 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week, has allowed just two goals from open play in his last 644 minutes and owns clean sheets in 1-0 victories versus Saint Mary (Sept. 10), San Diego State (Sept. 16) and Cal State Bakersfield (Sept. 23). A starter in all 10 games this season after making just two appearances in his first three years on campus, Boehme has also recorded nine saves at Georgetown (Sept. 1) and seven at No. 6 Maryland (Sept. 4). Among Big West goalkeepers, Boehme leads the conference with a .810 save percentage and ranks second with a 1.09 goals against average.

WEALTH DISTRIBUTION: Though four different players share the Cal Poly scoring lead with two goals apiece, seven different Mustangs have found the back of the opposition net through the opening 10 matches. That chart includes five players who have scored their first goals for Cal Poly this season: senior forward Tyler Savitsky, junior forwards Sean Goode and Jose Rivera, junior defender Nick Carroll and freshman forward Bryan Ibarra. Cal Poly featured just eight different goalscorers in 2016.

ALONSO'S HELPING HAND: Helping fuel Cal Poly's recent five-match win streak was sophomore forward Diego Alonso, who ranks second among Big West players with four assists. Alonso, who picked up two assists in Cal Poly's 3-1 victory versus Portland (Sept. 25), also notched assists in wins against CSUB (Sept. 23) and UC Riverside (Sept. 30).

HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE: Cal Poly enters its Oct. 11 match versus Sacramento State unbeaten in 18 of its last 21 home matches at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Overall, Cal Poly is 61-22-16 since the venue's 2007 opening. During the last 11 seasons, the Mustangs have recorded 31 shutout victories at home while Cal Poly's goalkeepers have kept 38 clean sheets. Additionally, Cal Poly has drawn 1,000-plus spectators during 66 of 99 (66.7 percent) matches at Spanos Stadium and sold out the 11,075-capacity complex seven times.

ETC.: Cal Poly's 1-0 victory at San Diego State (Sept. 16) marked the program's first non-conference road win since topping Loyola Marymount 2-0 on Sept. 27, 2015 … Cal Poly has won eight of its previous 10 Big West openers and improved to 8-7-2 all-time in Big West-opening matches with a 3-1 home victory versus UC Riverside (Sept. 28) … Cal Poly's five-match winning streak from Sept. 10-28 matched the program record for consecutive victories.