SAN LUIS OBISPO – In a matchup confirmed a sellout more than two days before the Cal Poly men's soccer program kicks off against Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara, the Mustangs will close the 2017 season on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
For the seventh straight season and eighth time overall, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara matchup will be played in front of a capacity crowd at Spanos Stadium with all 11,075 seats accounted for. That figure will match the seven previous efforts for 14th largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history and be the largest crowd to see an NCAA soccer match this season.
Cal Poly (6-10-1, 2-6-1) enters the matchup having already been eliminated from contention for the Nov. 1, 4 and 10 Big West Conference Tournament. The Mustangs, however, can still influence seeding for the Big West Tournament. UC Santa Barbara (6-6-5, 4-2-3) sits in second place in the Big West North Division standings on 15 points and would need a victory Saturday to clinch an opening-round home game in the tournament. A loss or draw by the Gauchos, coupled with a victory by third-place Sacramento State (8-7-2, 4-3-2) at North Division champion UC Davis on Oct. 29, would relegate UC Santa Barbara to third and a road matchup in the first round of the tournament.
The Mustangs and Gauchos produced a scoreless draw in their season series opener on Oct. 14, but UC Santa Barbara seeks its third victory inside Spanos Stadium during the last four years on Saturday after winning last year's matchup, 2-1. Cal Poly's last home win versus UC Santa Barbara was a 3-2, overtime triumph on Oct. 17, 2015. The Gauchos lead the all-time series, 25-13-8.
Eighteen of the last 20 matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara have been decided by one goal or drawn. Each of Cal Poly's six victories in the last 25 attempts against UC Santa Barbara has been a one-goal triumph. Twelve of those 25 matches since 2006 have gone to overtime. Just twice since 2007 has one side scored as many as three goals against the other. The Mustangs are undefeated at home against the Gauchos in six of the last eight years while UC Santa Barbara has lost just once at home to Cal Poly in the last 20 matchups at Harder Stadium.
The best-attended sporting events annually in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn 19 of the top 52 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history with all matches occurring during the previous 11 seasons. This season's series opener at UC Santa Barbara drew 10,293 fans – the 21st highest regular season figure ever – while Cal Poly has sold out all 11,075 seats at Alex G. Spanos Stadium for the past six years. The 11 combined matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara during the last six years are the 11 highest attended collegiate soccer games in the United States, outranking every NCAA Championship and College Cup contest since the beginning of the 2012 season. Since the start of the 2007 season, 223,002 total spectators and an average of 9,696 fans per match have witnessed Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara clash on 23 occasions.