Nov 5, 2012 3:54 PM by Andrew Masuda
Two Cal Poly men's soccer players were honored for helping lead Cal Poly into the Big West Conference Tournament. Senior Chris Gaschen was named the Big West Conference's Offensive Player of the Week, while freshman goalie Wade Hamilton received the Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Gaschen assisted on both of Cal Poly's game-winning goals in 1-0 wins at first place UC Davis and against rival UCSB last week. The senior midfielder dribbled through the left side of the Aggie defense and delivered a pass to leading scorer Mackenzie Pridham, who one touched a shot past the UC Davis goalkeeper for the only goal of the match. The 51st-minute strike secured Cal Poly's first road win against the Aggies since 2006. The win kept the Mustangs in contention for a tournament spot.??On Saturday, the Mustangs snatched the tournament berth with a thrilling win against UC Santa Barbara in front of a sellout home crowd of 11,075. Gaschen played an instrumental role once again as his deflected shot attempt fell to teammate George Malki, who knocked in a shot toward the right post at the 76:51 mark. The goal stood up as Cal Poly registered its first season series sweep of the Gauchos since 1997.??Six of Gaschen's career-high seven assists this season have come in winning efforts.
Hamilton notched his third career shutout and picked up two wins for the Mustangs in goal. Hamilton, who entered as a second half substitute against UC Davis 1-0 triumph, faced nine shots and made three saves to help his team earn three important points.?He got the start against rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday and responded with his third career clean sheet in the 1-0 victory. The Mustang backline limited the Gauchos to six total shots, as Hamilton needed to make only one save.
This was Hamilton's second weekly honor from the Big West.
Hamilton, who ranks second in the Big West with a .796 save percentage, has allowed just three goals from open play during the last 534 minutes.
The Mustangs play at South Division champion Cal State Northridge on Wednesday at 7pm in the Big West semifinals. The winner advances to Saturday's Big West Championship game where an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament will be on the line.
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