Nov 7, 2012 12:07 PM by Andrew Masuda

Mustangs riding high into Wednesday's Big West semifinals

The postseason opens Wednesday night for the Cal Poly men's soccer team. The Mustangs, who finished second in the North Division, play at South Division champion Cal State Northridge in the Big West Conference semifinals.

Kickoff in Northridge is at 7pm. The winner advances to Saturday's Big West Championship game where an automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Tournament is at stake. The title game will be broadcast live on Fox Prime Ticket at 1pm.

CSUN went 7-3 in conference and 13-6 overall, including a 1-0 home win on October against Cal Poly. The Matadors scored 21 seconds into the match and held on for the victory.

"Northridge is the top attacking team in the conference. They've scored 37 goals on the year so they've got a lot of threats up top," said Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher, who's 0-3 in Big West Tournament semifinal matches.

The Mustangs enter 6-3-1 in Big West matches and 11-6-1 overall. They're back in the Big West Tournament after missing the four team field in 2011. They are 5-1-1 since losing to CSUN on October 5, including their first season sweep over their rivals from UCSB since 1997.

"I just think it's a special year with this new style of play and we're a young team so this program has a a bright future for us here. So I think with our style of play we can beat anyone," said George Malki, the junior midfielder has 4 goals and 3 assists, including the game-winner against rival UCSB last Saturday .

The Mustangs have tied a program single season record with 11 victories and can break the record set in 2007 and 2008.

Cal Poly will be led offensively by junior forward Mackenzie Pridham, who enters the match as the second-leading scorer in the Big West and 23rd-leading scorer in the nation. The Big West Conference's Offensive Player of the Year has 11 goals, including 8 in 10 conference matches, as well as a Big West-leading 6 game-winning scores.



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