Unbeaten in five of its previous six games, the Cal Poly men's soccer program completes Big West Conference preparations and opens the 2019 Blue-Green rivalry series versus UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Kickoff time from UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium is 7 p.m. for Cal Poly (4-3-1), which seeks just its second victory at UC Santa Barbara (6-2-2) in the previous 20 years and 21 games. Unbeaten in its last seven matches, UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game off the back of a 3-3 home draw versus then-No. 1 Stanford (Sept. 28) and a 2-2 draw at No. 25 San Diego (Oct. 1).
The Gauchos earned 22 points in the Oct. 1 edition of the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll to finish 38 votes behind 25th-ranked San Diego. With another noteworthy crowd between the two programs expected Saturday evening, the last 12 matchups between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara have featured 12 of the 13 highest attended collegiate soccer matches in the nation.
CAL POLY VERSUS UC SANTA BARBARA: Having produced draws at UC Santa Barbara in four of the last five years, Cal Poly is currently enjoying its best run of road results versus the Gauchos in program history. Overall, Cal Poly is unbeaten versus UC Santa Barbara in 10 of the last 14 matchups and won last year's series opener between the two sides, 1-0, behind a 64th-minute goal from Diego Alonso. In eight matchups versus UC Santa Barbara under fifth-year head coach Steve Sampson, Cal Poly maintains a 3-2-3 record. UC Santa Barbara, however, leads the Division I series, 25-16-8.
A HARDER PLACE TO WIN: While Cal Poly is undefeated at home versus UC Santa Barbara in eight of the previous 10 matchups, the Mustangs have won just once at Harder Stadium in the past 20 years and 21 games. That historic win was a 2-1, overtime, come-from-behind effort on Oct. 19, 2012. Meanwhile, 2-2 draws in 2008, 2014 and 2015 and scoreless draws in 2008, 2016 and 2017 mark the six other instances since 1998 that Cal Poly has earned a road point versus the Gauchos.
CENTRAL COAST SERIES A TIGHTLY CONTESTED AFFAIR: Nineteen of the last 23 matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara have been decided by one goal or drawn. Seven of Cal Poly's eight victories in the last 26 attempts against UC Santa Barbara have been a one-goal triumph. Eleven of those 26 matches since 2007 have gone to overtime. Just three times since 2007 has one side scored as many as three goals against the other (Cal Poly's 4-1 home victory versus the Gauchos to close 2017 marked the first time since Nov. 9, 2001 that one team had slipped four goals past the other). The Mustangs are undefeated at home against the Gauchos in eight of the last 10 years while UC Santa Barbara has lost exactly once at home to Cal Poly in the last 21 matchups at Harder Stadium.
-Provided by Cal Poly