Cal Poly Mustangs men's soccer

The Cal Poly Mustangs men's soccer program represents the Cal Poly Mustangs of California Polytechnic State University in men's soccer at the NCAA Division I level. Cal Poly is coached by former the United States men's national team head coach Steve Sampson. Like most teams from Cal Poly, they play in the Big West Conference. The Big West Conference stopped sponsoring soccer in 1991 but resumed soccer in 2001. Over this period, Cal Poly competed in a regional conference called the MPSF. They have since returned to the Big West and as of 2019 have appeared in 2 NCAA tournaments, most recently in 2015. The Mustangs play in Alex G. Spanos Stadium (capacity of 11,075) on the campus of the California Polytechnic State University.

Cal Poly Mustangs
Men's Soccer
Founded1994 Division I
UniversityCalifornia Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo
Head coachSteve Sampson
ConferenceBig West
North Division
LocationSan Luis Obispo, CA
StadiumAlex G. Spanos Stadium
(Capacity: 11,075)
ColorsForest Green, Vegas Gold, and Copper[1]
NCAA Tournament appearances
1995, 2008, 2015
Conference Tournament championships
Conference Regular Season championships



In 2006, with Spanos Stadium still under construction Cal Poly plays its home soccer games at the Sports Complex,[2][3] north of the baseball and softball fields, now known as the turf fields. 2007 brought the completion of the renovation and expansion of Spanos Stadium and the ability to host larger crowds.[4]

With a new stadium, the Mustangs (8–1–1 record) defeated rival UCSB, the defending national champions, 2–1.[5]


Posting the program's best record in 2008 (11–6–6), Cal Poly placed 3rd in the Big West and qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in the school's history. Cal Poly managed to upset #11 UCLA 1–0 to advance to the second round before losing 0–3 to #14 UC Irvine.

Cal Poly hosted a "Break the Attendance Record Night" for the 2008 edition of the Blue-Green Rivalry against 19th ranked UCSB.[6] With no precedent Cal Poly's Athletics department and Event staff were caught off guard. The official attendance of 11,075 not only broke the school record and the conference attendance record, but it was also the 2nd largest on-campus, regular-season attendance in NCAA history, and the largest in over 21 years.[7] 2008 saw the Big West Conference field 4 teams that were ranked in the NSCAA Top 25: Cal Poly, UC Davis, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara.

Cal Poly Games vs Ranked Opponents

  • 2–1 Win @ #23 New Mexico
  • 2–0 Loss @ #16 UC Davis
  • 0–1 2OT Loss vs #19 UCSB
  • 0–0 2OT Tie @ #17 UCSB
  • 1–2 Loss @ #19 UCLA
  • 2–2 2OT Loss in PKs @ #19 UCSB (Big West Playoffs)
  • 1–0 Win @ #11 UCLA (NCAA Tournament)
  • 0–3 Loss @ #14 UC Irvine (NCAA Tournament)[8][9]


The Blue-Green rivalry returned to Cal Poly as UCSB was ranked #3 in the country. 9,824 fans attended the Wednesday gave vs UCSB. After this the Big West conference scheduled all Cal Poly vs UCSB games for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night.[10]


The 2010 season opener featured #17 ranked UCLA during the Cal Poly Week of Welcome orientation. Excitement for the new school year along with a now established perennial attendance record setting rivalry game brought 8,717 fans to Spanos stadiums, the first attendance over 3200 at the renovated Spanos stadium. The game ended a 0–0 tie. UCLA has not returned to Cal Poly for a Friday or Saturday game since.[11]

The Blue-Green Rivalry continued with #19 UCSB visiting Cal Poly on October 27, 2010. The game was broadcast on the Fox Soccer Channel. Without a win in the past two games and with fear that play in such large games was too aggressive for a team to score attendance dropped to 8,125. Only the seniors had attended Cal Poly in 2007, Cal Poly's last win. Fear of another tie ended with a first-half goal by Junior Burgos. UCSB would respond with a tying goal. The game would go into overtime. In overtime, Chris Gaschen scored the game-winning golden-goal. Fans stormed the field for the first time since 2007. Cal Poly has sold out every game against UCSB since.[11]


In 2011, chose the Cal Poly vs UCSB soccer game as the #1 rivalry in college soccer.[12]

Cal Poly beat #13 UCSB in San Luis Obispo 2–1 in front of a sell-out crowd of 11,075.[13] Cal Poly men's soccer senior center back Patrick Sigler buried a 90th-minute penalty to hand the Mustangs a 2–1, come-from-behind triumph. Cal Poly trailed the Gauchos, 1–0, with 12 minutes to play until senior right-back Cameron Walters headed a corner kick in for a game-tying goal. UCSB has assessed 2 red cards in the final 26 seconds.[14]

2012 – Sweep the Gauchos

Cal Poly swept the gauchos first winning 1–0 in front of a sell-out of 11,075 in San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly then completed the sweep defeating UCSB 2–1 in overtime. Cal Poly's George Malki scored with 64 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Big West Conference Play of the Year, Mackenzie Pridham then scored the game-winning game in overtime. Cal Poly students stormed the field at Harder Stadium. The game was once again broadcast of Fox Soccer Channel.[15][16]

2015 – New Head Coach Steve Sampson Leads the Mustangs

In December 2014 Cal Poly hired former United States Men's National Soccer Team Head Coach Steve Sampson. Steve lead the US in the 1998 World Cup and also served as an Assistant Coach in the 1994 World Cup. He coached Santa Clara to the 1989 National Championship and coached the LA Galaxy to the 2005 MLS Cup and US Open Cup.[17]

Spanos Stadium

Entering the 2014 season, the Mustangs have produced a 42–15–10 mark and a 21–7–7 conference mark since the renovation and expansion of Spanos Stadium in 2007 including 23 shutouts and 25 clean sheets. Defending Spanos from the stands is one of the largest college fan bases in the country led by the Mustang Manglers. Cal Poly has sold out the 11,075 on numerous occasions the largest sellout crowd in the history of college soccer on-campus. In 2013, student tickets were distributed in advance for the first time.[18][19] The result was a sellout 2 days before the game against UCSB,[19] the first known sellout of a stadium of over 5,000 before gameday.

The atmosphere has been made famous by the passionate and massive student section. Students begin lining up over 3 hours before game-time in order the get the best seats. In 2012 the stadium reached capacity 45 minutes before kickoff. The result was students jumping fences to sneak in, climbing trees and buildings to get a view.[6][20] Those without a ticket are known to pack the outsides of the stadium trying to grab a piece of the view and a taste of the atmosphere. Victories over UCSB in 2010, 2011 and 2012 resulted in fans storming the field. In 2013 the attendances have expanded beyond the UCLA and UCSB games. Games against Harvard in 2012 and UC Riverside in 2013 filled the 3,480 seat west stands. Against San Francisco in 2013, fans were once again turned away as both the south stands were opened for the first time for a non-UCSB/UCLA game. These stands filled quickly. Without the staff to open the east stands, students were once again turned away.[21]

The result of the need to arrive early combined with the unique design of Spanos Stadium, placing students "on the railing" only feet from the sideline has created one of the top atmospheres in college soccer. Sharing the venue with Cal Poly's FCS division football team has created one of the finest venues in college soccer. Thanks to football, Spanos stadium features 8 skyboxes, a video screen and a new 2007 grandstand towering over California Blvd. In the spring of 2013 temporary bleachers were replaced with a permanent grandstand. Additionally, in 2013, in the older east side stands, front rows were removed to widen the field and add ADA seating.

The results of such great atmosphere and stadium design, Spanos Stadium was selected as the #1 Men's Soccer venue to check out by NCAA in 2011.[22]

Head Coach Paul Holocher's resignation

After 8 years as head coach, growing the Cal Poly soccer program from obscurity to one of the best college athletics venues in the county[22] Paul Holocher, announced on August 11, 2014 that he had resigned from his role to move to Hawai'i and serve as the Director of Development with Maui United Soccer Club.[23] In 8 seasons Holocher directed the Mustangs to a 72–60–25 record and 1 NCAA Tournament appearance, Cal Poly's second since joining Division 1 in 1996. Phil Ruskin, a second-year assistant coach, was promoted to be the interim head coach upon Holocher's departure.[24] Despite the sudden coaching change Cal Poly had upset AAC powerhouse North Carolina State 3–1 in North Carolina followed by a stunning tie vis #1 UCLA in Pasadena, CA. Furthermore, Cal Poly has started conference play by drawing #3 ranked UC Irvine 1–1 and defeating preseason division favorite Cal State Northridge 2–1.[25][26]

Before Holocher took over attendances was almost always under 1000. By 2008 Cal Poly hosted a sellout crowd of 11,075, shattering the school and conference attendance record, posting what was then the second-largest regular-season, on-campus, attendance in NCAA history.[7] Attendance records have continued to be broken as Cal Poly has continually been ranked in the top 5 nationally in average home attendance.[7][27][28][28] As a result of the boom in attendance Cal Poly has made national headlines. In 2011 Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium was named the "Men's Soccer – College Venue you must check out"[22] In a 2010 New York Times article about the growth of college soccer, Cal Poly was the first school mentioned. "Eye-catching figures are popping up across the country for men’s games. Cal Poly has drawn crowds of more than 8,000 twice this season."[29] The rivalry between Cal Poly and UCSB has been called the biggest college soccer rivalry in the country by SoccerAmerica,[30] the "Greatest" by College Soccer News[12] and was mentioned in a 2011 NCAA article about rivalries.[31]

Attendance figures

With 9 home games in 2008, Cal Poly had 25,549 fans attend their games for an average of 2,839 fans/game.[32] In 2010 Cal Poly ranked 4th in average attendance with 3,013 per game over 8 games for a total of 24,100 including 8,717 against #17 UCLA which ended in a 0–0 tie and 8,125 in a 2–1 OT win against #19 UCSB [33]


As of August 13, 2017[34]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 GK Simon Boehme
2 FW Matthew Bautista
3 DF Freeman Dwamena
4 FW Jared Pressley
5 DF Nick Carroll
6 MF Alex Sanchez
8 MF Braden Myus
9 FW Sebastian Herran
10 MF Christian Enriquez
11 FW Tyler Savitsky
12 MF Kenneth Higgins
13 FW Kaba Alkebulan
14 DF Eddie Melgoza
15 DF Zack DiDonato
16 FW Diego Alonso
17 GK Jason Hernandez
18 MF Emmanuel Perez
No. Position Player
19 FW Adam Olsen
20 FW Jacob Lindberg
21 FW Aidan Chilcutt
22 GK Carlos Arce–Hurtado
23 FW Sean Goode
24 DF Tony Scimeca
25 MF Payton Hatch
26 DF Andrew Forth
27 FW George Grote
28 FW Angel De Leon
29 DF Rigas Rigopoulos
30 MF Jose Rivera
33 MF Michael Bautista
34 FW Reiss Thieler
35 DF Andrew Robertson
36 DF Luis Rodriguez
39 FW Bryan Ibarra

Cal Poly men's soccer professionals

Players noted below, with years at Cal Poly in parentheses, have received at least one professional cap at any professional level in any country or have earned a senior international cap.

Cal Poly seasons (since 2001)

Season Conference Record Conference
Tourn. Pos.
Overall Record Honours Top points[60] Top scorer[61]
Conference Pld. W L D Pos. Pld. W L D Natl.
2001 Big West 10 3 7 0 5th 19 4 13 1 NR
2002 Big West 10 1 9 0 6th 19 3 16 0 NR
2003 Big West 10 3 5 2 4th 19 7 8 4 NR
2004 Big West 10 3 6 1 5th 18 7 7 4 NR
2005 Big West 10 1 9 0 4th 20 6 14 0 NR[62]
2006 Big West 9 3 5 1 4th 19 7 8 4 NR[63] Julian Alvarez
Jose Garcia
10 Jose Garcia 4
2007 Big West 12 6 2 4 3rd 19 11 4 4 NR[64] David Zamora 17 Julian Alvarez 7
Beginning with the 2008 season, the Big West Conference instituted a conference tournament to determine the winner of the NCAA automatic bid instead of awarding it to the regular season winner.
2008 Big West 10 5 2 3 2nd Semi-Finals 23 11 6 6 23[65] NCAA 2nd Round Julian Alvarez 17 David Zamora 8
2009 Big West 10 6 3 1 3rd Semi-Finals 21 8 11 2 NR[66] Big West Semifinal David Zamora 15 David Zamora 6
2010 Big West 10 5 3 2 3rd Semi-Finals 18 8 7 3 NR[66] Big West Semifinal David Zamora 14 David Zamora 5
2011 Big West 10 3 6 1 6th 18 6 9 3 NR[66] Kyle Montgomery 7 Kyle Montgomery 3
2012 Big West 10 6 3 1 3rd Semi-Finals 19 11 7 1 NR[66] Big West Semifinal Mackenzie Pridham 23 Mackenzie Pridham 11
2013 Big West 10 3 5 2 6th First-Round 21 10 9 2 NR[66] Mackenzie Pridham 31 Mackenzie Pridham 14

The Blue-Green rivalry

Chosen as the #1 "Greatest Rivalry In College Soccer" by, the main rival of the Cal Poly Mustangs men's soccer team is the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team.[67] The rivalry is a part of the larger Blue–Green Rivalry, which encompasses all sports from the two schools. With both schools located on the Central Coast less than 100 miles apart, attendance has risen dramatically following the Gauchos' 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship. The crowds of these games are record-setting and are among the highest regular season games in NCAA college soccer history.


The Cal Poly Mustangs have an NCAA Division I Tournament record of 1–3 through three appearances and have never advanced past the second round.[68]

Year Round Opponent Result
1995First RoundUCLAL 1–2
2008First Round
Second Round
UC Irvine
W 1–0
L 0–3
2015First RoundUCLAL 0–2


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