Winners of three straight, Cal State Fullerton hosts a pair of games this week in search of its first five-match winning streak since 2000.
No Longer Unbeaten: Cal Poly defeated Air Force, 1-0, last Friday to improve to 3-0-1 and match the program’s best start since the 2004 squad opened its year with the same mark. However, the Mustangs saw their unbeaten string come to an end with a 1-0 loss to Santa Clara on Sunday.
Take A Bow: The Mustangs drew 3,461 fans for the Air Force match, which pushed the program’s aggregate attendance past the 200,000 mark since Spanos Stadium’s 2007 opening.
Hamilton Among The Best: Senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton, who has allowed just three goals in 470 minutes of action between the pipes, is tied for No. 26 nationally with a 0.57 goals against average.
Success At Drake: Cal Poly’s next match is a Friday date at UCLA. The Mustangs have had success at Drake Stadium recently, going 2-0-1 in their last three visits. Cal Poly returns home Sunday to face College of Charleston.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Heating Up: After losing its first two matches, Cal State Fullerton has outscored the next three opponents 8-1 for a three-game winning streak. The Titans host San Diego and Texas Rio Grande Valley this weekend seeking the program’s first five-game winning streak since the 2000 club reeled off eight straight at one point.
Sir Sanchez: Sophomore Diego Sanchez has scored three goals over the last two matches to pull into a tie for the Big West lead. The midfielder already has surpassed his 2014 output of two goals. Sanchez recorded his first career brace in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over San Francisco.
No Alias For Elias: David Elias has been solid for the Titans in net during the three-game winning streak, tallying a 0.33 goals against average with just one goal allowed in 270 minutes. He picked up a season-high five saves against San Francisco.
Home Stat: CSF is unbeaten in its last three games at home.
Getting Closer: CSUN outshot both No. 21 New Mexico and CSU Bakersfield last week, but could not record a goal while posting a 0-1-1 mark. The Matadors have managed just two goals through their last four matches.
Opportunities: Sixteen different players have held starting roles early in the season and 25 players have seen playing time.
Back To The Road: CSUN plays its next three contests on the road, starting with Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara this weekend. The Matadors are seeking their first non-conference road win since defeating Tulsa on Sept. 7, 2014.
Hobbs Earns 10th Career Shutout: Senior Adam Hobbs made a pair of saves and kept CSU Bakersfield off the scoreboard for 110 minutes, securing his 10th career shutout in Sunday’s scoreless draw.
Extra Time: CSUN is 0-3-3 in its last six overtime contests.
In The “W” Column: The Hornets found the win column for the first time in 2015 with Friday’s 2-1 triumph over Incarnate Word, as part of the GCU Soccer Classic. Sacramento State rallied with two second-half goals to pick up the win.
Telling Stat: Dating back to last season, the Hornets are unbeaten in the last seven games (4-0-3) in which they allow one or zero goals.
Offense Finding Rhythm: The Hornet offense has registered six goals over the last four contests after managing just one goal through the first two games of the year.
Corona Strikes Early: Junior Bert Corona scored a goal in each of Sacramento State’s matches last weekend, including a tally just 20 seconds into the match against Grand Canyon.
Goalie Share: Sacramento State’s two starting goalkeepers – sophomore James Del Curto and junior Philip Bru – combined to make 11 saves in the team’s two contests last week. Bru had a season-high seven stops in the overtime loss against Grand Canyon.
Tough Loss: UC Davis put up a fight but ultimately fell, 2-1, to California in its lone action last week. The Aggies have been held to one goal or less in four of their first five matches to start the season.
Scoring Column Rediscovered: Senior Matt Wiesenfarth, who ranks second among active Big West players with 14 career goals, notched his first score of the season against the Bears. It was his first score since netting the game-winner against Sacramento State on Nov. 9, 2013. The forward missed a majority of last season with an injury.
Spread Offense: All five UC Davis goals this season have been scored by a different Aggie. Lucas Mohageg, Matt Wiesenfarth, Kristian Heptner, Ryan Gross and Matt Baringer have all cashed in.
Gross The Constant: Senior Ryan Gross has started all 67 career matches for the Aggies, and has logged nearly 6,000 career minutes in the process. His 5,997 minutes rank fourth in the school’s Division 1 record book, and three shy of becoming the fourth player to top 6,000 career minutes at the Division I level.
Double Ties: UC Irvine posted back-to-back double overtime ties last week, a 1-1 draw at San Diego and a scoreless deadlock at home versus San Diego State. Both matches were physical, especially the one at San Diego, in which a total of 10 yellow and two red cards were issued.
Breslin Enters Top 10 In Saves: Senior goalkeeper Michael Breslin made five saves against San Diego and another six versus San Diego State to give him a league-leading 21 for the season and 252 for his career. The 252 puts Breslin just inside the Big West career top 10, surpassing Fresno State’s Mark Dougherty (1986-89) for the No. 10 spot.
Net Finder: The Anteaters have struggled to find the back of the net this season, scoring a conference-low two goals through five games. They also have taken just 46 shots, one more than both Cal Poly and CSUN, which have taken the fewest with 45.
First Time Meetings: UC Irvine heads on its second long roadtrip of the year – this time for first-time meetings against Oral Roberts and SMU this week.
Statement: UC Riverside pounced on a pair of opponents and emerged with victories over San Francisco and No. 8 UCLA last week.The win over the Bruins represented the first over a non-conference road opponent since the Highlanders defeated UNLV, 4-3, on Sept. 9, 2012. UCR also broke an eight-match road winless streak against non-conference D-I foes.
Barometer Of Success: In defeating San Francisco (3-0) and UCLA (2-1), the Highlanders continue a string of success when scoring two or more goals, having posted a 14-0-1 record going back to the 2012 season. The last time UCR scored two or more goals and lost, the date was Oct. 20, 2012, a 3-2 double overtime setback to Cal State Fullerton.
Home Is Nice: UCR won its home opener for the eighth straight year after defeating San Francisco on Thursday.
Category Leaders: Senior Norberto Ochoa is tied for the Big West lead with three goals, while junior Romario Lomeli shares the top conference perch in assists (3).
UC SANTA BARBARA
Roadtrip Complete: The Gauchos finished off a four-match roadtrip with a 1-2-1 record. They shutout Yale (2-0) before losing to UConn (2-1) last weekend. UC Santa Barbara returns home for the first time since the Aug. 28 season opener against Stanford, welcoming College of Charleston on Friday.
Fast Starters: The Gauchos have scored first in all five of their games this year.
Vom Steeg One Away From Milestone: Head coach Tim Vom Steeg needs one more win to record his 200th in the Big West. He is 199-76-36 (.698) during his tenure, which began when the Big West reinstituted men’s soccer in 2001.
DePuy’s Impact: Dating back to last season, UCSB is 8-0-3 when junior forward Nick DePuy scores a goal.
Happy For Harder: UCSB is a gaudy 49-16-6 at Harder Stadium since 2009. The Gauchos play three of their next four games in the friendly confines.