Great Start: Cal Poly tied Gonzaga and defeated Seattle last weekend to move to 2-0-1 on the season. It represents the first time since 2004 that the Mustangs are unbeaten through the first three games. Cal Poly hosts Air Force on Friday, seeking to match the 2004 squad in remaining unbeaten through four contests.
Kaba Kan: Sophomore forward Kaba Alkebulan collected the game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Seattle on Sunday. Alkebulan has shown a flair for the dramatic as three of his five career goals have clinched wins for the Mustangs.
Hamilton Posts Shutout: Senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton, who has made 51 consecutive starts, registered his 11th career shutout in the win over Seattle. Hamilton has been stingy in net, having allowed just two goals over 290 minutes, a 0.62 goals against average.
Last Time Out: The last time Cal Poly played Air Force, the Mustangs emerged with a 5-1 win on Sept. 27, 2013.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Home Cooking: Winning its home opener for the first time since 2009, Cal State Fullerton overcame a frustrating first weekend to hand George Washington a 3-0 loss on Friday. Three freshmen scored their first collegiate goals as Brandon West, Michael Lopez and Ross McPhie dotted the scoring column.
Everyone In On The Act: The six goals Cal State Fullerton has compiled through four games have been scored by six different players. Junior Ruben Alvarez and sophomore Diego Sanchez were the newest Titans to join the goals column as their strikes led to a 2-1 victory over Santa Clara on Sunday.
A Look Back: Cal State Fullerton’s 2-2 start through four games is the best for the program since the 2011 club was 2-0-2. The 2011 edition eventually moved out to a 5-0-2 mark.
Home Familiarity: Six of CSF’s next seven games are set for Titan Stadium.
Midwest Unkind: CSUN’s trip out to the midwest ended with an 0-2 record as the Matadors fell 2-1 to No. 3 Creighton and 4-1 to Omaha. The Matadors threatened to pull off the upset on the Bluejays as they took a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play, but Creighton equalized in the 58th minute and cemented the comeback in the 89th minute.
Manios Making Impact: Absent the 2014 season due to injury, redshirt sophomore Steven Manios did not take long to shake off the cobwebs. He scored his second goal in as many games, breaking free in the box for a goal at the 1:31 mark against Creighton. It was just the second first-half goal Creighton had allowed since the start of the 2014 season.
Lobo Sighting: CSUN is set to play New Mexico for the third straight year and the 10th time in the last 13 seasons. The Matadors pulled off a 3-2 upset over the ninth-ranked Lobos in 2013.
Home: CSUN is unbeaten in its last five home matches.
Hornets Forge Tie: Sacramento State ended a three-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw against CSU Bakersfield on Sunday. It was the home opener for the Hornets. The Hornets had been outscored by the Roadrunners, 19-0, in the previous five meetings before denting the scoreboard.
Telling Stat: Dating back to last season, the Hornets are unbeaten in the last six games (3-0-3) in which they allow one or zero goals.
Bumgarner Collects First Goal: Redshirt freshman Brad Bumgarner notched his first collegiate goal in a 4-2 loss to San Jose State. His score gave the Hornets a 2-0 lead, but the Spartans responded with three strikes in an eight-minute span to take the lead for good.
Back To The Road: Sacramento State will make just one home appearance over the next month when it hosts northern California rival Pacific on Sept. 18. In the meantime, the Hornets play five of their next six on the road, beginning this weekend with games against Incarnate Word and Grand Canyon.
Offensive Outburst: The Aggies found the win column for the first time in 2015, energizing their offense with three goals for the first time since Oct. 2, 2014 in a 3-2 victory over Wisconsin. UC Davis snapped a three-game skid in the process. The Aggies had scored just one goal through the first three games.
Frosh Souvenir: Freshman Kristian Heptner buried his first collegiate goal as he one-timed a rebound past the Badger goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead. Heptner led the Aggies with four shots in the game, and his nine shots on the year rank fifth in the Big West.
Doing A Double Take: The Big West’s best defensive team in 2014, UC Davis posted a conference-low 0.70 goals against average, allowing a mere 16 goals in 20 matches. Through four contests this season, the Aggies already have allowed opponents to score 13 goals.
Gross The Toast Of Town: Senior Ryan Gross secured his fourth career game-winning goal in the win over Wisconsin, tying him for third among active Big West players.
Midwest Buzzsaw: UC Irvine suffered back-to-back shutouts on a roadtrip to Omaha (1-0) and No. 3 Creighton (4-0) last week. The stagnant Anteater offense has been limited to one goal through the first three contests.
Breslin Nears Top 10 In Saves: Senior goalkeeper Michael Breslin’s 10 saves so far give him 241 for his career. He is another 10 stops shy of tying Fresno State’s Mark Dougherty (1986-89) for the No. 10 spot in the Big West career record book.
San Diego Successes: Looking to rebound this week, UCI faces San Diego and San Diego State, a pair of opponents the ‘Eaters have experienced some recent success. Since the 2008 season, UCI is 4-0 against the Toreros and 2-0 versus the Aztecs.
Lineup Talk: UCI has trotted out nearly the same lineup in each of its three matches. Ten of the starting XI have remained consistent. Freshman Luis Leon started the first two contests, and fellow frosh Daniel Crisostomo took over in the last match.
Road Struggles: UC Riverside came away empty on a trip to the east coast last weekend, falling 4-1 to Syracuse and 2-1 in overtime to Colgate. The Highlanders are winless (0-6-2) in their last eight true road matches against Division I non-conference foes. The last time UCR beat a non-conference Division I opponent on the road was UNLV, 4-3, on Sept. 9, 2012.
Salazar Strikes: Senior Michael Salazar netted his eighth goal in 21 career matches, notching his second of the year in the Colgate game. Salazar ranks fifth among active Big West players with his eight career scores.
Friendly Confines: Home openers have been good to the Highlanders in recent memory. UCR has won seven straight home openers, and hopes to extend the streak when San Francisco visits on Thursday.
Big Four: Through four matches, the foursome of Michael Salazar, Romario Lomeli, Tyler Miguel and Stephen Copley have combined for all five UCR goals and 13 of the team’s 15 points.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Tough Go: UC Santa Barbara was unable to capitalize on leads at the Grange and Ashwill Memorial Tourney last week, settling for a 2-2 tie against Denver and falling 2-1 to host New Mexico. The Gauchos led in both matches at halftime but could not stave off the comeback attempt from either opponent.
All-Tournament Tallies: The Gauchos had two players named to the all-tournament team in sophomores forward Ahinga Selemani and midfielder Kevin Feucht.
Jome Assists: Junior Ismaila Jome recorded an assist in each of UCSB’s two tournament games last week, and now has 14 career helpers.
In The Rankings: UCSB is ranked No. 17 in the latest Top Drawer Soccer poll, and is receiving votes in the National Coaches Association of America rankings.
Next Up: The Gauchos continue their four-match roadtrip as they head east to face Yale and UConn this weekend. UCSB is the midst of playing five of six on the road.