Nov. 4, 2009
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Second-ranked UC Santa Barbara battled to a 0-0 double overtime tie at Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 9,824 fans. The tie gives UCSB 22 points in the Big West Conference standings and secures the top-seed into the league tournament and the regular season title.
The Gaucho record now stands at 13-3-2 and 7-1-1 in Big West contests. The 2009 Big West regular season crown marks the program's sixth, all of which have been won in the last nine seasons.
Cal Poly is now 8-9-2 overall and 6-3-1 in conference. The match was the fourth of the last five contests between Cal Poly and UCSB to go into double overtime and the third to end in a tie.
The game marked the Gauchos' 12th shutout of the season and eighth in Big West play. Junior goalkeeper Sam Hayden has recorded all 12 of this season's shutouts and is now just one shy of tying Dan Kennedy's school record of 13 shutouts, set during the 2004 season.
The two teams battled through a scoreless first half with Cal Poly controlling possession of the ball for much of the period. The Mustangs out-shot the Gauchos 4-2 in the first, but Hayden saved Cal Poly's lone shot-on-goal by Jacob Hustedt in the 30th minute, the first of his four saves of the game.
"We really challenged the guys at halftime to pick up their game," said head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "We got outworked in the first half and in the second half, Cal Poly wasn't as dangerous."
The adjustments paid off for the Gauchos as they out-shot the Mustangs 8-6 the rest of the match and squelched every one of Cal Poly's shot attempts.
In the 84th minute, Cal Poly came close to finding the back of the Gaucho net when Wes Feighner headed the ball towards the right post. Hayden made an impressive diving save to the left post to preserve the nil-nil tie and send the game into overtime.
Senior David Walker had the Gauchos' best shot at clinching the game in the second overtime period when, in the 106th minute, he sprinted down the right side of the field and sent a shot that went just wide left of the Cal Poly goal.
"Though the box score doesn't show many shots, we had four to five cross opportunities, but we just didn't find anyone in the box," said Vom Steeg.
"Our goal tonight was to get the win or a tie and wrap up the championship and we did that," Vom Steeg said. "I like this team and I like where we are going."
The crowd of 9,824 marked the seventh biggest in NCAA regular season history. Four of the top-10 most heavily attended games in NCAA history have been between UCSB and Cal Poly, all occurring within the last three seasons.
Wednesday's game was part of the Blue-Green Rivalry series between UCSB and Cal Poly. The rivalry is based on the results of the school's 16 common sports. As the Gauchos and Mustangs battle it out on the field, diamond, court, and in the pool, the Big West rivals will seek to make fans and students aware of their campuses' recycling and sustainability efforts. The eco-slant to the rivalry fits the colors of sustainability (blue and green) as well as those of UCSB (blue) and Cal Poly (green). For more information, click here.
The Gauchos will play their regular season finale on Saturday against UC Davis at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. first touch and four UCSB seniors will be honored prior to the game: C.J. Cintas, Martin Hedevag, David Walker and Jonathan Zerah. Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KIST 1490 AM and online here.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.