Senior Night

3 Nov

Sadly the mustangs were knocked out of contention for this season’s Big West Conference playoffs with their 1-0 loss to UCI in the final home game of the season.  Their was a slim, if any, chance of the mustangs tying the Big West leading anteaters in the rankings, but that chance and any playoff hopes were crushed when CSUN gave the victory to UCSB in their own game. With Santa Barbara winning and the mustangs suffering their fifth conference lost this season, the senior ‘stangs played their last intercollegiate match on the Spanos Stadium grass.

Six mustangs may not have finished their college soccer careers the way the would of liked, but none of them can be disappointed on how they have done that last four years.

  • Patrick McLain – goalkeeper
  • Wes Feigner – left-back defense
  • Ryan Anderson – midfield/forward
  • Patrick Sigler – center-back defense
  • Cameron Walters – right-back defense
  • Evan Richter – midfield

In honor of their blood, sweat, tears, and spirit they have devoted to Cal Poly, the six athletes we’re giving a standing ovation and special introduction before the game.

Head coach, Paul Holocher, said that all of his athletes he considers to be the best of the best and that he was blessed with the senior class he was given four years ago.

Even with the tough loss in the last home game of the season, we mustang fans can look back on this season and smile.  Many memories should flood back.  The big preseason win against UCLA at Spanos. Upsetting the, then seventh ranked, UCI anteaters. And the epic blue-green rivalry win.

All of the seniors had huge parts that they played in the SB game. Evan Richter made the midfield his kingdom and the Santa Barbara players had to ask permission to get through it. Wes Feighner tragically collapsed and needed to be helped off the field by medics. Cam Walters late header to equalize the game. And of course Siggy’s PK to win it all.

When leaving the home finale game, I took to the crowds to ask them which senior athlete has had the biggest impact on the field this season and got some pretty good feedback.  Henry Brown philosophy junior answered right away very emphatically with a loud “SIGGY!!! Patrick Sigler has dominated this season and has given us some huge wins with his PKs and headers!”

Kathryn Richardson, psychology junior interrupted Henry mid Siggy chant, and said that our keeper has had the biggest impact. “It’s not Sigler, its our keeper! He saves at least three goals a game!”  Then it became mayhem when the crowd of Mustang Manglers all wanted their opinions to be heard. Every senior on the team was getting his name screamed at me, and all that did was show me how much each of them has impacted our team this year.

Cal Poly’s seniors may not have made it to playoffs but they have made it an exciting season to watch. And its only over at Spanos Stadium.  The stangs still have one more epic battle to take place in Santa Barbara to finish the second half of the blue-green rivalry.

And I know midterms are coming about, but everyone should come and support your mustangs in their last game of the season down in SB.  Grab your roomies, some grub, and road trip it down to Santa Barbara to “Buck the Guachos” one last time this season.  Now that I got the game’s quick shoutout, I’ll leave you this week with the same question I asked the manglers at the game.

MAP: 2011 Mustang Soccer Season

1 Nov

The mustang’s season is reaching its last few games. Two to be exact, and those two games hold the keys to the Big West Conference Playoffs. With the season coming to an end, this maps shows how the mustangs have fared on the road this year playing at five different schools plus their home stadium. It has been a tough season this year with some good upsets and some pretty bad upsets, but if the mustangs can pull it together in these last two games, then there is still a chance to raise the Big West trophey.

Home of the ‘Stangs

27 Oct

Alex G. Spanos Stadiumhas hosted some of the great Cal Poly athletic teams dating all the way back to 1935.  But in the last four to five years Spanos stadium has been transformed into a soccer wonderland.  Not taking anything from our football team here, but the games that are filling the seats belong to the Cal Poly mens soccer teams.  When head coach Paul Holocher has arrived at Cal Poly, that’s when things began to change.  The mustangs started to win games, make impressive recruitment choices, and gain attention competitively on a national level.

Setting multiple attendance records for college sports, Alex G. Spanos Stadium is the home of the mustangs and the grounds where business is taken care of.

Spanos Stadium has not only become the amazing soccer wonderland that hosts some of the Big West Conference’s biggest games, but it has also become one half of the home stadiums of the epic blue-green rivalry. University of California Santa Barbara versus California Polytechnic State University throughout the past three years have broken attendance records in NCAA Division I regular season and playoff soccer. The last two years all 11,075 of Spanos Stadium’s seats we’re sold out with another three to four thousand people watching from the grass knolls that border the southern side of the stadium and on the other side of the chain-link fence on the northern side.

Kyle Schaefer, a mechanical engineer junior, said how much he enjoys watching the soccer games. “I’ve sat in so many different spots here and I get the same great feel and excitement everywhere.”  Honestly I was a little stoked to get such a great fan response to the mustangs home, but that wasn’t the case with all of our fellow students.  Both Ronnie Lang psychology junior and Emily Dimond nutritioun junior have never set foot into Spanos Stadium. “I like to read about how we do, but I don’t really like to attend the games,” said Ronnie.

Although not everyone is in love with the stadium like some of us diehard Poly fans, Alex G. Spanos Stadium is still the home of many things, but especially Mustang Soccer.

Blue-Green Rivalry Game

25 Oct

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Blue-Green Rivalry Slideshow

18 Oct

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For the love of the game

13 Oct

Getting the flu is pretty lame.  Getting the flu during the mustangs four game home stand is really lame.  Having the mustangs heading into the crazed blue-green rivalry game with no momentum while being sick…I think that’s as lame as it gets.  But its for the love of the game that I keep my hopes up that this flu will pass and Cal Poly crushes UCSB.

Its for the love of the game that the players play through rain, hail, sleet, and snow (although not really in San Luis Obispo), but its why they strive to be better every day.  Its why the fans cheer on their team and heckle their opponents even in those losing fights.  I’m talking about the love and competitive drive that Cal Poly needs to show and boast this friday heading into their biggest game of the season.

Coach Holocher said it himself, “It does get personal when it comes to Santa Barbara.”  He goes on to explain that the similarities of both schools residing on the central coast and having both schools consistently having such strong teams just creates the perfect conditions for a rivalry to thrive.

Friday night’s game is expected to break NCAA attendance records for the fifth straight year.  And the Mustang Manglers’ mystery man who is at every home game in his long black wig, camouflage vest, and Kanye West shutter shades wanted everyone to realize what they were getting themselves into. “Be prepared! Not only is the stadium going to be packed, but us manglers are going to redefine debauchery.” Spanos stadium, which is expected to be pushing upon the 30,000 attendance record will be alive. I’m expecting the stands to be shaking (literally), cheers to be heard from miles away, and waves of green and gold shimmering throughout.

I’ve got my gallons of orange juice, my boxes of kleenex, and plenty of hours of rest on my resume just so I can attend this game.  I want to believe that all you guys have put in the time and heart in getting hyped for this game.

The Man Behind the Mustangs

4 Oct

Although the mustangs suffered a tough 1-0 loss to UC Davis tonight, I managed to speak to the man behind the mustangs before the game.
Paul Holocher has been the head coach of Cal Poly since for 5 years, where he has led the mustangs to an NCAA Division I Tournament birth and a 45-35-19 record. Paul has lived his whole life playing the sport he loves and brings that loyal spirit to Cal Poly for every practice, game, and event, so before today’s game I sat down and asked him about Cal Poly, the manglers, and his goals for the season.

[ME]: So, big win at UCI, how’d that feel?
[PAUL]: It felt great. We (the mustangs) haven’t won down there for a number of years and this time the players had a gutsy performance and we were able to pull out with the victory.

[ME]: UCI kicked off the Big West competition and they were up there in the rankings. That’s one opponent down, who would you consider to be the big game of the season?

[PAUL]: Everybody.

[ME]: Everyone?

[PAUL]: Yeah, everyone’s tough.  We’re play Davis tonight and it’s going to be a battle.  There isn’t a team in the Big West that couldn’t beat up on the other team and win a game.  So its great to have a conference this tough, where every game feels like a little playoff game.

[ME]: I can understand that. Now what are your goals heading into this new season?

[PAUL]: Our goals are to approach each game with plenty of focus and improve as a team every time we take the pitch. Like I said before the Big West Conference isn’t a joke, any team can beat each other. So we have to make sure defensively we stay tight and organized. We have done a good job so far not allowing a lot of goals, but we also need to generate some more goals – generate some more attack, and I think we have the players and the talent to do that.

[ME]: Those plans sound solid to me, but switching topics now. Now most of Cal Poly sports have the mustang maniacs cheering for them, but in soccer we have the Mustang Manglers.  When the manglers get going and start raising hell, how much does it change the atmosphere of the game?

[PAUL]: It has a big effect on the players on myself.  It is so nice to have that support behind us.  It tends to give us that little edge to our game.  It definitely beats playing in front of an empty stadium. You know when the house is packed and they’re singing the songs…it’s wonderful to hear it and it lets us know that we’re playing for more than just ourselves. We love the manglers.

[ME]: Cool, cool. Now I was a little surprised when UCSB didn’t come up when I asked about any big games of the season.  But I’m gonna ask anyways…the Blue-Green Rivalry, everyone asks, but is it a little bit personal when it comes to Santa Barbara?

[PAUL]: …I think so.

[ME]: Yeah!?

[PAUL]: Yeah, I think so. It’s a real rivalry. Both of us being on the central coast, two great universities. I don’t know what it is, necessarily, but there is a little something else to it. The fact that a lot of these students could of gone to either school, but they chose where they chose. And obviously they’re two excellent soccer programs that battle it out each year. Obviously we respect them and who they are, but there is no love lost.

[ME]: I get it. Alright, thanks for your time Paul. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans/readers?

[PAUL]: That we appreciate the support and we have a tough stretch now with four home games in nine days, and I hope to see everyone out there.

New Season Begins – Excitement Builds

27 Sep

With the Mustangs beginning their Big West Season tonight at Irvine, my initial plan to interview Coach Holocher will be saved for another post.  Coach Holocher and the mustangs made their trip down to UC Irvine for Big West season opener, so I decided to hit campus and find out the demographics of Cal Poly’s fans. All together I quickly interviewed 20 people, asking them one quick simple question: “What’s your favorite sport to watch on Campus and why?”  And to no surprise 16 of the 20 people interviewed vouched for Cal Poly Soccer.

Out of the 20 people I interviewed, two mustang soccer fans seemed to have caught the mangler fever and boasted ‘stang pride.

“SOCCER!” Screamed Rachel Spinelli, a third year kinesiology major, before I could even finish my question.  “And we have four games at home in October! I’m so pumped!” she continued.  Finding another diehard fan, like myself, I asked Rachel what her favorite part of the games were – and after calming down from her excitement she explained that the best part of the games is the environment. “Everyone is having a great time and everyone is for the same side, so it just makes for an amazing experience.”

Stephen Mijangos, a second year IE major, explained that the manglers are the huge reason why he loves the soccer games. “Not only do you get to watch the soccer beat the other schools, but you get to sing, dance, and cheer with a bunch of crazy people”, he said giggling.

After finding more mustang soccer fans today, I am even more excited for our home opener next week and the rest of the season!