Mustang Men’s Soccer wins opening exhibition 4-0

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Updated: August 17, 2017

At the Paso Robles Horse Park, the Cal Poly men’s soccer team defeated Fresno Pacific 4-0 Wednesday evening in their final tune-up before kicking off the season next Friday in Indiana. 

Three Stars

Christian Enriquez is a sophomore, but he’ll be Cal Poly soccer’s field general from the midfield this season. By Owen Main

Sophomore midfielder Christian Enriquez started the scoring within the first few minutes. He collected a bouncing ball just outside the box and calmly slotted it past the Sunbird keeper, who was caught in no man’s land about five yards away.

Enriquez helped Cal Poly double their lead a few minutes later, playing a no-look through ball to junior college transfer forward Sean Goode. Goode did what he’s done every time I’ve seen him — that is score on his chances. 

Senior Kaba Alkebulan subbed into the game late in the first half and made an immediate impact with his speed. Kaba took a ball over the top down the left side, turned in and right footed it into the goal. Just after halftime, Alkebulan doubled up, scoring a pretty similar goal. 

Enriquez and Kaba are a clear one and two. Eddie Melgoza was my number three. Melgoza started in central midfield and led the back line to a clean sheet. Other defenders did rotate in and out, but Melgoza seems to be settling into a central defender role after playing on the left side most of his freshman year. 

Hoosier-bound

Cal Poly starts their season against two top-10 teams at a tournament in South Bend, Indiana at Notre Dame. First, they’ll face #7 Indiana on Friday August 25th, followed by a match the following Sunday vs. the hosts — #10 Notre Dame. Their opening road trip also features games at the Big East’s Georgetown and #6 Maryland. 

Decent results in those four road games should give the Mustangs the benefit of the doubt for an NCAA bid if they’re on the bubble. Playing good teams early is also a great way to prepare for Big West play.

Mustangs tabbed third in the Big West North

Cal Poly was tabbed today to finish third in the Big West North in the conference’s preseason poll released today. Since there are only four teams in the conference’s North Division, being picked third isn’t great. 

If you look at last season’s performance, thinking of Cal Poly as a third place team in the division might be reasonable. The Mustangs have nearly 20 new players on their roster as they try to bounce back from (5-9-3) overall record (3-5-2 in Big West play).

Predictably, UCSB was pegged as the favorite in the North. UC Davis was picked second, followed by Cal Poly and Sacramento State. Cal State Northridge was picked first in the South followed by Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, and UC Irvine. 

Photos by Owen Main. To view the entire gallery, click here.

 

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