Approaching the midpoint of Big West conference play, Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer will look to dig themselves out of a tie for last place in the conference standings with UC San Diego when they take on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs on Wednesday.
The Titans will have a tough task ahead of them when they face off against the Mustangs, who are tied for second in the Big West standings with UC Irvine.
Fullerton has a 3-7-2 overall record and has recorded three points through four conference matches, while Cal Poly has seven and the conference-leading UC Santa Barbara has 10.
This match will have big implications on the Big West standings, as the Mustangs will need a victory to keep pace with Irvine and Santa Barbara.
The Titans will need a victory to give themselves a chance for postseason play. Including the upcoming match against Cal Poly they have five matches remaining in conference play before the Big West Tournament begins on Nov. 3.
A victory will be tough to come by against the Mustang’s stellar defense, which has not allowed more than one goal against them in each of their conference matches.
Cal Poly’s goalkeeper, Carlos Arce-Hurtado, is the backbone of the defense. He has had three clean-sheet shutouts while starting all 11 matches for the Mustangs this season.
Cal Poly has two defenders in their top three goal scorers this season, further showing that their defense is the heart and soul of their squad.
Cal Poly’s leader on offense has been defender Jacob Glass. The Scottish native has eight points on four goals this season, with two of them being game-winning goals.
Glass is one of three Mustangs with multiple goals this season. His teammates, captain forward Emmanuel Perez and defender Conner Leber, each have two goals, with Leber adding two assists on the season which is tied for second-most on the team.
Midfielder Neil Boyal leads Cal Poly with five assists and one goal so far this season.
Cal Poly has been a difficult team to defeat on their home field, with a record of 3-1-1 in their home matches this season.
After a tough season opening, Fullerton has a lot to work on as they compete against Cal Poly.
The Titans earned their first conference win of the season against UC Davis at Titan Stadium 1-0, on Oct. 9, thanks to a late penalty kick from midfielder Sebastian Cruz, after dropping their opening three matches to start conference play.
That match had similar implications to the upcoming one as Davis entered that match with six points and was near the top of the leaderboard while Fullerton had zero. The Titans managed to pull off an upset.
The Titans will look to play the role of spoiler yet again when they hit the road to play the Mustangs on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The game can be accessed on Cal Poly All-Access as well as ESPN+.