Dec 25, 2012 8:56 PM by Bill Halter
The seventh nominee for Central Coast sports story of the year is the Cal Poly soccer teams two wins against UCSB. The Mustangs swept the Gauchos for the first time in 15 years with both wins coming in dramatic fashion.
On October 19, Cal Poly was losing 1-0 at Santa Barbara when George Malki scored with 1:04 left to send the game to overtime. Mackenzie Pridham scored on an assist from Chris Gaschen in the sixth minute of overtime to give the Mustangs a 2-1 win in front of a national television audience on Fox Soccer Channel.
Two weeks later the teams squared off in the final regular season game for both. This time the game was played in San Luis Obispo. Malki sent the home crowd into a frenzy with a 77th minute goal to break a scoreless tie. Cal Poly won 1-0 to advance to the Big West tournament. The Mustangs season came to an end with a 2-0 loss at CS-Northridge in the Big West semifinals.
The two Blue-Green rivalry games were played in front of some of the biggest crowds in college soccer history. The game in Santa Barbara drew 13,467 supporters, the seventh-largest regular season figure in NCAA history. The game at Cal Poly was a sellout, with 11,075 fans, a figure matching the 10th-largest regular season crowd ever. After both games, Cal Poly supporters stormed the field to celebrate with the team.
Voting on ksby.com for the top local sports story of 2012 begins December 28, after all ten nominees have been announced.
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