It’s been a pretty good year for Cal Poly Athletics. From women’s soccer winning the Big West regular-season title for the first time since 2013, to beach volleyball clinching its third straight Big West title, and competing in the NCAA tournament, the Mustangs competed at the highest level .
Although not a university known for its sports teams, there was a lot to remember. The Mustang News Sports Team rounded up their favorite Cal Poly sports moments this year:
Football Wins a Crime – Noah Greenblatt
Watching football beat Idaho State was my favorite sporting moment this year. My friends and I all decided to go to the game but ended up going early. Luckily, one of our friends had the game on his phone, so we saw that the state of Idaho was about to tie the game. After they did, we all ran to Spanos Stadium and got there just in time to see Idaho State muff a punt, Jaden Ohlsen drill the game winner and the defense make one last stop — all before we even got there could catch their breath.
The winner of Camille Lafaix’s game – Nick Bandanza
Camille Lafaix’s game-winning goal against Cal State Fullerton to open the Big West game was my favorite moment to witness this year. Lafaix took the pass in the penalty area, taking a slight right touch and putting the game winner in the bottom right corner of the goal. Women’s soccer was the first team I coached as a freshman at Cal Poly. The team introduced me to Cal Poly athletics, and the 93rd minute Lafaix goal will forever be remembered as my earliest memory of the Cal Poly sport.
Men’s Basketball Shows Courage In Double OT Matchup – Gabe Arditti
Sometimes wins and losses don’t tell the whole story, like when men’s basketball had one of its best games of the season, losing at home to Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN). Brantley Stevenson hit a 3-pointer buzzer to send the game into overtime and end a 14-2 Mustang run past the final 2:21.
Then the Mustangs took the lead with six seconds left before CSUN had a last-second shot of their own to double the game over time. The Matadors outperformed the Mustangs 16-11, but Cal Poly showed the community what they were made of tonight.
A Big Night by Alimamy Koroma – Matthew Ho
My favorite moment of the men’s basketball season was her home win over UC Irvine. The Mustangs were previously blown by Irvine 48-72 but came back to their homestand and won 65-54. Center Alimamy Koroma had one of his best games of the season, scoring 27 points and grabbing seven boards.
He scored in a variety of ways, from his right-hand hook to cleaning up misses to firing pick-and-pop three-pointers. They played with energy and executed on offense. It was a glimpse of what could take the men’s basketball team forward.
Kirsty Brown enters the record books – Gwendalyn Garcia
Before retiring from Cal Poly, Kirsty Brown officially entered the record books on March 3rd. With a first on-court appearance, despite an injury, Brown officially became the women’s basketball program’s all-time leader in games played. With 125 games under her belt, she surpassed previous record holder Jonae Ervin, who played 124 games. This was a sweet moment to end Brown’s fifth and final season as Mustang.
The Rise of Truax and Wick – Derek Righetti
To see wrestling superstars Evan Wick and Bernie Truax evolve into a powerful 1-2 combo and see the two feed off each other was incredible to watch. Capping off an amazing 2022 season with two All-Americans was my highlight. The two build Cal Poly’s wrestling program for the future and prove that the program is not to be messed with.
Back-to-back slams for Maddie Amos – Kyle Har
It’s rare to hit back-to-back homers at bat, but hitting back-to-back grand slams at-bat is unheard of. Amos’ eight RBIs set a new program record in a 14-2 win over Cal State Bakersfield while also equaling Big West’s single-game record. The win itself was also part of the Mustangs’ 10-game winning streak in the conference, which was impressive after the team went without a win in their first 13 games.
Kaylyn Noh leads women’s golf to title – Mia-Isobel Craig
It was Cal Poly versus Hawaii in the Big West Championship. The Mustangs were nine shots behind before going into the final six holes. Newcomer Kaylyn Noh managed to close the gap and tie the two teams after a par on the 18th hole. In the one-hole playoffs, Cal Poly beat Hawaii by four shots to win its second straight Big West title while Noh was crowned Golfer of the Year.
Baseball’s episode of the blue-green rivalry – Kylie Hastings
My favorite sporting moment was watching the UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly baseball game on Friday. It was packed with students and community members and was one of many sellouts at Baggett Stadium this season. As the Mustangs tied the game in the sixth and then again in the ninth, the crowd erupted. It was so much fun to be a part of and to see such school spirit for a Cal Poly athletic team.
Beach volleyball goes back to back to back – Miles Berman
The Mustang beach volleyball team that came to the Big West home tournament finished third in their own conference. They had yet to beat someone who ranked ahead of them. The mix of true newcomers, players vying for a spot, and regulars like Tia Miric and Jayelin Lombard, beach volleyball won four straight games with back-to-back comebacks to secure their third straight ticket to the NCAA championship. Cal Poly’s home crowd witnessed excellence before their eyes.
A fitting farewell for Brooks Lee – Diego Sandoval
Brooks Lee is perhaps one of the greatest athletes to ever come through Cal Poly. It was only fitting that the proposed lottery pick in the 2022 MLB draft hit a home run in each of his last four games at San Luis Obispo during his final week at Baggett Stadium while playing for his father, head coach Larry Lee. Watching each homer fly through the air was special for everyone in the stadium as it felt like cementing his legacy in Mustang history before our eyes.