Cal Poly claimed its first Big West Conference win of the season with a commanding 7-2 victory over the University of Hawaii.
A pair of two-goal performances from freshman forward Caitlyn Kreutz and reigning Cal Poly student-athlete of the week, senior forward Elise Krieghoff, lifted Cal Poly (5-3-5, 1-1 Big West) over the Rainbow Wahine (3-8-1, 0-2 Big West) on their home turf.
Kreutz scored the first goal of the match in the 14th minute. Her goal marked the sixth score of the season for the promising young forward. Krieghoff struck next with a goal in the 22nd minute. Her score was Krieghoff’s 50th since 2012. The senior was also recently awarded the Big West Conference Player of the Week for the ninth time in her Cal Poly career.
Sophomore forward McKenzie Flood scored from close range to put the Mustangs ahead by three right before halftime. When the Rainbow Wahine attempted to regain momentum with a 46th-minute goal, Cal Poly’s senior forward Sara Epps answered quickly with a goal of her own. Additional goals from Krieghoff and Kreutz, as well as from freshman midfielder Sydney Knauer, put the final tally at seven goals.
The offensive firepower may have been overshadowed by the individual accomplishments of Krieghoff whose 51 collegiate goals is a school record. The tenacity that has kept Krieghoff one of the best players in America will be a major factor as the Mustangs hope to capture a Big West Conference title this year.
So far, the 2015 season hasn’t exactly gone according to plan for the Cal Poly squad. A tough nonconference schedule virtually eliminated any automatic victories over easy competition. Instead, the Mustangs played a few of the best teams in the country before their conference schedule even started, including matchups with preeminent powerhouses Cal, Stanford and BYU.
While the preseason might not have been advisable for maintaining a spotless season record (Cal Poly already leads the Big West Conference with five ties), it may be the key to increasing competitive confidence going into conference play. Both Cal and BYU were ranked in the top 15 nationally when Cal Poly played them, and both matches ended in draws. The Mustangs continue conference play at home vs. Long Beach State this Thursday.