Cal Poly men's soccer falls to Oral Roberts 5-3 at Spanos Stadium to open the season. Credit: Kayla Stuart

It was the perfect start to new head coach Olge Kennedy’s tenure with the Mustangs. Not even a full minute in and junior midfielder Nate Colley was standing over the penalty spot.

Colley, the captain for the Mustangs, converted on the penalty kick and Cal Poly was off to the races with a 1-0 lead 45 seconds into the match.

However, the dream beginning would not last a minute as Oral Roberts found their equalizer 45 seconds later. A cross from Oral Roberts’ attacker Thiago Patto floated over the hands of sophomore goalkeeper Nicky McCune and into the side netting. 

At the end of 90 minutes. the Mustangs lost by a score of 5-3 against Oral Roberts on Monday, Aug. 28 inside Mustang Memorial Field.

The Mustangs (0-1-0) committed 20 fouls against the Golden Eagles (2-0-0), who only committed seven across the game.

Another minute would elapse before sophomore forward Oren Stuppel, who made his starting debut, received a lofted pass from redshirt freshman Jackson Miller, and volleyed it home off his right foot to give the Mustangs a 2-1 advantage in the second minute of the game.

In the 13th minute sophomore forward Luke Schafer swiped a misplayed touch by a Golden Eagles’ defender and put it home past the keeper for a 3-1 lead.

The Mustangs’ sizeable advantage didn’t last long as the Golden Eagles responded less than 30 seconds later. Oral Roberts scored off a rebound from a save by McCune and the shot was just out of reach of a lunging McCune to cut the lead in half.

The Mustangs committed 20 fouls to the Golden Eagles seven in Monday afternoon’s high-scoring matchup.

In the 18th minute, a back pass by graduate transfer defender Emory Rapaport was hit to an awkward spot for the goalie McCune. McCune could not handle it cleanly and it was poached by Oral Roberts’ Luis Flores to tie the game.

A scuffle in the 19th minute resulted in a yellow card to sophomore defender Sebastian Maza who was sitting on the Mustang bench. 

Maza caught a ball that was kicked out of bounds and held on to it away from the Oral Roberts player who was trying to inbound the ball before the Oral Roberts player pushed Maza.

Two more cards would be handed out before the break, with Oral Roberts’ Juan Moreno getting a yellow card for stopping a promising Mustang attack in the 25th minute and redshirt freshman defender Carson Spahr picking one up a minute before halftime for tossing the ball away from a Golden Eagles player.

Two minutes after halftime a deflected clearance from Cal Poly fell right to Luis Flores who punched it home to collect his brace and deliver Oral Roberts a 4-3 lead.

The rapid scoring of the first half calmed down as the Mustangs’ physicality led to 11 second-half fouls.

Colley picked up a yellow card in the 65th minute for a foul stopping a promising attack.

Oral Roberts broke the scoring drought when a cross found a streaking Giovanni Herrera unmarked on the backside, who wheeled away in celebration with a back flip after hitting the back of the net.

One more booking would occur in the 72nd minute as sophomore forward Connor Lisenbee charged into a Golden Eagles player after the ball was gone.

Despite the Mustangs throwing numbers forward in attack they were unable to find another goal as the final horn sounded with the score sitting at 5-3.

Oral Roberts took 18 shots compared to the Mustangs 7, although the Mustangs put a higher percentage of their shots on goal.

Men’s soccer plays their next match on Friday, Sept. 1 at the SDSU Sports Deck against San Diego State University at 7 p.m.