Cal Poly women's soccer draws 1-1 with No. 8 Santa Clara in physical matchup. Credit: Kayla Stuart

Cal Poly women’s soccer tied 1-1 against the Santa Clara Broncos on Sunday, Sept. 10 at Mustang Memorial Field. 

The Mustangs (1-3-2) looked to end a two game losing skid with losses to Cal and No. 23 Gonzaga. The Broncos (6-0-2), who are currently ranked No. 8, visit Cal Poly looking to continue their undefeated season after a scoreless draw against Cal. 

Sophomore forward and midfielder Jessie Halladay made a surprising return after missing the last two matches with a groin injury.

Head coach Alex Crozier had hoped she would be back for the first league game against UCSB on Sept. 14, but she made an early appearance, being subbed off the bench in the 26th minute. Halladay, a transfer from LMU, has earned two goals and an assist in three games. 

The Broncos came out with an aggressive attack, playing the ball to their forwards in hopes of scoring an early goal, however were marked offside two attacks in a row.

The Broncos got a shot off at the tail end of the fourth minute, as a Santa Clara midfielder played a through ball to Broncos forward Farrah Walters near the right corner. Walters’ strike was saved by junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Samuel, sending it behind the Mustangs’ goal. 

In the 19th minute, the Mustangs capitalized off of an errant throw-in by Santa Clara, beginning their counterattack. Midfielder Camryn Penn passed the ball to freshman Sophia Moness, who scored off of a stunning strike from 29 yards out.

The Mustangs went up 1-0 in the 20th minute from Moness’ first collegiate goal. 

Santa Clara attempted to respond but were overeager in their approach, earning three more offside calls from the line judge during their attacks. The half ended with the score still at 1-0. 

The following period got chippy, as nine total fouls were called in the second half. 

On one play, junior midfielder Peja Belanon raced toward the goal but was brought down as Santa Clara defender Rachel Bastone tugged on her jersey. Bastone was immediately sent off with a red card in the 64th minute.

In the next minute, Mustangs forward Olivia Ortiz was given a yellow card after colliding with a Bronco midfielder. The referee sent her off after a second yellow in the 68th minute. The final 22 minutes of the game were played 10 on 10. 

Santa Clara finally scored in the 70th minute after a corner kick was headed into the goal by Leah O’Brien. 

Both teams searched for the go-ahead goal with two more shots a piece, but the match finished 1-1, as neither team could capitalize on their opportunities.

Up next for the Mustangs is their first Big West league game against UCSB on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at Harder Stadium.