Cal Poly women's soccer opens up their season with a 1-1 draw against Fresno State on Aug. 17. Credit: Kayla Stuart

In 101 F heat, Cal Poly Women’s Soccer tied 1-1 against the Fresno State Bulldogs Thursday, Aug. 17 in the season opener at Bulldog Soccer Stadium.

The Mustangs (0-0-1) secured the Big West regular season championship last season while the Bulldogs (0-0-1) finished 1-14-4 in the Mountain West Conference.

In the first 20 minutes of the match, sophomore forward Emily Lieber, who led last year’s team in assists (4), received many through balls from which she could create opportunities for teammates. However, the Mustangs couldn’t find the back of the net.  

In the 55th minute, redshirt sophomore forward Maille Smith had a shot on target but was saved by the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper.

The Mustangs will look to repeat as Big West regular season champions in the 2023 season. Credit: Kayla Stuart

Sophomore transfer from LMU Jessie Halladay had two shots on goal out of three total attempts. In the 74th minute, Halladay scored off a pass from Lieber for her first collegiate goal and her first score as a Mustang.

However, less than a minute later, Fresno State evened the match at 1-1.

2022 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Mackenzie Samuel prevented the Bulldogs from scoring by making her first save of the day in the 60th minute.

“We have a really talented group of freshmen and transfer midfielders,” head coach Alex Crozier said. “We have some really good forwards, and we have some really good backs…We lost some really key players off last year’s team; having said that, we are moving in a little bit of a different direction.”

The Mustangs’ next game is a home exhibition match at Spanos Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 20, at 12 p.m. against Cal State Monterey Bay. 

Their next regular season game is Thursday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. against No.1 UCLA in Wallis Annenberg Stadium.