Cal Poly Women’s Soccer suffered a 2-0 defeat against the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears on Sunday, Sept. 3, at Edwards Stadium/Goldman Field.
The Mustangs were without sophomore forward and midfielder Jessie Halladay due to a groin issue. She has had six shots, with four on target, in the first three games of the season.
Both teams displayed strong performances in the first half. However, the Mustangs (1-2-1) couldn’t hold back the Golden Bears (2-2) continuous attack.
Cal Poly showed speed and effective use of flanks when in the attacking half, but their efforts fell short of scoring.
In the third minute, the Golden Bears came close to scoring on Cal Poly. A shot off a corner kick (Cal had seven corners total) sailed over junior goalkeeper Mackenize Samuel, but sophomore midfielder Camryn Penn was there to head the ball out of the goal frame.
In the 14th minute, Golden Bears’ junior forward Karlie Lema evaded a Mustang defender and then used her elite speed to outrun the remaining defense to get a shot off that was perfectly placed around Samuel.
The second half saw the Golden Bears maintain control.
The Mustangs’ best chance arrived in the 46th minute on a free-kick 30 yards out. Sophomore midfielder Brennan Cole took the kick, producing a strong shot aimed at the bottom right-hand corner, but the Golden Bears keeper, sophomore Teagan Wy, was able to make the save.
A Golden Bears player received a yellow card in the 51st minute for unnecessarily kicking the ball after a foul was called.
In the 70th minute, Lema continued to trouble the Mustangs’ backline. On a through ball, Lema, who was a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team Camp in 2019 and 2020, broke one tackle and then outran the backline, eluded one tackle, and then outpaced the defense, resulting in a shot that found the back of the net.
The relentless attack by the Golden Bears resulted in 10 shots compared to the Mustangs’ six throughout the game. The Golden Bears converted 66.7% of their shots on target, while the Mustangs managed a 50% accuracy rate.
Cal Poly’s first four games of the season were played on the road. Their next match, scheduled for Thursday, September 7, at 7 p.m. against No. 24 Gonzaga, will mark their first home game at Mustang Memorial Field in support of ALS Awareness Day.