Cal Poly Women's Soccer gives up early goal but bounce back to take 2-1 win over UC Irvine. Credit: Alice Sukhostavskiy

Cal Poly Women’s Soccer went down early to a UC Irvine goal in the 13th minute, but the Mustangs responded with two goals of their own to take a 2-1 victory over the Anteaters on the road.

Thanks to a gutsy, come-from-behind effort at Anteater Stadium, the Mustangs (5-5-3, 3-1-1 Big West) picked up their second straight win against UC Irvine (4-6-3, 1-2-2 Big West) and extend their unbeaten streak to three.

The team now maintains a share of second place in the Big West along with Hawaii

On the other hand, the Anteaters have had a slow start and remain in a three-way tie for last in the conference following Sunday’s game.

The Mustangs found themselves behind early in the contest after the hosts got on the scoreboard in the 13th-minute courtesy of junior forward Tati Fung, who rifled a shot from outside the box off of junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Samuel’s mitts for a 1-0 lead.

The Mustangs gradually began to control possession as the first half progressed and eventually leveled the score in the 26th minute.

After a corner kick was returned to the sideline, the second service from graduate midfielder/forward Whitney Wiley found junior forward Emily Nedom unmarked to head it back and on net off the keeper’s leaping glove and in for her second goal of the season, and tying the game at one point apiece.

The Mustangs weren’t done just yet, though. Cal Poly took the lead just eight minutes later when the team intercepted a UC Irvine though ball.

Sophomore forward/midfielder Jessie Halladay subsequently set up senior midfielder Kate Reedy, whose left foot struck true and finished a shot inside the left post to make it 2-1.

Reedy’s first-half goal was her third of the season.

While the rest of the match passed without much incident—save for a yellow card on UCI in the 82nd minute—it was still a rather sloppy second half for the Mustangs, and they often found themselves relying on their defense to close the match out.

The Anteaters managed 10 shots total in the second half to the Mustangs four, while the Mustangs also conceded seven corner kicks in the second half (10 total), and managed just one of their own (four total).

In the end, however, when the final whistle sounded with the 2-1 lead still intact the Mustangs came out with the win. 

In total, Samuel was 4/5 on saves in the afternoon, while redshirt freshman goalie Savanna Arruda was 2/4 on the day for UCI.

Up next, the Mustangs will look to maintain their hold on second place in the Big West, when they host CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at Mustang Memorial Field.