Freshman defender Siena Urzua (16) takes the ball up field as the Mustangs defeat CSU Bakersfield to take the No. 1 seed in the Big West. Credit: Alice Sukhostavskiy

The No.1 spot in the Big West was on the line for Cal Poly Women’s Soccer coming into their matchup with the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners on Thursday. 

After a scoreless first half, the Mustangs scored two goals in the second period of play and came out with a 2-0 victory.

According to junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Samuel, the team had the mentality that the matchup with the Roadrunner was their most important game of the season.

“We just locked in for those 90 minutes,” Samuels said. “I think that showed in our performance tonight.”

The Mustangs held the Roadrunners to only one shot in the entire first half, but the Mustangs couldn’t capitalize on their four first-half shots and the game remained at 0-0. 

In the 53rd minute, senior forward Olivia Ortiz broke the tie. Ortiz shot the ball quickly off a pass from freshman forward Annika Smith, curving into the left side of the goalpost to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.  

The goal was Ortiz’s first score of the season and the San Luis Obispo High School alumni’s 10th career goal.

In the 63rd minute, senior midfielder Kate Reedy drained a goal off a header from freshman forward Jaycee DeFazio to put the Mustangs up 2-0. 

Reedy has been making the most of her minutes so far this season. Despite being a rotational player, the midfielder has managed to get the ball in the goalpost on four occasions this year, matching her career-high in a season.

Ortiz and Reedy’s goal coming within ten minutes of each other is the second time in a row the team has scored in quick succession under ten minutes apart. 

The Mustangs ramped up their attack in the second half with 12 shots. In total the team, had 16 shots with nine of those looks on target.

With another shutout for the defense, Samuel completed her 16th clean sheet, putting her fifth on the all-time records for Cal Poly Women’s Soccer.  

When asked how it felt to climb higher into the record books, Samuel gave the credit to her defensive backfield.

“Without them, there is no me and I just am really grateful for all the hard work they put in every single game, Samuel said.

The Mustangs will look to carry their first-place ranking onto Sunday, as they take on the CSUN Matadors at 2 p.m. at Mustang Memorial Field.