Mustang News Staff Report
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A penalty kick was the difference Sunday, as the Cal Poly men’s soccer team shut out Massachusetts by a score of 1-0. Sophomore forward John Chronopoulos was taken down in the box in the 39th minute, and slotted home the subsequent penalty himself to give the Mustangs the lead.
The Mustang back line looked sharp, holding the Minutemen goalless through the entire 90 minutes.
“To get our first shutout of the season is a testament to our back four and, obviously, (junior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton),” interim head coach Phil Ruskin said. “It’s always a positive when you take advantage of an opportunity to get two home wins in a weekend.”
Hamilton produced five saves on the day, securing the shutout for Cal Poly. Hamilton has now lowered his goals-against average to 1.5, while allowing just one goal in his last 206 minutes on the pitch.
A tactical switch saw junior midfielder Chase Minter occupy a wider role to start the game, similar to the one he played last year. However, after the Mustangs struggled to get the attack going early, he was slotted back into the central attacking-midfield role where he has thrived this year. Minter led the Mustangs on Sunday with four shots.
Chronopoulos’ goal makes him the seventh Mustang to find the net this year in just four games. The plethora of attacking options at Ruskin’s disposal is a main reason for the success of the team this early in the season.
After winning their first two home matches of the season, the Mustangs will close a three-game homestand by hosting Grand Canyon on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.