The Cal Poly men’s soccer team (2-3-1) fell to Loyola Marymount (4-3-0), 4-1, Thursday night in Cal Poly’s lowest offensive output of the season.
Cal Poly tied their lowest shot attempts of the season with nine total and only three in the first half. LMU was able to take quality shots, with Cal Poly giving up the second most shots attempts (19) and the most shots on goal (11) of their season.
Senior David Zamora, who leads the team in shots (15), shots on goal (8) and assists (2), was unable to get any shots off against LMU.
“They had a good game plan and they executed well,” Zamora said. “We came out short. We couldn’t execute what we’ve been practicing and didn’t create that many chances. Offensively it was really frustrating; we weren’t sharp enough. We need to improve on that and hopefully be able to do better next time.”
LMU’s first goal of the game came in the 12th minute when, off of a throw in, Logan McDaniel centered the ball to Jonas Reiter who headed the ball into the right corner of the net, just a few yards away from goal.
Phil Da Silva scored his second goal of the season in the 35th minute for LMU when he made a breakaway chase for a loose ball rolling towards the goal, contested by Cal Poly keeper Brett Finkelstein. As Finkelstein dove to breakup the play, the ball deflected off of Da Silva and over Finkelstein’s head, setting Da Silva up with an open goal.
The deficit would only grow when less than two minutes into the second half, Artur Jozkowicz one-timed the ball off of a header from Vincent Ocampo into the bottom right corner of the net.
Despite their three-goal deficit, Cal Poly showed resilience. Defenseman Cameron Walters earned a save for his team by deflecting an open goal shot taken by Da Silva while Finkelstein was out of the net. Finkelstein was able to reposition himself and make a diving save seconds later, punching away another shot on goal from McDaniel.
Shortly after, in the 58th minute, Cal Poly scored their first goal. Freshman Justin Hill, who was heavily defended while he had possession of the ball, passed to junior Jake Hustedt on the right wing. Hustedt shot the ball into the far left side of the goal for his first goal of the season.
But LMU halted any sort of Cal Poly comeback when Jozkowicz scored his second goal of the game on a deflection off a Cal Poly defender just eight minutes later.
The fourth goal sealed the game for LMU, tying the most goals scored against Cal Poly in Alex G. Spanos Stadium since a 4-3 loss against Portland in 2007. The three-goal deficit is Cal Poly’s worst loss in the 30 home games they have played in the new stadium. Cal Poly had previously been unbeaten in their last eight regular season games at home.
Sophomore goalkeeper Finkelstein gave up four goals and had six saves in his first start of the 2010-2011 season.
Chris Bernardi, a sophomore and transfer from LMU who is one of five Cal Poly players with a goal this season, said there was no love lost between him and his old teammates.
“I got a lot of respect for those guys … and they respect me too. It was good to play against my old team, and I had a lot of fun playing against my old teammates,” Bernardi said.
Despite Cal Poly’s loss to LMU, Bernardi said he is much happier with his new team.
“I transitioned well here … I fit in perfect here. It’s a different style of play, and I believe it’s a better style of play,” Bernardi said. “Everyone has accepted me here and I’m having a great time here … The coaching staff is awesome and the team is great. I couldn’t ask for anything better.” .
Head Coach Paul Holocher said he was disappointed in how his team played but has his mind set on the Big West Conference games which begin on Oct. 2 at UC Riverside.
“Tonight against LMU was an example of a very poor performance and not doing a good enough job in critical situations. We’ve got to go back and figure this out, and figure this out quickly before conference,” Holocher said.
Loyola Marymount was able to break their 3-game losing streak, while leaving Cal Poly defeated in their last three games.
“We’ve got to bounce back from what we’ve been doing right now. We’re going to come back. We’re going to do really well in the Big West,” Bernardi said.
Cal Poly’s next game against Cal State Bakersfield on Sept. 29 will be their last non-conference game of the season.