Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2022

Cal Poly men’s soccer narrowly lost to UC San Diego 4-3 on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Triton Soccer Stadium.

The Mustangs (1-10-3, 1-2-3 Big West) dropped their second game of Big West play, while the Tritons (7-6-2, 3-3-0 Big West) improved their win count to three. 

After falling behind by four goals after the 31st minute, the Mustangs attempted a late comeback buoyed by the first career goals of sophomore forward Jackson Kestler and freshman defender Oscar Baudey

The Tritons jumped out to an early advantage, scoring two goals within the first ten minutes of the contest. The Mustangs tried to answer back but could only manage one shot on goal during the first half. 

UC San Diego added on two more unanswered goals in the 31st minute to extend their lead to four at the end of the first half.

The Mustangs came out of the gates with renewed energy at the start of the second half. Cal Poly immediately tested UC San Diego’s halftime substitute goalkeeper Dylan Huy as Baudey netted the first goal in the 50th minute off an assist by sophomore defender Sebastien Maza.

Kestler kept the momentum going with another goal in the 61st minute from a pass by sophomore forward Ocean Salari

A second goal netted Kestler a brace in the 82nd minute from sophomore midfielder Andrew McGee, his first career assist. The Mustangs then trailed by a single goal, 4-3, heading into the final stretch of the contest.

A last-ditch effort by Kestler was denied by Huy and Cal Poly was unable to overcome the deficit. 

Overall, the Mustangs held the advantage with 10 shots on goal compared to four by the Tritons. Cal Poly could not capitalize on its chances, while UC San Diego made good on theirs.

The Tritons’ defense was also stifling, with seven saves while the Mustangs managed zero.

With the loss, Cal Poly fell to seventh place in the Big West and now stands on the outside looking in for the Big West Tournament, trailing sixth-place UC San Diego by three points.

The Mustangs will continue conference play against Sacramento State on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 7 p.m.