Credit: Emmy Scherer | Mustang News, 2021

Cal Poly men’s soccer dropped their sixth straight game to start the season against Saint Mary’s on Saturday, Sept. 17 by a score of 1-0 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

The Mustangs (0-6-0) had 67% of their possession in their attacking half, but could only muster three shots on target against the Gaels’ (5-2-0) sturdy defense.

The lone goal of the match came in the 16th minute when Gaels midfielder Wade Muttitt received a pass outside the box from midfielder Cade Cowan and promptly slotted the shot into the top right corner.

Despite not scoring, the Mustangs created quality chances, especially in the second half. Junior midfielder Tony Ruiz missed just off the left post, while senior forward Max Kleinhammes had a one-on-one that was saved by Gaels goalkeeper Kash Oladapo.

“Just that little bit of composure in the attacking third of the field,” head coach Steve Sampson said about what they can improve on. “I’m really proud of my team and the growth. Their attitudes have been phenomenal, their attitudes have been great in training and their attitudes tonight were great.”

Four yellow cards were shown, two to each side. Cal Poly saw redshirt freshman defender Oscar Baudey and sophomore forward Ocean Salari receive cautions after reckless challenges from each early in the game, while the Gaels’ Wade Muttitt and Boyd Curry received cards in the second half for time wasting while clinging to the one-goal lead.

Cal Poly will look to bounce back in a big way on Wednesday, Sept. 21 when they host the non-conference leg of the “Greatest Rivalry In College Soccer” against UC Santa Barbara at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 6 pm.

“We’re very excited for Wednesday, it’s going to be a good fight, and we’re going to get a win,” freshman goalkeeper Nicky McCune said.

Coach Sampson echoed this sentiment, saying that “we might be able to do something special on Wednesday night.”