Cal Poly Men’s Soccer suffered their first loss of the Big West Conference 1-0 against UC Riverside on Sunday Oct. 6 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The Mustangs (4-5-2, 0-1-1 Big West) struggled to find a goal in regulation time, resulting in the team’s second double overtime game in one week.
UC Riverside (3-3-8, 1-1-0) registered the first legitimate chance on goal when senior forward Antonio Lokossou broke through the right side of Cal Poly’s defense and fired a shot on redshirt freshman goalkeeper Carlos Arce-Hurtado.
In his first career start for the Mustangs, Arce-Hurtado proved to be a massive asset as he secured 10 saves total, a new record high for Cal Poly this season. However, Arce-Hurtado’s efforts fell short as UC Riverside junior defender Uros Ilic took advantage of a loose ball in the box, propelling it into the back of the net in the 103rd minute of the game.
While the loss was disappointing for Arce-Hurtado, he said he is staying hopeful about the remainder of the season.
“We’ve got to make [the Big West Conference championship],” Arce-Hurtado said. “We’ve got to go for it. Cal Poly has some great players and the goal is always to go for the best.”
Following their defeat, head coach Steve Sampson also expressed confidence in the team’s future. Cal Poly was picked to finish last in the Big West Conference in the preseason coaches’ poll.
“We have to win our games at home, that’s the key,” Sampson said. “Now were going to have to get a win or two on the road, and we can do that. I’m confident that even though the conference season is very young, that we can bounce back from this.”
The loss comes after Cal Poly forced an away draw at No. 16 UC Davis (7-2-3, 0-1-1) on Oct. 3 in the Big West Conference season opener. The match saw its only two goals come in the last 10 minutes of regulation time as both teams battled to find the back of the net. It was senior forward Sean Goode’s equalizing goal in the 83rd minute that propelled the Mustangs defense to hold off the Aggies’ attacking efforts through double overtime. Goode currently leads the team in goals scored with a total of four after Wednesday’s game against UC Davis.
UC Davis (7-1-3) registered four shots against senior goalkeeper Simon Böehme, who is now a vital component of Cal Poly’s team. Böehme, one of the program’s most talented goalkeepers to date, is ranked in the top 30 NCAA Division I players and has only conceded four goals in the last 495 minutes.
Cal Poly’s record advances to 4-5-2, which includes their 1-0 victory in this year’s Blue-Green rivalry game against UC Santa Barbara. Continuing the pattern of being one of Cal Poly’s most anticipated sporting events of the year, the Blue-Green rivalry match sold out Alex G. Spanos Stadium to its maximum capacity of 11,075. The game not only matched the 14th largest regular season crowd in NCAA history, but also earns the title of being the highest attended collegiate soccer game in the United States.
Cal Poly is on the road for their next two conference games, traveling to CSU Fullerton Wednesday, Oct. 10 and to CSUN, Saturday Oct. 13. The Mustangs will return to Alex G. Spanos stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 17 to host Sacramento State.