Cal Poly men’s soccer defeated the UC San Diego Tritons 1-0 in a shutout victory to remain unbeaten in conference play on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
“We challenge ourselves to give more intensity than the other team,” senior forward Emmanuel Perez said. “We all came out and did it and we did it for each other.”
With the victory, the Mustangs (4-4-2, 2-0-1) are now tied for first place in the Big West Conference with rival UC Santa Barbara, as both teams currently have seven points.
“We are sending a message to the conference by winning games like this against a very good opponent,” Perez said.
Through their three conference matches, the Mustangs have only conceded one goal.
In the first half, the Mustangs’ defense was stout again as they did not allow the Tritons (4-6, 1-2) a shot until the 37th minute, which was turned away by junior goalkeeper Carlos Arce-Hurtado.
Offensively, the Mustangs had chances to open the match with a goal as Perez hit the crossbar just 88 seconds into the match and senior defender Jackson Brady had a shot on goal that was saved.
At the end of the first half both teams only had one shot on goal, but the Mustangs recorded more total shots than the Tritons by a 6-3 margain.
In the second half, however, the Mustangs turned up their intensity, leading to the game-winning goal by Perez in the 73rd-minute. The goal was his second of the season.
“Since we have put Perez back into the forward line, he has started to score goals for us so he is obviously a critical piece in our success,” head coach Steve Sampson said.
While the Mustangs outshot the Tritons 9-8, they held UCSD to just one goal on target all night.
Cal Poly will look to ride their momentum on the road against the UC Irvine Anteaters on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.