Cal Poly men’s soccer came from behind to win over Saint Mary’s by a score of 2-1 on Monday, Aug. 30 inside Saint Mary’s Stadium. 

Cal Poly (1-1-0) senior midfielder Neil Boyal collected two assists in the victory as he found freshman defenders Conner Leber and Jacob Glass in the penalty box off of corner kick set pieces.

Despite a scoreless first 45 minutes, Saint Mary’s (1-1-0) forced a busy half for junior goalkeeper Carlos Arce-Hurtado as they took six shots, with three of them being on target. 

Throughout the half, the Gaels maintained the upper hand on the pitch through applied pressure on the ball, not allowing the Mustangs the space to create chances.

In the 32nd minute, Cal Poly had its first and only goal opportunity of the half as redshirt freshman forward Drew Patterson fired a loose ball in the penalty area over the crossbar. 

Coming out of halftime, Cal Poly was fired up and confident offensively, maintaining possession of the ball and taking two shots within the first ten minutes.

However, Saint Mary’s opened the scoring in the 60th minute as midfielder Jack Vestberg slotted the ball around Arce-Hurtado.

Two minutes later, the Gaels kept attacking and nearly doubled their lead after a crossed ball from a free kick found the feet of a Saint Mary’s midfielder that bounced just outside of the left post.

In the 65th minute, Leber scored the first goal of the season for the Mustangs to even the score 1-1 with a headed ball off a corner kick crossed in from Boyal. 

Cal Poly kept on charging and earned its first lead of the evening in the 76th minute after another headed goal off of a corner kick from Glass, assisted again by Boyal.  

Boyal kept his attacking presence on the field with a curled ball into the top left corner of the goal from a free kick that was saved on the goal line by the Saint Mary’s goalkeeper in the 86th minute to keep the score 2-1. 

Cal Poly ended up with eight shots during the game compared to Saint Mary’s 11, but both sides managed to place five of those on target.

The Mustangs will look to improve their record as they play their next three games at home, facing San Diego State first on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7:00PM. 

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