Cal Poly women’s soccer team faced a devastating defeat on Sunday to UC Davis, but the players are keeping their focus on winning their final two games with hopes of sliding into the Big West playoffs.
The Mustangs scored early against the Aggies on Sunday, but UC Davis rallied back and won the match 2-1.
“It was a tough loss,” head coach Alex Crozier said. “We had three or four good looks late in the match. We could have easily had more goals.”
With this loss, the team’s current record is 8-8-1 with a conference record of 2-4.
The team must win the next two conference matchups for them to have a chance of getting into the playoffs.
“We put ourselves in a hole, but a few things need to happen for us to be in the playoffs,” said Crozier. “We need to win Sunday against Pacific, and next Friday against UCSB.”
Tiffany Gummow, middle fielder and communication studies senior knows that this is a “do-or-die” situation for the team. She said the team is still focused, even though she feels some of the team morale was lost after Sunday’s game.
“Honestly, we’re up against the ropes,” Gummow said. “It gives us a lot more drive to work harder and finish the season off with the wins we need.”
The final two games are on the road against teams with records worse than the Mustangs. According to Crozier, Cal Poly plays better on the road then they have at home.
“We do well on the road because we stay focused,” said Sara Lancaster, forward and graphic communication freshman. “It’s our job to go out there and work hard.”
The team has been working hard in practice this week, and Lancaster said the team is still focused and knows what it has to do to keep their season alive.
Currently, the Mustangs are in sixth place, but only the top four teams move on. However, things can change quickly with each team in the conference having two to three more games before playoffs.
UC Irvine currently leads the Big West Conference, facing two teams ranked higher than Cal Poly. Wins for the Anteaters could help move the Mustangs up in the ranks, but Crozier could not emphasize enough how important it is for the team to win these final two games.
He said he has not noticed much change in the morale of the team following the defeat, and said team sprit is still up.
“According to us, we are in the playoffs,” Crozier said. “We’re going out and working hard. Spirits are still high.”
The next women’s soccer game is Sunday in Stockton against the Pacific Tigers, followed by a match Oct. 28 against the rival Gauchos in Santa Barbara.