Cal Poly men’s soccer (5-5-3, 2-2-2 Big West) defeated UC Davis (5-10-0, 3-4-0 Big West) 2-1 Sunday afternoon with early goals scored by the team’s two seniors, David Zamora and Junior Burgos.
With five Big West games remaining and fifth in the overall standings, trailing UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton by four points, Cal Poly went into the game with added urgency.
Cal Poly started strong with an early goal from Zamora in the 10th minute. Zamora scored his second goal of the season off a pass from Burgos which he headed into the left side of the goal.
“I’ve been carrying this weight on my shoulders because I haven’t been able to score as much this season and scoring from a header like that, it was a beautiful goal from a great cross,” Zamora said. “It felt great.”
Zamora, who has been on the verge of breaking multiple Cal Poly soccer records in his senior year, recorded his 58th career point with Sunday’s goal to move past Clay Harty’s record of 57 points and become the Cal Poly all-time point leader. Zamora is still three goals away from tying the Cal Poly record for most goals.
Cal Poly was able to expand upon its lead 10 minutes later, when Burgos nailed a shot from the left side of the goal into the upper right corner. It was Burgos’ first goal of the season, making him the ninth player on the team to score this year.
“The goal reminded me how good of a feeling it is to score a goal, especially at home in front of my family and my friends,” Burgos said. “I hope (the goals) keep coming in future games.”
UC Davis kept pressure on the Mustangs, outshooting them 13-12, but the difference was junior goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who ranks second in the Big West in save percentage (.870). McLain had four saves on the game.
UC Davis scored its only goal on McLain in the 80th minute when Kevin Schulte dribbled around McLain as he came out of the goal box to contest the shot and deposited the ball into the back of the net.
The Aggies managed four more shots but weren’t able to put another one past McLain who had two critical saves in the final seven minutes of play.
Though still in fifth place, the victory puts the Mustangs two points out of third.
“We really needed those three points and this puts us back into the hunt for one of those four conference playoff spots,” head coach Paul Holocher said. “We did exactly what we needed to do today.”
The Mustangs’ next game will be the highly anticipated Blue-Green rivalry match versus UC Santa Barbara Wednesday, Oct. 27 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on the Fox Soccer Channel.
“Against Santa Barbara, we’re facing a different animal,” Holocher said. “As far as the quality of the player, I think they have some of the best talents individually, and as a team, in the country. We’re going to have to go back and come up with a good plan when we face them.”