Junior forward Mackenzie Pridham scored a game-winner — his second goal of the match — to give the Cal Poly men’s soccer team a 3-2 overtime win over UC Irvine on Sunday, splitting its weekend matchups inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Looking to rebound after their second conference loss to Cal State Northridge on Friday night, the Mustangs (7-5-0, 2-2-0 Big West) opened up their match with UC Irvine (3-9-1, 2-2-0) in aggressive fashion. Pridham pulled a ball just wide left in the eighth minute before freshman midfielder Ruben Duran slotted home his first career goal in the 16th minute to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
Duran received a pinpoint pass over the top from Chris Gaschen for a one-on-one opportunity with Anteaters goalkeeper Michael Breslin. He slipped a shot past the diving keeper to put Cal Poly in control early.
“I knew I had to get forward, and once I saw the winger Chris Gaschen get the ball, I ran off and made a diagonal run,” Duran said. “He played me and I was one-on-one with the keeper and put it away.”
Cal Poly held off the Anteaters’ attack the rest of the first half, allowing three shots in the frame, but UC Irvine equalized in the 55th minute when forward Cameron Iwasa took a pass from midfielder Gor Kirakosyan in the box and slotted it home.
Pridham helped the Mustangs regain the lead when he slid a shot home in the 72nd minute. Pridham received a pass from midfielder Mike Hocker on the flank that the junior scored on in front of the net.
UC Irvine tied it again when Iwasa and Kirakosyan hooked up for the second time on the afternoon to make it 2-2, ultimately sending it into overtime.
But the Mustangs took control in the extra period when redshirt freshman midfielder Chase Minter sent a cross from the left side of the box to a streaking Pridham in the midfield. He slotted home the game winner on the goal line to send Cal Poly to its second victory in its past nine games against the Anteaters.
“I’m pleased with the guys and how they responded in that overtime and how they came out with a lot of energy and desire,” head coach Paul Holocher said. “They were rewarded for it.”
Friday, Oct. 5
The Mustangs lost to Cal State Northridge on Friday night after Matadors sophomore Sagi Lev-Ari scored a 21st minute goal that proved to be the game-winner.
Sophomore goalkeeper Chase Hauser misplayed a ball in the penalty area where Lev-Ari poached it and sent the miscue into the back of the net.
The Mustangs failed to find the equalizer the rest of the night, but they weren’t without opportunities.
Pridham, the team’s scoring leader this year, saw a shot stopped in the ninth minute by Matadors goalkeeper Michael Abalos.
In one of Cal Poly’s best goal scoring opportunities on the night, Gaschen rifled a shot off the post in the 78th minute. Gaschen dribbled through the heart of the Cal State Northridge defense, but was stonewalled by the goal frame to preserve the 1-0 win for the Matadors.
“Friday night was a tough one,” Pridham said. “We clearly dominated the possession. They didn’t really have the ball and we had plenty of options, we just couldn’t quite get it away. We had a little lapse at the very beginning and that was enough to beat us.”
The women’s soccer team scored three goals in the second half of Sunday’s game to defeat Long Beach State 4-3 in double overtime. The come-from-behind win marked the women’s fourth consecutive conference victory.
In the 70th minute, Elise Krieghoff scored her seventh goal of the season. Sara Epps, three minutes after Kreighoff scored, shot a ball that deflected off the goalkeeper and into the net, tying the game at 2-2.
Epps, in the 82nd minute, gave Kreighoff an assist, who proceeded to shoot it past the goalkeeper, making the score 3-2.
After Long Beach State responded with another goal and tied it at 3-3, the match proceeded to double overtime until Epps, once again, scored for the Mustangs. It was Epps’ second goal of the game and also her second game-winning goal this season.
The Mustangs continued their win streak on the road Friday with a 2-1 overtime victory over UC Irvine before defeating Long Beach State on Sunday.
The Anteaters got on the board first on Friday with a 55th minute strike by Natalia Ledezma, as UC Irvine forced freshman goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti into three saves off 10 total shots in the opening period.
The Mustangs couldn’t find the equalizer until the 87th minute, when sophomore midfielder Lauren Heer took a shot that skipped off a defender and found the net to knot the score at one.
Just one minute into the overtime period, junior midfielder Jordyn Zander headed a corner home from junior Andrea Zimkowski to give Cal Poly the win.
After the come-from-behind victory against Long Beach State, the Mustangs are now 4-0 in the Big West Conference. They are back at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Friday as they challenge Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m.