Cal Poly women's soccer forward Elise Krieghoff participated in the U.S. Soccer Under-23 Women's National Team training camp this month. | Ian Billings/Mustang News

Ian Billings/Mustang News

Sophomore forward Elise Krieghoff lept into the history books this weekend as she tied Cal Poly Hall of Famer Kolleen Kassis’ all-time record of 15 goals in a single season. Krieghoff scored twice against UC Irvine on Sunday, but the Mustangs fell 4-3.

Colin Patterson

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In the 1992 Cal Poly women’s soccer season, Kolleen Kassis scored a staggering 15 goals as a freshman. As conference play begins, sophomore forward Elise Krieghoff tied that record as she scored two goals in a 4-3 loss to UC Irvine on Sunday.

Despite the performance, Cal Poly (5-7, 1-1 Big West) lost its second home game of the season as the Anteaters rallied past the Mustangs using an offensive outburst.

“One of the things we were concerned about was coming out flat,” head coach Alex Crozier said.

In last year’s match, the team came back after a slow start to win 2-1 in overtime. Although the Mustangs outscored Irvine (6-5, 1-1) in the second half of this year’s contest, they were unable to come back from a 2-0 halftime deficit.

“UC irvine is always a fight,” Krieghoff said. “I knew we just had to come in as strong as we did against Long Beach and we just had to compete as a team.”

Two days after Cal Poly’s 2-0 win in their first conference game against Long Beach State (7-5, 1-1) at home, the Mustangs were a little worn down and unable to get the boost they needed, according to Crozier.

“It’s tough to come back and play really well right away,” he said. “Early on we gifted them a couple goals, not really paying attention on the free kick.”

Irvine’s first goal came in the ninth minute by Zoya Farzaneh and then, four minutes later, a free kick went straight to Cami Privett who quickly netted the opportunity.

Regardless of the goals, Cal Poly’s sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti had an impressive save on a cross by UC Irvine later in the half.

“Both teams knew it would be a battle coming in,” Giannetti said. “We knew they were coming out hungry to get back at us from last year.”

With five minutes left in the half, UC Irvine’s goalie, Corey Tobin, was injured and taken out of the game. Cal Poly got a chance to turn the momentum around and take control of the game, but with the clock counting down, the team struggled to get any shot off on the new goalkeeper.

After being held without a goal in the first half, the team came out of the locker room ready to attempt a repeat of last year. The Mustangs proved that they were still a threat when Krieghoff scored her first goal 30 seconds into the half off a free kick.

Then, early in the 51st-minute Krieghoff scored her record-tying goal from 12 yards out with an assist from midfielder Sara Lancaster. With six more conference games left in the season, she has time to extend the record past Kassis’ from 1992.

“We got a little better rhythm going and scored a couple great goals early,” Crozier said. “We tied it up and then, boom, they scored again.”

Within a minute after the Mustangs’ equalizer, a header by Laura McGrail slipped by Giannetti into the left corner of the Mustangs’ goal.

The game winning goal for UC Irvine was put in by Jasmine Nickelberry from 25 yards out into an open net.

Having lost six of seven away games, the team is looking to get a better start against Cal State Northridge on Thursday.

“The character and resilience of the team is great,” Crozier said. “We just have to eliminate the little errors that we pay for that give up goals.”

The Mustangs were able to close the game on a positive note with a late goal by forward Sara Epps to bring the final score to 4-3.

“I think we need to come out with a stronger sense of motivation,” Giannetti said. “Knowing that we need to do it for 90 minutes and not just 45 or wait for them to score.”

Cal Poly will travel to Northridge for their first away conference game on Thursday, Oct. 10.

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