Ryan Chartrand

A barrage of second-half shots was in vain for the Cal Poly women’s soccer team in a 1-0 loss to Utah on Sunday. The Mustangs (5-6) outshot Utah 13-4 in the second half but were unable to score despite several close chances.

“We had the ball in their half (the whole second half); they were on their heels,” Cal Poly forward Ashley Vallis said.

The Utes (4-6-2) took the lead in the 24th minute on junior Kelly Isleib’s fifth goal of the season. Isleib made a 10-yard run to the top of the box and took a well-placed shot that went past Cal Poly goalkeeper Coral Hoover.

“They were composed on the ball and we got stretched a little bit,” Mustangs head coach Alex Crozier said.

Trailing 1-0 at the half, the Mustangs controlled the second half, playing the majority in the Utah zone.

“Toward the end we had a couple good quality opportunities,” Crozier said. “We just weren’t able to score the ball.”

One such chance came in the final minute, as junior Carrie Andrews’ header off a corner went past Utah goalkeeper Emalee Rogers and skipped off the top of the crossbar and over the net.

The Mustangs also had their opportunities in the first half.

Late in the first, freshman forward Tiffany Gummow had a shot knocked down by Rogers that drifted tantalizingly toward the goal, but was cleared by a defender just moments before it would have trickled into the netting.

“I really can’t say why we couldn’t get it in the net,” a frustrated Vallis said. “We should – there is really no excuse for it.”

Vallis made several key runs in the second half that ended with a shot, or winning a corner on deflections from her cross attempts.

Cal Poly won seven corner kicks, while Utah had none.

Crozier was happy with Cal Poly’s effort defensively but thinks there’s still room for improvement as the team begins Big West Conference play by visiting Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. Friday.

“We kept them out of the box for the most part of the game,” Crozier said of the Utes. “But they got the one goal and they were able to ride it out. They are a good team.”

Vallis said the Mustangs will continue the aggressive play that led to a 21-12 shooting advantage.

“If we get a good opportunity, but (the shot) doesn’t get on the frames, we’re still going to take it,” she said. “We’re going to take any chances we can get.”

Crozier said Cal Poly especially needs to work on its shot selection before Big West play.

“Two things to work on are taking a little better care of the ball possession-wise,” he said. “We’re forcing it a little bit. Also, just finishing, getting quality shots instead of just quantity.”

Vallis agreed with a sense of urgency.

“Coming into conference, we’re going to work hard all this week to make sure there are no more bad chances,” she said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *