Tom Sanders

The No. 19 Cal Poly women’s soccer team remained undefeated after tying the Washington State Cougars Friday night at Mustang Stadium.

Washington State (5-2-1) attacked early, scoring in the second minute on a corner kick by senior forward Carmen Anderson.

 Although the Cougars were persistent in their attack, the Mustangs (6-0-3) held strong for the remainder of the first half led by solid defensive play from two-time Big West Defensive Player of the Year Sierra Simmons and senior forward/midfielder Sarah Squires.

Aggressive offensive play from senior forward Becky Clark and junior forwards Sharon Day and Kelsey Carroll gave Cal Poly several chances to retaliate, but the Mustangs failed to capitalize and headed to the locker rooms down 1-0 at the half.

The second half had a physical start led by strong play from Clark. An out-of-bounds play during the 59th minute allowed Day to break free from the Cougar defense and chip a pass to Clark, who tied the game 1-1 with a short header in front of the net. The goal was Clark’s fifth score of the season and Day’s third assist.

Both teams made attempts to score during the match’s remaining minutes, but neither could muster a goal.

The Mustangs managed to get a shot on goal during both overtime periods, but both attempts landed in the Cougar goalkeeper Katie Hultin’s hands.

“It was frustrating because that was our third tie and all three times we felt like we could have come away with a win,” Carroll said.

Hultin ended the game with seven saves while Mustang goalkeeper Liz Hill had four. Hill is currently second in the Big West with 39 saves on the season.

Clark led the Mustangs with seven shots, four on goal and Cal Poly’s solo score. Carroll added to The Mustang’s offense with three shots.

Washington State was led by Carmen Anderson, who had two shots and the Cougar’s only score.

“Coming from behind was huge for us,” Clark said. “We don’t usually have the mental fortitude to come from behind.”

Cal Poly coach Alex Crozier was pleased with his team’s play despite earning only a tie.

 “We were playing from behind against a very good team,” Crozier said. “I thought we took it to them, we just didn’t get that second goal.”

At 6-0-3, the Mustangs are off to one of their best starts since the team began intercollegiate play in 1992.

Cal Poly has won the Big West women’s soccer titles the last three seasons, and five times in the last six years.

Last year the Mustangs went 11-3-6 and made an appearance in the NCAA playoffs.

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