A late regulation goal by freshman midfielder Camille Lafaix and an overtime penalty kick by senior forward Jordan Patane led the Mustangs to a 2-1 overtime victory over Seattle University on Sunday, Sept. 29 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Solid defense from both teams led to a very slow start to the match as zero goals were scored in the first half. The Mustangs (3-7-1) tallied seven shots in the first half, but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. Meanwhile, Cal Poly’s defense held Seattle (4-6-1) to just one shot in the first 45 minutes.
“We did a good job at keeping them out,” head coach Alex Crozier said. “We created good chances, their keeper was just making saves.”
Just 10 minutes after the start of the second half, Seattle University forward Leahi Manthei found the back of the net off of an assist from fellow forward Jessie Ray. The goal came on a 2v1 breakaway in favor of the Redhawks.
Despite their second half deficit, the Mustangs stayed focused and maintained high energy throughout the match.
“Usually after one goal, as a team, we put our heads down,” Lafaix said. “But this game, we didn’t let this happen and we were super determined to get that next goal.”
The Mustang defense held Seattle to just one missed shot for the remainder of the second half while the Cal Poly offense totaled six shots on the Redhawks.
With the score still 1-0 in the 87th minute, the Mustangs were given a free kick above the left side of the box. Sophomore midfielder Clare Murphy took the kick and delivered a cross onto the head of Lafaix, who converted the header for Cal Poly’s first goal of the game. The goal was Lafaix’s team-leading third goal of the season while Murphy earned her first assist of the year.
“We all knew what we had to do,” Lafaix said. “We felt the momentum and the rhythm was there and all we had to do was put the ball in the back of the net.”
Going into overtime, coach Crozier said the Mustangs not only wanted to limit the mistakes that were made in regulation, but attack on the offensive side as well.
“The main message was to have nothing silly in the back and get in behind [Seattle] and attack on the other side,” Crozier said. “We wanted to end this game early.”
Just three minutes into overtime, the Mustangs were on the attacking third of the field and drew a handball in the box to set Patane up for a golden goal opportunity.
Patane lined up the shot and sealed the victory with her first goal of the season.
“It was our time to win and I knew I was going to put the ball in the top left corner,” Patane said when asked about her game-winning penalty kick. “We are a tough team and we fought through the entire game.”
The Mustangs will look to ride their momentum into Big West Conference play, which begins Thursday, Oct. 3 against Long Beach State at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The game will begin at 7:00 PM.
“We are very excited about conference play,” Crozier said. “We are seen by many as the worst team in the league, so we are ready to prove those teams wrong.”