The Cal Poly women’s soccer team kept their Big West Tournament hopes alive with a 2-0 Senior Night win over Cal State Fullerton Thursday, Oct. 19 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
The Mustangs (7-9-1, 2-4-0 Big West) were able to defeat the Titans (9-4-3, 2-2-1 Big West) with two goals that came in the last seven minutes of the game. Cal State Fullerton out-shot Cal Poly 15-11 and won the corner kick battle 7-4.
Most of the match was scoreless, though both teams got several good looks at the goal. The Mustangs got close in the 53rd minute when sophomore forward Jessica Johnson did a stop-and-go move that led to an open shot up the middle, but it was saved by the Titan’s senior goalkeeper Morgan Bertsch. Bertsch surrendered two goals during the game and notched four saves.
Cal State Fullerton broke through the Mustangs defense in the 79th minute when senior forward Maribell Morales got a shot off that was blocked by Cal Poly senior goalkeeper Brittney Viboch, and the deflection was almost kicked in. However, Viboch recovered and was able to make the save. Viboch notched four saves in her final home game for the Mustangs.
It wasn’t until the 83rd minute when Cal Poly found the go-ahead goal. Senior midfielder Megan Abutin found sophomore forward Megan Demijohn on the opposite side of the box. Demijohn retrieved the ball and shot it to the far side of the net to give Cal Poly a 1-0 lead. This was Demijohn’s third goal of the season.
Less than five minutes later, the Mustangs secured the win after redshirt freshman forward Georgina Stiegeler was fouled inside the penalty box, leading to a penalty kick. Abutin took the penalty shot and found the net with just two minutes left in the game.
With this win, Cal Poly avoids elimination from the Big West Conference Tournament. However, head coach Alex Crozier knows one loss will end the Mustangs’ season.
“Every night for us is a playoff game,” Crozier said. “If we lose, we’re out.”
Crozier is focused on taking the rest of the season one game at a time.
“We just need to go in and play well against Hawaii who is a very good team at home with a lot of energy,” Crozier said. “We are going to need to be ready.”
Cal Poly continued their Big West Conference play at Waipi’o Peninsula Soccer Stadium Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. when they tied Hawaii 1-1.