A single goal was the deciding factor in Cal Poly Women’s Soccer’s 1-0 loss to Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Oct. 27 inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Despite starting strong and recording eight total shots throughout the game, the Mustangs were unable to capitalize on their chances.
“It was a game of finishing chances,” head coach Alex Crozier said. “I thought especially within the first 15-20 minutes we could’ve had a couple goals and went up early on them.”
Cal Poly’s chance of earning the fourth and final spot into the Big West Tournament relies on the team winning its last two games and on other conference matchups.
The Mustangs (4-10-3, 1-3-2 Big West) caused all sorts of problems for the Titans (11-2-4, 4-0-3) within the opening 15 minutes, with their first chance coming in the 7th minute. A long ball played down the line found sophomore forward Brooke Rubinstein, who beat a defender and sent a cross across the goal line to senior forward Jordan Patane, whose shot was blocked.
Rubinstein was a constant attacking presence and nearly caused another goal just minutes later. Rubinstein created a scoring opportunity for Cal Poly’s leading goal-scorer freshman midfielder Camille Lafaix, but a last second block sent the shot out for a throw.
“We didn’t take the chances that we had, we had a lot of opportunities and unfortunately we couldn’t finish them and I think that really showed in the result today,” Lafaix said after the game.
After the Mustangs’ initial possession, the Titans looked more comfortable in the game. Titan junior midfielder Haley Brown almost scored in the 16th minute through a long range effort that deflected off the crossbar.
Cal State Fullerton capitalized on its pressure resulting in a goal in the 17th minute. A corner kick sent in by Titan senior forward Atlanta Primus ricocheted off a Cal Poly defender and fell at the feet of senior midfielder Sarah Davidson, who fired it home for the 1-0 lead.
The first half ended with Cal Poly fighting an up-hill battle. Crozier sent in five substitutes at once in the 30th minute to try and spark some fight within his team.
Freshman forward Nikki Trucco almost tied the game in the 52nd minute, but it was saved by Titan goalkeeper Noa Schumacher, who made five saves for the 1-0 shutout.
“Every team gets chances and they got a corner kick, finished it, and that was the difference in the game,” Crozier said. “We got to score goals, scoring goals is difficult, but it’s one of those things where sometimes they come in buckets and sometimes it’s a drought.
Cal Poly will host UC Irvine (4-11-1, 3-2-1) on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and UC Riverside (3-12-1, 1-5) on Sunday at 1 p.m.