Cal Poly women’s soccer got their fourth straight win in Big West play by a score of 2-1 against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Oct. 21 inside Harder Stadium
The win, which was the first for the Mustangs (11-6, 7-1 Big West) against the Gauchos (7-7-3, 5-2-1 Big West) since 2014, solidified Cal Poly in first place in the conference with 21 total points.
The match started rather abruptly, as sophomore forward Nikki Trucco scored inside five minutes for the second straight game to give the Mustangs the quick 1-0 lead against their rivals. It was Trucco’s 10th goal this season and her fourth in as many games.
The goal was assisted by junior forward Brooke Rubinstein, who assisted on both Cal Poly scores on the night.
The score would remain 1-0 for the rest of the first half, as neither team could convert their respective chances
Despite Cal Poly outshooting Santa Barbara ten to eight in the first half, the Gauchos went on a 20 minute stretch in which they outshot the Mustangs seven to one. However, freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Samuel held Santa Barbara scoreless in the first half.
Early in the second half, Gaucho forward Claire Grouwinkel converted the equalizer. The 53rd minute goal tied the game up at 1-1
However, sophomore midfielder Camille Lafaix was once again the hero, as her goal in the 59th minute passed the Gauchos keeper and gave Cal Poly the 2-1 lead and the eventual win. The goal was Lafaix’s eighth of the year and Rubinstein’s seventh assist, which is tied for the Big West lead.
The Mustangs currently hold a two-point advantage over Long Beach State in the standings. With wins being worth three points, their upcoming matchup with the Beach will be the most important of the season.
Cal Poly will have a week to prepare for this showdown against second-place Long Beach State on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at George Allen Field.