Cal Poly women’s soccer (7-5-1, 1-1-0) earned a hard-fought victory after going into double-overtime against Cal State Fullerton Friday night, but the team finished the weekend by conceding a season-high six goals to Long Beach State at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Sunday afternoon, suffering the worst loss of the 2011 season. The loss was the Mustangs’ first in Big West Conference play and fifth overall on the year.
Senior midfielder Tiffany Gummow scored in the 107th minute of the match to edge Cal State Fullerton 2-1.
A lob shot in space from the left side of the box found its way over the Titan goalkeeper to give Cal Poly its seventh win of the season. The goal was Gummow’s seventh of the season, and her sixth goal in the last five matches.
The match was an offensive affair with Cal State Fullerton outshooting the Mustangs 28-23 on the night. The Titans got on the score sheet first in the 74th minute, but the Mustangs responded with a strike by senior defender McKenzie Orand in the 79th minute. Just under 7 minutes into the second overtime period, it was Gummow’s late game heroics that proved to be the difference.
Junior defender Shandon Rovetta said the team’s second double-overtime win of the season was mentally and physically draining, but that the victory was well worth the effort.
“We got to the second overtime and it was just a battle at that point,” Rovetta said. “Everyone’s tired, and we just tried to work through it, and we kept at it, and we finally got the goal in overtime and it was the greatest feeling.”
On Sunday, Cal Poly could not find an answer to the 49ers’ attack as they allowed four second-half goals on 11 shots. The Mustangs were outshot 19-9 on the day and were shut out for the second time this season.
Rovetta said the team simply did not find the right groove from the start of the match.
“Sometimes you come out and prepare yourself and do everything you can, but the pieces just don’t fall together,” Rovetta said. “I think that’s what happened after they scored a couple of goals, and we just let our heads down. We’ve just got to stay mentally strong and come back in our next game and win.”
The Mustangs found themselves down 12 minutes into the match as Long Beach State’s Nicole Sweetman found the back of the net off a rebound given up by senior goalkeeper Brooke Gauvin in front of the Cal Poly goal.
Long Beach State doubled its advantage 20 minutes later; a well-placed pass from Sierra Mack in the 32nd minute hit Shawna Gordon in stride on the left side of the box where she drilled a shot past Gauvin to give the 49ers a 2-0 halftime lead.
Head coach Alex Crozier credits Long Beach State’s strong start and performance offensively for the lopsided scoreline.
“We came out a little flat,” Crozier said. “We were still living off of Friday’s game. Long Beach State is a good team, they scored a couple of goals in the first half, they were chasing the game and to their credit they deserved to win this game.”
The 49ers extended their lead in the 66th minute when Nadia Link beat Gauvin one-on-one. Link is the Big West’s leading scorer with 11 tallies on the season.
The wheels started to come off for the Mustangs from the 77th minute on. The 49ers scored three more times before full time including a prolific strike by Marysol Rosas in the 87th minute.
Crozier said the team didn’t play to potential on Sunday, and the Mustangs would like to forget about the loss and focus on their next conference match against Cal State Northridge on Friday.
“What we did today was nowhere indicative of what we’re capable of doing,” Crozier said. “We just need to move forward. It’s a matter of taking care of the little things and we just didn’t do that (today). We’ve just got to get it back and not worry too much about what just happened but move forward.”
The Mustangs play their next two matches on the road as they travel to Cal State Northridge (3-6-2, 1-0-1) on Friday, Oct. 7, and to UC Irvine (7-3-2, 0-1-1) Sunday, Oct. 9.