The Mustangs have now won three straight Big West matchups. Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2022

Cal Poly women’s soccer took down UC Riverside by a score of 1-0 on Thursday, Oct. 13 at UCR Soccer Stadium.

The Mustangs (7-6-1, 4-1-1 Big West) picked up their third straight conference win and moved into a share of second place in the Big West with the win over the Highlanders (2-5-7, 0-3-3 Big West).

The match was a close one throughout, especially in the first half. Cal Poly found themselves on the attack quite often, and this aggressiveness led to four offside calls in the half compared to the Highlanders’ one. 

Despite this, Riverside and Cal Poly still matched each other virtually stride-for-stride, and both experienced their fair share of missed opportunities in the half, particularly during the first 15 minutes. After the Mustangs received their second onside call of the game in the 14th minute which prevented them from taking the lead, they were saved from a 1-0 deficit in the 16th minute, as Riverside was also called offside

While that was as close as either team got to scoring the rest of the half, they weren’t without their chances. 

The Highlanders had the game’s momentum on their side for the first 18 minutes, and despite their continued attempts to capitalize, the Mustang defense stood strong on multiple occasions, drawing four fouls and limiting the hometown squad to just three shots. 

Offensively, the Mustangs couldn’t capitalize on any momentum of their own. None of the six Mustang shots found the net, and so the score remained a scoreless tie going into the break.

The second half played out much like the first, with the Mustangs controlling possession and pace. This time, however, the Mustangs were able to successfully capitalize on their momentum and break the deadlock thanks to sophomore midfielder McKenna Carbon’s first goal of the season in the 53rd minute, following a ball into the box from the right side.

From there, it was all Mustangs the rest of the way. Even with just the one goal, Cal Poly still dominated on both sides of the ball, keeping the score at 1-0 to clinch their third straight shutout victory and second straight road win.

On the stat sheet, the Mustangs finished with just three fouls compared to the Highlanders’ 10, took seven corner kicks to UCR’s three and allowed just one shot in the second half while firing off five of their own.

Cal Poly sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Samuel was perfect on the night, going 3-for-3 in save opportunities.

The Mustangs will look to move into sole possession of second place in the Big West when they visit Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. at Titan Stadium.