This story was posted at 11:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, 2008.

The Cal Poly women’s soccer team built momentum leading into Big West Conference play after shutting down Utah State (4-6-1) defensively to secure a 1-0 win Friday.

Mustangs goalkeeper Coral Hoover posted her first career shutout and came up with six clutch saves.

“You can’t ask for much more,” Hoover said. “We know we can do better but we got another win under our belt and it’s nothing but a confidence booster.”

Defender Carrie Andrews scored the lone Cal Poly goal from midfielder Carissa Voegele’s corner kick in the 16th minute. The ball skipped eight feet from the goal into a mass of defenders as Andrews headed the ball into the right corner.

Aggies keeper Ali Griffin could only watch.

“We have been working a lot on finishing set pieces and I went up to the ball and got up to it first,” Andrews said. “We finished goals and found a way to get the win.”

The Mustangs (5-5) still have some “fine-tuning” to do before conference play, head coach Alex Crozier said.

“We were forcing things a little bit and playing a little tentative, which we hadn’t done all season,” Crozier said. “We need to move forward better; we were playing too safe.”

Cal Poly played with intensity and out-hustled Utah State. Yet the Mustangs’ aggressive play got them into trouble as they posted five fouls and a yellow card.

“Our games are pretty physical but we have got to be smarter with our fouls,” Crozier said. “But there is a time to play aggressive and a time to play smart.”

Utah State did not develop any offense until late in the first half when the Aggies’ leading scorer, Lauren Hanson, split two Mustangs defenders and shot from 10 yards out.

The hard-driven ball connected with Hoover’s midsection, which corralled the rebound. There were a combined two shots in the first half, coupled with errant passing.

“Our physical play can really hurt us sometimes and leads to a lot of turnovers and free kicks,” Andrews said. “We need to stay focused and keep our shape defensively.”

Both teams continued to have trouble putting shots on goal in the second half. Aggies forward Shantel Flanary split the defense and fired from five yards out. Hoover thwarted the attempt with a two-handed diving save to her right.

Cal Poly’s best second-half scoring chance was on midfielder Leah Morales’ free kick from just outside the box. The senior drove a left-footed shot just over the top-left corner.

“We need to put ourselves in a position to score goals,” Crozier said as the biggest improvement necessary to succeed in conference play. “We missed some chances around goal but we got to see some players in different positions and got some good experience.”

The Mustangs return to Alex G. Spanos Stadium for their last pre-conference match at 1 p.m. Sunday against Utah.

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