Ryan Chartrand

Cal Poly sophomore forward David Zamora finished Jacob Hustedt’s cross with a one-time header to the corner of the net to finalize a 3-2 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

“Their team has a great goalkeeper so when I saw that cross, I was just like, ‘Get my head on the ball and hopefully I’ll get a goal,’ ” Zamora said of his score in the 103rd minute.

Zamora led the Mustangs with six shots in the contest and the goal was his third of the season.

“David Zamora comes up with clutch goals and he did tonight,” Mustangs head coach Paul Holocher said. “He’s very, very good in the air and it was a beautiful goal.”

The Mustangs (5-2-1), who were outshot 8-6 in the first half and trailed 2-1 at the intermission, managed to produce 20 shots during the second half and overtimes, while the defense limited the Roadrunners (2-7) to 15 shots for the game.

“I think we showed a lot of character to come back from the goal down and to win in that kind of exciting fashion,” Holocher said. “I also feel like we have some things that we definitely need to work on defensively.”

The Mustangs opened the scoring in the 19th minute when freshman forward Wes Feighner took an outside pass from Kyle Montgomery and tapped in a shot from 10 yards out as Roadrunners goalkeeper Steve Trojanowski went to retrieve the ball.

The shot was Feighner’s third career goal and Montgomery’s fifth assist of the season.

The Roadrunners countered with a goal of their own less than five minutes later when Matt Shaxton found a weak spot in the Mustangs defense and passed to Oscar Coppieters, who dribbled in the shot to tie the score 1-1.

Cal State Bakersfield threatened again when Chris Widdy followed up on a back pass to Cal Poly goalkeeper Eric Branagan-Franco. During the play, Branagan-Franco, in an attempt to acquire the ball, fell on top of Widdy, resulting in penalty kick.

“It was unlucky – we just needed to straighten some things out on the back line,” Branagan-Franco said.

Towa Manda took the penalty kick for the Roadrunners and was able to net the shot to the left of a diving Branagan-Franco to put Cal State Bakersfield up 2-1, and show the Mustangs their first home deficit of the season.

“We’ve given up too many goals this year and it’s a concern for us,” Holocher said of the first half. “If you want to be a team that can contend for an NCAA playoff spot, you can’t be giving up this many goals.”

In the 55th minute, Cal Poly’s Daniel Cumming was able to score after hacking through the Roadrunners backfield on a Julian Alvarez pass. Cumming’s shot found the far net and knotted the score at 2-2.

The Mustangs’ attack picked up in the second half, firing off 10 shots from the start of the half to the 70-minute mark.

“The second half we were much more direct and forceful,” Holocher said. “We started playing from the back line to the front line and the midfielders started getting the ball, and instead of knocking square balls around the back, we started looking to get into the box . and the tactic worked because we got 20 shots in the second half.”

Zamora was tripped in the box in the 77th minute, which set up a penalty kick and the potential go-ahead goal, but Jose Garcia, who took the shot, was issued a yellow card when he tried to get in another kick after his shot had already been collected by Trojanowski.

The Mustangs had several other close shots as the game closed in on regulation – including a Zamora shot on goal in the 88th minute and an Alvarez header in the 89th minute that was snagged by Trojanowski.

“We have to have more purpose with our play,” Holocher said. “We have to be able to play more direct and create more chances for ourselves.”

The Mustangs will square off in a road match at Sacramento State at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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