Cal Poly Heads to UC Davis Looking to Secure No. 1 Seed in Tournament
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (pdf)
UC DAVIS PREVIEW
The Cal Poly women's soccer team has already clinched at least a share of the regular-season Big West Conference championship.
The No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament is still up for grabs, though, and the Mustangs will look to earn it in their regular-season finale, at UC Davis at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Cal Poly (6-1-0, 10-7-0) can do its part to lock up an outright title, and the accompanying No. 1 seed, with either a win or a draw versus the Aggies (2-3-1, 5-8-3).
UC Irvine (5-2-0, 10-6-0) is the other team still in the hunt for the No. 1 seed. The Anteaters would need a Cal Poly loss coupled with a win in their own regular-season finale, which is at home against Cal State Fullerton at 2 p.m. Sunday.
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS THIS WEEK: Live statistics to track the match will be provided by UC Davis, on GoPoly.com, at THIS LINK.
Additionally, UC Davis' radio station, KDVS, will provide a broadcast of the game HERE.
A LOOK AT THE MATCHUP WITH UC DAVIS: Senior Ashley Edwards leads UC Davis with four goals this year, while junior Lexi Poppoff has three assists.
Taylor Jern, a junior, has a 1.35 goals-against average and a .772 save percentage.
Elise Krieghoff scored the game-winner in last year's meeting between the two — a 1-0 Cal Poly victory — with a 12th-minute shot off a rebound. Jern sent back three other Mustang shots on goal in last year's game, while Alyssa Giannetti repelled four UC Davis shots on target on her way to earning the shutout.
The Aggies are coming off a 1-0 heartbreaker loss at Cal State Fullerton on a penalty kick (following a hand ball) with 56 seconds remaining in double overtime.
Despite that setback, UC Davis' postseason hopes are still very much intact heading into the match, as the Aggies have two games remaining and only three points separating them from third place.
In somewhat similar fashion to the Mustangs' historical rivalry against UC Santa Barbara, the recent Cal Poly-UC Davis series has been especially close. Five of the past six battles between the two have been decided by no more than a one-goal difference.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The pre-determined host site for this year's Big West Tournament, which will decide the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament berth, is Cal State Fullerton.
The top four teams in the regular-season standings (three points awarded per win; one per draw) will be seeded into the semifinals, which are set for Nov. 7. The championship final will be held Nov. 10 at Titan Stadium.
RAPID FIRE: Cal Poly fans may not want to leave their seats too soon after a Mustang goal.
On nine occasions this year, the Mustangs have netted multiple goals within a 10-minute span (including one 10-minute stretch that saw a three-goal flurry unleashed).
Seven of those times, the goals came at an even faster interval, within five minutes of each other.
Cal Poly leads the Big West in team goals (31).
THE FIRST STRIKE: In all of the Mustangs' 17 matches this year, whichever team scored first went on to win.
Giannetti has been between the posts throughout, and now has a 10-0-0 record this season when the Mustangs score first.
KRIEGHOFF IS No. 1 AGAIN: In the fourth Blue-Green Rivalry match in a row to be decided by a one-goal margin, Krieghoff accounted for both Mustang scores in a 2-1 win at UC Santa Barbara on Friday night at Meredith Field in Harder Stadium.
Her 20 goals rank No. 1 in the country, and represent an ongoing single-season school record. Adding three assists for 43 points on the season, Krieghoff also leads the nation in that category.
Krieghoff's five conference offensive player of the week honors this year amount to a Big West single-season record.
Her 20 goals rank third all-time on the Big West single-season chart, two back of Christy Johnson's 22 netted for North Texas in 1997, and five shy of the record 25 strikes put away by UC Santa Barbara's Krystal Sandza in 2002.
Krieghoff is fourth on the all-time Cal Poly career goals list, with 31. She's one back of Wendy Jones (1992-95) for the No. 3 spot.
FRESHMEN FACTOR: Several freshmen continue to impress in the Cal Poly attack.
On Friday, freshman Kendra Bonsall placed a long pass ahead to Krieghoff to set up her second goal. It was the second assist of the season for Bonsall, who also has two goals.
Fellow first-year forward Megan Abutin, who was named the conference offensive player of the week on Oct. 14, also has four goals and two assists this year.
EVEN SHOOTING NUMBERS: Although the Mustangs have been more efficient in cashing in on their opportunities (15 goals to eight allowed) during the first seven matches, Cal Poly and its Big West opponents had taken an identical amount of overall shots (53) through the first four contests.
While no longer exactly mirroring, that figure is still roughly symmetrical as of one conference match remaining, with a 90-83 shots discrepancy for the opposition. Within that ratio, the aggregate shots-on-goal comparison is even closer, at 40-38.
MORE MUSTANGS IN THE RECORD BOOK: The Mustang defense, which has alternately featured Cristina Farrington, Braelyn Fetsch, Allie Begin, Jordan Ansara, Robin Mertens and Jordyn Zander, combined to shut out three of the first four opponents this season. It was the first time since 2003 that the Mustangs had imposed clean sheets at that rate during the opening four games.
Bolstered by a combined seven saves from Giannetti in wins over Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton, the Mustangs' six total shutouts equal the most the team has reached in three seasons.
With 36 starts and appearances to her credit, Giannetti is No. 8 all-time in program history in each category among goalkeepers. Having made 199 career saves, she's now tied for No. 4 on that list with Greta Shirdon (2000-03).
With six assists on the season (No. 2 in the Big West), senior midfielder Kacey Held needs just one more to tie five others for the fourth-most in a single season in school history.
Junior midfielder Sara Lancaster (with 33 points) is six points shy of joining the all-time Cal Poly top 15 in career totals.