SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly men's soccer team registered a season-high 20 shot attempts on Sunday afternoon, yielded just five and forced West Virginia junior goalkeeper Justin Holmes into nine saves, but the Mustangs were held to a scoreless draw by the 12th-ranked Mountaineers at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
"I'm proud of our effort today. We created a lot of chances, but we're disappointed we didn't capitalize on any of them," said sixth-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher, whose program completed a five-match home stand Sunday. "However, between how we defended today and the number of shots we had, there are a lot of positives to take. We feel that West Virginia is a quality program that will win a lot of matches this year so to put forth the effort we did today speaks volumes."
Senior midfielder Ryan Anderson opened Cal Poly's afternoon with a shot on target during the fifth minute before the Mustangs began to test Holmes on a steady basis. A yellow card awarded to Mountaineers junior defender Francis Molasoko during the 10th minute provided Cal Poly a free kick 25 yards from goal and Mustang junior forward Benny Estes had a header repelled by Holmes. Estes then saw a second glanced header also saved by Holmes during the 18th.
Cal Poly (2-1-2), which outshot West Virginia during the opening 45 minutes, 10-2, enjoyed its next serious scoring opportunity in the 37th with freshman forward Keegan Smith slamming a shot off the left post. Senior left back Wes Feighner then fired left of the post on an Alex Loeffelman corner kick shortly before halftime.
Held without a shot for the opening 21 minutes, West Virginia forced Mustang senior goalkeeper Patrick McLain into one of his two saves during the 41st as junior midfielder Shadow Sebele was turned away.
The Mustangs produced a further six shot attempts during the second half. Junior center back Patrick Sigler probed forward during the 60th and unleashed a shot from distance that was corralled by Holmes. Sophomore forward George Malki ripped a shot off the Mountaineer crossbar 15 minutes later and, during the 79th, picked out Sigler in the penalty box on a corner. Sigler, however, was stopped by Holmes.
Cal Poly wasted little time attacking the Mountaineer net during the first overtime with freshman defender Chris Fisher having one shot attempt stopped at near point-blank range during the 93rd minute before watching a header sail over the crossbar in the 97th. Malki also fired wide right in the 96th.
During the second overtime, sophomore forward Ian Clark successfully dribbled in on net only to be thwarted by Holmes.
Estes and Malki (above) co-led Cal Poly with four shot attempts apiece. Cal Poly produced nine corners to West Virginia's four.
Cal Poly hits the road for a two-match series at the University of Akron Tournament, beginning with a Sept. 16 contest versus Syracuse. Cal Poly will also face No. 4 Akron on Sept. 18.