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Mustang Men’s Soccer Edges Valparaiso in 2012 Home Opener

Mustang Men’s Soccer Edges Valparaiso in 2012 Home Opener

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior forward Mackenzie Pridham's 33rd-minute strike stood as the difference on Sunday afternoon at Alex G. Spanos Stadium and sophomore goalkeeper Chase Hauser registered two saves in the final 10 minutes to preserve victory as the Cal Poly men's soccer team slid past Valparaiso in its 2012 home opener, 1-0.

Cal Poly (2-2-0) forced just one save from Valparaiso senior goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck through the opening 32 minutes until Pridham (above) headed a deflected shot attempt from Mustang junior forward George Malki into the back of the Crusader net from three yards out. The goal was Pridham's second in as many matches after notching the opener during Cal Poly's 3-1 victory at San Jose State on Sept. 2.

At the other end of Spanos Stadium, Hauser – who earned his second collegiate shutout in just his third career start – turned away Valparaiso senior midfielder Jaymie Bullard in the 12th minute. After a goal by Crusaders senior midfielder Kevin Miller was nullified for offsides in the 62nd minute, Hauser made a sprawling stop on an 81st-minute attempt from Todd Vervynckt before halting Valparaiso's junior forward again in the 83rd.

Despite being outshot by Valparaiso, 12-11, the Mustangs enjoyed multiple chances to put Sunday's scoreline out of reach. Senior forward Dakota Collins fired high in the 60th minute before freshman midfielder Chase Minter picked out Malki moments later in the Valparaiso penalty area only to have the sequence thwarted by Zobeck. Collins, who enjoyed a match-leading three shot attempts, then saw a 65th-minute breakaway attempt stemmed by Zobeck.

The Mustangs were whistled offside a season-high seven times during the match.

Sunday's victory allowed Cal Poly to post consecutive wins for the first time since defeating Cal State Fullerton (1-0) and Cal State Northridge (2-0) on, respectively, Nov. 3 and Nov. 6, 2010.

With the win, Cal Poly improved to 30-10-8 in five-plus seasons at Spanos Stadium. The 1-0 scoreline also marked Cal Poly's 23rd shutout at Spanos Stadium.

Cal Poly's five-match home stand continues against Temple on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. The Mustangs also host Army on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.