SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Goals either side of halftime from senior forward Chris Bernardi and senior defender Connor Drechsler (right) provided the difference on Friday evening as the Cal Poly men's soccer program furthered its winning streak to three successive matches with a 2-0 triumph against San Francisco at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Freshman winger Justin Dhillon assisted on both goals for the Mustangs (5-2-0), who limited San Francisco (3-3-1) to three shots on goal in front of 4,886 supporters. Cal Poly sophomore goalkeeper Wade Hamilton chalked up three saves to earn his second clean sheet of 2013.
Cal Poly was held without a shot on target until senior forward Mackenzie Pridham was stopped by San Francisco junior goalkeeper Chase Hauser in the 20th minute. Mustang sophomore forward Matt LaGrassa tested Hauser twice more during the first half and sophomore winger Chase Minter skimmed the crossbar with a blistering attempt in the 44th minute.
Cal Poly, however, finally broke through 21 seconds from halftime. Working his way up the center of the park, Minter slid a pass toward Dhillon, who picked out Bernardi eight yards from goal. Minter and Dhillon each recorded their third assist on Bernardi's strike, which counted as Cal Poly's 100th goal in the seven-year history of Spanos Stadium.
"Tonight was a fun night for our fans as they saw a good 90 minutes of soccer from us," eighth-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher said. "For the first 30 minutes, it was a process of finding ways to attack and as we did that, some spaces appeared. We scored a very nice, timely goal just before half, which was indicative of the flow of the game."
The Mustangs struck again four-and-a-half minutes into the second half as a cross by senior midfielder Mike Hocker from the right side found Dhillon in the penalty area. Dhillon deflected the ball in front to Drechsler, who notched his second career goal on just his second collegiate shot on target.
LaGrassa, who finished with a match-best six shots, was turned away in the 52nd before Bernardi was halted in the 60th. Mustang freshman winger Ari Lassiter also enjoyed two chances to increase Cal Poly's lead, first thumping a shot off the crossbar in the 68th before being turned aside by Hauser in the 81st.
"I was happy with how we controlled the game in the second half while we continued to create multiple chances," Holocher added. "It was important to get the second goal and it opened the game up even more. I'm pleased with the clean sheet and the overall team performance."
Cal Poly finished with a season-best 25 shot attempts to San Francisco's nine.
Cal Poly concludes its five-match home stand against Yale on Sunday. Match time is scheduled for 1 p.m.