VOTE FOR PRIDHAM FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Senior forward Mackenzie Pridham (right) moved to within one goal of the Cal Poly career scoring record with an 86th-minute equalizer, but the Cal Poly men's soccer program was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with UC Davis on Tuesday evening at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
With Cal Poly trailing 1-0 through 85 minutes, Pridham accepted a diagonal cross from the left side of the Aggies penalty area from freshman winger Justin Dhillon and fired past UC Davis senior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni to knot the scoreline. The goal was the 25th of Pridham's career, placing him one behind Cal Poly career co-leaders Clay Harty (1995-96) and David Zamora (2007-10). Pridham's 12 goals are also a single season career best, eclipsing the 11 he scored last year.
Dhillon, second among Mustangs with six assists, moved up to 22nd among NCAA Division I players.
The Aggies (6-7-2, 2-3-1) forced Cal Poly sophomore goalkeeper Wade Hamilton into his only two saves of the evening inside the opening 16 minutes before producing the game's opening goal on 36 minutes as junior defender Ian Palmer picked out freshman forward Dashiell Macnamara, who scored from 10 yards.
Cal Poly (9-6-1, 2-3-1) was held to one shot on target through the opening 54 minutes before junior midfielder Steve Palacios, freshman winger Ari Lassiter and senior forward Chris Bernardi all tested Zeenni inside a three-minute span. Cal Poly was again held without a shot on frame until Pridham produced the equalizer.
In overtime, Dhillon was stopped at close range by Zeenni in the 94th minute before sophomore winger Chase Minter saw a free kick from the edge of penalty area repelled in the 104th.
Tuesday's draw kept both teams deadlocked for second place in the Big West Conference North Division standings, albeit now on seven points apiece. No. 21 UC Santa Barbara (11-4-0, 6-0-0), 2-1 winners at home against Sacramento State earlier Tuesday, leads the division with 18 points.
The draw was Cal Poly's first in 21 matches, dating to a 1-1 stalemate at Sacramento State on Oct. 12, 2012.
Cal Poly continues its three-match home stand when hosting Blue-Green and central coast rival UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Topping CollegeSoccerNews.com's list of the Greatest Rivalries in College Soccer, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn 10 of the top 32 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history while 11 of the previous 12 matches between the two sides have been decided by a single goal or drawn. Last year's match at Spanos Stadium drew a sellout crowd of 11,075 spectators to match the 10th-largest crowd figure in NCAA regular season history.