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Cal Poly Men’s Soccer Draws No. 7 California 1-1 in Exhibition Tuneup

Cal Poly Men’s Soccer Draws No. 7 California 1-1 in Exhibition Tuneup

BERKELEY – Sophomore winger Justin Dhillon (right) placed the Cal Poly men's soccer program in front of No. 7 California with a 27th-minute goal, but the Mustangs settled for a 1-1 draw in their lone exhibition tuneup after conceding a 56th-minute strike to the Golden Bears inside Edwards Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Members of the 2014 All-Big West Preseason Team, Dhillon and junior midfielder Matt LaGrassa both placed shots on target inside the opening 26 minutes before combining to notch the game's opening goal. On 27 minutes, a corner kick from junior winger Chase Minter found LaGrassa, who slid a pass to Dhillon for a tap-in score.

NCAA Tournament quarterfinalists a season ago, California tested Mustang freshman goalkeeper Eric Kam into two saves inside 12 minutes. The Mustangs, however, limited California to just a pair of shot attempts the remainder of the first half to hold the 1-0 advantage at the break.

The Golden Bears eventually broke through in the 56th as sophomore forward Nick Lima fired an unassisted equalizer past Kam. Cal Poly's freshman, however, came up with four more saves to close the match, including a 90th-minute stop of California senior forward Stefano Bonomo to preserve the draw.

Meanwhile, Cal Poly's best chances to go ahead came in the 79th and 83rd minutes, but LaGrassa and Minter were both turned away by California reserve goalkeeper Justin Taillole.

Dhillon led Cal Poly with four shot attempts.

Cal Poly (10-9-2, 3-5-2 last season), which returns eight starters from a 2013 squad that recorded a program-record 43 goals, opens the 2014 regular season with a two-match road trip at Davidson (Friday, Aug. 29) and North Carolina State (Sunday, Aug. 31).

The Mustangs open their 11-match home slate at Spanos Stadium on Friday, Sept. 5 versus Northern Illinois at 7 p.m.