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Mustangs Concede in Second Half, Drop 4-3 Season Opener at Davidson

Mustangs Concede in Second Half, Drop 4-3 Season Opener at Davidson

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Juniors Matt LaGrassa and Chase Minter notched their initial goals of the 2014 season and freshman forward Kaba Alkebulan scored his first collegiate goal, but the Cal Poly men's soccer program allowed four second-half scores to Davidson in a span of 18 minutes and fell 4-3 in the season-opening match for both programs on Friday afternoon.

Neither side produced a shot on target until the 25th minute, when LaGrassa – an All-Big West Conference first team selection last year after scoring six times – took a feed from sophomore winger Justin Dhillon inside the penalty area and scored past Davidson junior goalkeeper Matt Pacifici. 

Cal Poly then went up 2-0 on its next shot attempt as Alkebulan – who redshirted his first year on campus last season – gathered an errant Mustang free kick and fired around Pacifici three seconds before halftime.

The Mustangs, who limited Davidson to just one shot on goal in the first half, quickly saw their lead disassembled. Sophomore midfielder Christian Fletcher got the Wildcats on the board in the 47th minute before senior defender John Pace tied the matchup in the 58th. Just ninety seconds later, Davidson sophomore forward Maxi Pragnell tracked down a rebound and placed a shot past Mustang junior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton for a 3-2 lead. 

Senior midfielder Alan Reiter then completed Davidson's four-goal turnaround in the 65th.

Hamilton ultimately chalked up five saves in the second half to keep the game in reach and Minter brought Cal Poly to within one goal of Davidson with an 85th-minute penalty, but the Mustangs failed to produce another attack down the stretch. 

Cal Poly completes its two-game, season-opening road trip when visiting North Carolina State on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 2 p.m. PT.