SAN LUIS OBISPO – Senior midfielder Matt LaGrassa scored in the 18th and 47th minutes to record his first brace in nearly two years as the Cal Poly men's soccer program opened the 2015 season under first-year head coach Steve Sampson Friday evening with a 2-1 triumph versus UNLV inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Cal Poly, opening its season at home versus UNLV for the third time in the past seven years, saw senior midfielder Kip Colvey and junior defender Kody Wakasa both record assists. In his 49th successive start, senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton chalked up three saves.
The Mustangs enjoyed Friday's first attack with senior midfielder Chase Minter firing wide in the sixth, but it was UNLV that had the first look at goal. In the 10th minute, Wakasa was whistled for bringing down a UNLV defender in the penalty area, but Rebels defender Bradley Kamdem fired his penalty attempt wide of the right post.
With the match scoreless, Cal Poly grabbed the game's opening lead on 18 minutes as Colvey picked out LaGrassa from the right side of the penalty area and the Mustang midfielder fired past UNLV goalkeeper Richard Garness for a 1-0 advantage.
UNLV, which outshot Cal Poly 17-9, equalized just 15 minutes later with forward Danny Musovski finding midfielder Kevin Partida, whose shot from the left post crossed the goal mouth and struck the inside of the right post before crossing the goal line.
Cal Poly, however, regained its lead less than two minutes after the restart with Wakasa playing a pass from deep in Cal Poly's own half up to LaGrassa, who latched onto the ball and scored goal No. 2 from 15 yards.
With his two-goal night, LaGrassa improved his career total to 15 to move into seventh spot on the Cal Poly career scoring chart. The brace was also LaGrassa's first since scoring twice during a 6-1 rout of San Jose State on Sept. 15, 2013.
The Mustangs mustered three more shots the remainder of the evening, but Hamilton recorded two saves in the second half to preserve Cal Poly's lead.
Cal Poly continues action and hits the road for the first time in 2015 when visiting Gonzaga on Thursday, Sept. 3. The Mustangs also face Seattle in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday, Sept. 5.