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Early Goals Carry No. 23 Cal Poly to 2-0 Victory versus Sacramento State

Early Goals Carry No. 23 Cal Poly to 2-0 Victory versus Sacramento State

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Juniors Justin Dhillon and Björn Sandberg each found the back of the Sacramento State net inside 21 minutes and senior midfielder Chase Minter (top) equaled the Cal Poly men's soccer program's career assists mark as the 23rd-ranked Mustangs topped Sacramento State at Alex G. Spanos Stadium Wednesday evening, 2-0.

Senior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton chalked up five saves to record his sixth shutout of 2015 for Cal Poly, which outshot Sacramento State 14-9 to improve to 6-0-1 inside Spanos Stadium this season. Now with 16 career shutouts, Hamilton matched Patrick McLain (2007-11) for second place all-time at Cal Poly.

The Mustangs, who have allowed just three goals in their last five home games, lowered their season goals against average to 0.95.

With Wednesday's victory, Cal Poly (9-3-3, 4-1-2) improved to 14 points in the Big West Conference North Division standings and grabbed sole possession of second place, but remained a point behind UC Santa Barbara (10-5-1, 5-2-0). The Gauchos moved to 15 points with a 2-1 defeat of UC Davis (7-7-2, 3-2-2) on Wednesday. UC Davis slipped to third on 11 points and Sacramento State (5-8-2, 2-4-1) stayed fourth on seven.

The top three teams in the Big West North Division standings qualify for the Nov. 7, 11 and 14 Big West Tournament.

Ranked for the first time in two years, Cal Poly visits UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. The match will be televised live on Fox Prime Ticket. Cal Poly won the opening leg of the 2015 Blue-Green rivalry series with a 3-2 home victory on Oct. 17.

Minter forced Sacramento State goalkeeper James Del Curto into two saves inside nine minutes and the Mustangs produced the eventual game-winning goal in the 15th. Minter earned assist No. 1 of the evening after crossing from the right for Dhillon, who allowed the ball to land before firing past Del Curto.

The Mustangs doubled their lead just six minutes later as Minter lined up a free kick for Sandberg, who ran onto the pass and headed the ball past Del Curto. A spring transfer from Oregon State, the goal was Sandberg's first as a Mustang.

With his 21st career assist, Minter matched James Newton (1997-99, 2001) for first place on the Cal Poly all-time chart.

Dhillon forced Del Curto into another of his seven saves later in the first half and Cal Poly tested Sacramento State four more times in the second half with forward Ismail Seremba placing two shots on frame.