DAVIS – On the afternoon he became the Cal Poly men's soccer program's career leader with his 80th start, senior defender Kody Wakasa's 91st-minute goal provided his side a 2-1, come-from-behind victory at UC Davis and allowed the Mustangs to stay in position for a spot in the Big West Conference Tournament until the final day of the regular season.
Just 44 seconds into overtime, Wakasa (above) headed a cross from junior forward Adam Olsen toward the left post and past UC Davis substitute goalkeeper Armando Quezada. The shot was Wakasa's only attempt of the game while the goal was just his third in 82 collegiate appearances.
Out of contention for the final Big West Tournament spot without a victory Wednesday, Cal Poly deadlocked the match in the 79th minute as junior midfielder Joseph Bolous picked out junior defender Tony Scimeca with a cross. Scimeca then headed his first collegiate goal in 21 appearances past Quezada.
With Wednesday's victory, Cal Poly (4-9-3, 2-5-2; eight points) moved within one point of UC Davis (7-9-2, 3-6-0; nine points) for third spot in the Big West North Division standings. Cal Poly closes the regular season at home against second-place Sacramento State on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
With the top three teams in the division qualifying for the Nov. 5, 9 and 12 Big West Tournament, Cal Poly has one of two routes into the postseason:
1. If Cal Poly defeats Sacramento State Saturday, the Mustangs need first-place UC Santa Barbara to defeat or draw UC Davis on Sunday, Oct. 30;
2. If Cal Poly draws Sacramento State Saturday, the Mustangs need UC Santa Barbara to defeat UC Davis on Sunday.
Wednesday's victory was Cal Poly first road win of the year and first in nine matches since defeating Sacramento State 4-2 on Oct. 31, 2015.
With his 80th career start Wednesday afternoon, Wakasa surpassed defender Patrick Sigler (2008-11) as Cal Poly's career leader. Wakasa is also Cal Poly career leader with 82 total appearances.
Cal Poly junior goalkeeper Eric Kam recorded three saves against UC Davis.
Outshot Wednesday 15-8 and kept to just two shot attempts during the final 58 minutes, UC Davis scored the opening goal in the 27th with winger Steven Guzman crossing to midfielder Noah Wilson, who headed past Kam from 10 yards.
Cal Poly, meanwhile, tested UC Davis starting goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley twice before Scimeca broke through for the equalizer.