PORTLAND, Ore. – Junior defender Eddie Melgoza's first career goal in his 22nd collegiate match provided the Cal Poly men's soccer program a 33rd-minute lead at Portland Monday evening, but the strike was undone by an own goal and an 80th-minute, game-winning header from Pilots forward Benji Michel as the Mustangs dropped a 2-1 decision at Merlo Field.
Senior goalkeeper Simon Boehme finished with four saves for Cal Poly (1-2-1), which was outshot, 11-10, after Portland (3-0-1) created eight second-half chances.
Boehme chalked up his first save in the 14th minute on the game's first shot on target, turning away Michel.
The Mustangs were limited to just one attempt during the opening 22 minutes. During a 12-second sequence inside the 23rd, however, senior forward Sean Goode elicited a save from Pilots goalkeeper Kienan Weekes and sophomore midfielder Emmanuel Perez saw his second attempt blocked by a Portland defender before Goode struck the cross bar.
Having outshot Portland, 8-3, during the first half, Cal Poly found the back of the net with its second attempt on frame. Producing an assist for the second successive match, Perez fed junior midfielder Diego Alonso, who skipped a pass out left for Melgoza. Having replaced senior forward Jared Pressley just 50 seconds prior, Melgoza (above) – with just his seventh career shot attempt – fired past Weekes into the right corner of Portland's goal.
Into the second half, Boehme picked up his second stop on 53 minutes, kick-saving an attempt by Portland defender R.J. Stretch.
Boehme faced just two more Portland shots in the next 17 minutes, but it was a Mustang miscue that tied the matchup with 20 minutes remaining in regulation. Charging in from the right of goal, Michel shot toward the left post. Sliding across the goal mouth to cut out the attempt, sophomore defender Andrew Forth instead put the clearance into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, Portland found the game-winner through Michel, who headed past Boehme.
Cal Poly's best opportunity to equalize late came in the 88th, but a free kick from senior midfielder Jose Rivera sent into Portland's penalty area was poked around before being corralled by Weekes.
Cal Poly continues its five-game road trip with a Sunday, Sept. 9 visit to Saint Mary's. Kickoff is 1 p.m.