SANTA BARBARA – Second-half goals 10 minutes apart from UC Santa Barbara forwards Sahid Conteh and Kaya Fabbretti accounted for the difference Saturday evening at Harder Stadium as the Cal Poly men's soccer program fell in its 2018 season finale, 2-0.
In his last collegiate appearance, senior goalkeeper Simon Boehme (above) chalked up six saves for Cal Poly (5-9-2, 1-5-1), which was previously eliminated from Big West Conference Tournament contention after UC Davis defeated Sacramento State, 1-0, earlier Saturday.
Saturday's loss snapped a four-year unbeaten run for Cal Poly inside Harder Stadium. The Mustangs entered play Saturday afternoon having drawn in their last four visits to UC Santa Barbara.
Saturday's attendance figure of 7,318 marked the first time since 2009 that a match between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara did not produce a five-figure crowd. The 7,318-fan figure, however, is the third highest attendance mark in the nation this season and 49th largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA regular season history.
Neither side registered a shot attempt on Saturday until Boehme turned away Gaucho defender Jan Ilskens in the 15th minute. Boehme then pulled a line drive headed for the left post out of the air off the boot of UC Santa Barbara midfielder Axel Mendez in the 28th.
Held without a shot attempt until junior midfielder Diego Alonso fired wide on 22 minutes, Cal Poly produced its first shot on target in the 30th with senior forward Jared Pressley thwarted by Gauchos goalkeeper Ben Roach.
Boehme returned in the second half to record his third save in the 50th, but the Gauchos found the opening goal a minute later. Scoring his first of 2018, Conteh took a pass from forward Thibault Candia from the right side of goal and fired past Boehme for the 1-0 lead.
UC Santa Barbara then doubled its lead 10 minutes later as Candia played a pass into the penalty area for Fabbretti, who scored with a grounder near the right post.
The Mustangs produced five shot attempts during the second half, though none were on target.
Saturday's match marked the final appearance in a Cal Poly uniform for five Mustang seniors. Boehme (2014-18) departs ranked third in Cal Poly program history with a .771 save percentage and fifth with a 1.33 goals against average. The most capped player on Cal Poly's 2018 roster, Pressley (2015-18) played his 65th match for the Mustangs Saturday and leaves with five career goals and four assists. Defender Nick Carroll (2014, 2016-18) started 44 of 57 games for Cal Poly during his career. Cal Poly's leading scorer in 2018 with seven goals, forward Sean Goode (2017-18) was an 11-time scorer for the Mustangs in his two years. Midfielder Jose Rivera (2017-18) led Cal Poly with three assists in 2018 and appeared in 31 of a possible 34 matches during his two seasons.