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Cal Poly Loses First Home Game of Season on Pepperdine Golden Goal

Cal Poly Loses First Home Game of Season on Pepperdine Golden Goal

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's soccer team lost at home for the first time this season on Friday night, as Pepperdine scored in overtime to leave Alex G. Spanos Stadium with a 2-1 victory.

The Mustangs came into the evening 3-0-0 in Spanos Stadium in 2016, including two wins in golden-goal fashion. On Friday, though, it was the Waves (5-3-2) who emerged with the sudden-death outcome, as Bri Visalli ran onto a loose ball at the top of the penalty area following a clearance attempt before blasting a 95th-minute game-winner into an empty net.

It was the second goal of the season for Visalli, an All-West Region honoree in 2015.

Cal Poly, missing three junior and senior starters due to injuries, established a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute when senior midfielder Nicole Wheeler lobbed a pass from the right flank down to freshman Jessica Johnson, who redirected to nearby sophomore Stephanie Magellan for a close-range header. Pepperdine goalkeeper Hannah Seabert leaped to get a hand on the ball, but couldn't turn its momentum.

It was the second goal in a four-game stretch for Magellan, who netted the game-winner against CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 11. All of the Mustangs' 11 goals this year have been tallied by either freshmen or sophomores.

Another Cal Poly sophomore, Macy Vrabel, also placed a shot on frame in the 25th minute. Thirty seconds later, however, Katy Byrne equalized for the Waves — first in the others-receiving-votes category of the latest coaches Top 25 poll — settling a cross from Taylor Alvarado inside the middle of the box to hit a strike that beat the goalkeeper to the right.

Six minutes into the second half, Mustang sophomore Sydney Knauer forced another Seabert save, and redshirt freshman Lexi Marietti also shot on target in the 55th minute (as did Knauer again in the 66th).

Cal Poly had a 9-3 advantage in shots after halftime, with the other attempts also coming from Marietti (on 47') and Knauer (50'), sophomores Chelsea Barry (58' stemming from a corner kick) & Caitlyn Kreutz (77' from another corner), senior Kendra Bonsall (78') and Johnson (79').

The Mustangs also lined up corners in the 28th, 59th and 67th minutes, part of a 6-3 corner kick advantage for the game (as well as 55-39 on the year). Freshman goalkeeper Sophia Brown made a 26th-minute save on Visalli to keep the match level, and also made stops in the 57th, 60th and 87th minutes.

Cal Poly (4-5-1) will continue its three-match homestand by hosting Seattle (4-4-1) at 12 noon Sunday.

Photo by Ray Ambler