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Cal Poly to Open Big West Conference Play vs. Hawai'i, Cal State Fullerton

Cal Poly to Open Big West Conference Play vs. Hawai'i, Cal State Fullerton

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's soccer team will open Big West Conference play this weekend against Hawai'i and Cal State Fullerton. The Mustangs will host the Rainbow Wahine at 7 p.m. Friday in Alex G. Spanos Stadium, before traveling to Titan Stadium for a 2 p.m. kickoff Sunday.

Cal Poly (5-5-1) is coming off a 2-1 win over Seattle on Sept. 25, with goals by sophomores Caitlyn Kreutz (in the sixth minute, assisted by senior Kendra Bonsall & freshman Jessica Johnson) and Ashley Kirchick (34', with the service from junior Emily Hansen).

It was the second straight game with an assist for Johnson, as she also set up sophomore Stephanie Magellan for a 17th-minute header in the 2-1 overtime loss to Pepperdine on Sept. 23, finishing a sequence started with a pass from senior Nicole Wheeler.

Hawai'i (7-1-1) features sophomore Raisa Strom-Okimoto with four goals and five assists, while senior goalkeeper Monk Berger has four shutouts.

Meanwhile, junior Tala Haddad leads CSF (3-7-0) with two goals and two assists, along with senior Jennifer Stuart, a third-year starter in goal.

FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Admission to all Mustang home games is free for Cal Poly students.

For the general public, tickets can be bought at GoPoly.com, by calling (805) 756-4849 or by visiting the sidewalk windows at the on-campus Performing Arts Center or Rec. Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

Links to live stats, video and audio broadcasts of Mustang games can be found above, on the schedule page at GoPoly.com or through the GoPoly Front Row app.

KREUTZ AMONG BIG WEST LEADERS: Following her fourth goal of the season, Kreutz starts this week tied for fourth in the Big West in scoring and eighth in assists (three). The conference's offensive player of the week on Aug. 29 is sixth in the NCAA combined-points category (11).

CORNER CONNECTIONS: The Mustangs had back-to-back 6-3 advantages in corner kicks vs. the Waves and Redhawks, part of a 61-42 favorable margin on the year (including 42-22 in second halves).

Cal Poly, second in the Big West in corners through non-conference play (only to UC Santa Barbara's 71), has allowed more corners to the opponent just once through 11 games (Aug. 19 at No. 18 Cal).


The Mustangs have scored three goals off of corner kicks: a header by Kelly Kessloff via fellow sophomore Chelsea Barry in the 2-0 win at Pacific on Aug. 21; a strike off a deflection by Magellan in the 1-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 11; and a header by redshirt freshman Lexi Marietti from true freshman Jordan Patane in the 3-2 loss to the host Golden Eagles at the Marquette Invitational on Sept. 16.

Another set-piece goal was scored in the 1-1 draw with Portland at the Husky Nike Invitational on Sept. 4, when sophomore Macy Vrabel put away a free kick Barry sent into the box.

UNDERCLASSMEN CONTINUE TO LEAD ATTACK: Including this past weekend's scores from Magellan, Kreutz and Kirchick, all of the Mustangs' 13 goals (along with 11 of the 14 assists) so far have come from either freshmen or sophomores.

BROWN STOPS ANOTHER PENALTY: The Marquette match also saw freshman goalkeeper Sophia Brown deny a 63rd-minute penalty kick by All-Big East senior Liz Bartels.

It was the second stopped PK for Brown this season, as she also turned away the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, Arielle Ship, in the season opener against the Golden Bears (part of a 10-save effort that earned her the Big West Defensive Player of the Week award on Aug. 22).

Most recently, Brown made a season-high 11 saves vs. Seattle, giving her 42 this fall.

GREEN & GOLDEN: Cal Poly claimed back-to-back golden-goal victories on Aug. 26 and 28, topping San Francisco 2-1 on a 95th-minute tiebreaker by freshman Megan Demijohn (with the feed from Kreutz) and winning 1-0 over Saint Mary's thanks to Johnson (also assisted by Kreutz, from Kessloff) spoiling a Gael shutout only a minute and 31 seconds into overtime.

Not only was Johnson's tally the second-fastest sudden-death goal recorded in school history; it also represented the first time in four years the Mustangs have won on back-to-back golden goals only three days apart (as well as the first time ever doing so at home).

MUSTANGS IN THE RECORD BOOK: Now with 11 career goals, Kreutz needs six more to enter the all-time Mustang top 10. The Philippines National Team member and 2015 Big West All-Freshman Team honoree owns the seventh-fastest goal in school history (a minute and 12 seconds after kickoff) and the fourth-latest game-winner ever (2:08 from full time).

Meanwhile, the game-winner by Magellan (a Brazil National Team U-20 training camp invitee) against Bakersfield ranks as the ninth-latest regulation go-ahead goal (3:08 to 90') in program history.

Bonsall is the squad's active leader in both career matches (63) and minutes (4,491) played. With 53 starts, she's four away from joining the top 25 in school history. Both Kreutz and Bonsall (the Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week on Aug. 29) made the Marquette Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Between the back line and middle third, Bonsall, Wheeler (No. 2 on the roster with 54 career appearances and 42 starts) and Hansen (47 matches played, all but one in a starting role) have helped the Mustang defense to three shutouts this season.

At 4-1-0 in Spanos Stadium in 2016, Cal Poly — which ranked 20th nationally in attendance in 2015 (averaging 1,201 fans) — improved to 137-58-16 at home all-time on Sept. 25.

MUSTANGS IN THE PROS: Former Mustang forward Elise Krieghoff recently finished her rookie season with the Boston Breakers in the NWSL. She scored her first professional goal on Sept. 11 vs. the Houston Dash, dispossessing Cari Roccaro and beating Lydia Williams in the 76th minute.

The school record-holder for goals (52 from 2012-15), Krieghoff played 143 minutes in six appearances over her debut season, placing two of her three shots on goal.

Former Cal Poly goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti is also in her rookie year, having started all 17 matches for Arna-Bjørnar FC in Norway. In a midseason poll of Toppserien coaches by Kvinnefotball, Giannetti (who made a school-record 380 saves from 2012-15) was voted the league's best keeper through the first half (during which she saved penalties in shutouts of Klepp and Sandviken).

Arna-Bjørnar, which improved to 20 points (on 6-9-2 for seventh in the 12-club table) as Giannetti helped shut out fourth-place Stabaek JF in a scoreless draw on Sept. 24, has five more matches through Nov. 5.