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Cal Poly to Visit Long Beach State on Thursday, Host CSUN on Sunday

Cal Poly to Visit Long Beach State on Thursday, Host CSUN on Sunday

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — After opening Big West play with a split, the Cal Poly women's soccer team will have another home-and-away pairing of conference games this week. The Mustangs will first travel to Long Beach State for a 6 p.m. Thursday kickoff at Allen Field before returning to Alex G. Spanos Stadium to host CSUN at 12 noon Sunday.

Cal Poly (6-6-1, 1-1-0), which began its conference slate by topping Hawai'i 2-1 on Sept. 30 before falling 4-0 at Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 2, is in fifth place in the early standings, with three points. The Titans, the three-time defending Big West Tournament champions, were the only team to win both of their games on opening weekend for six points.

Long Beach State (5-5-2, 1-0-1), which was ranked as high as No. 18 nationally earlier this season, started Big West play with a scoreless draw against UC Irvine before again going to double-overtime vs. CSUN, ultimately winning 2-1 on a 104th-minute golden goal. Ashley Gonzales leads the 49ers with six goals and two assists.

The Matadors (5-3-5, 0-1-1) also opened with a scoreless battle, playing UC Davis to a tie on Sept. 30. CSUN goalkeeper Jovani McCaskill ranks No. 3 in the country in shutouts this year (with nine), while Camille Watson leads the attack with three goals and two assists.

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.

Sunday's game against the Matadors will also be Pups at the Pitch Day, as fans with dogs are welcomed to Spanos Stadium and receive discounted tickets for $5 by using the online promo code: DogDay

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.

KESSLOFF, BONSALL SCORE IN WIN OVER HAWAI'I: Kelly Kessloff scored the first goal against the Rainbow Wahine in the 17th minute, converting a penalty after fellow sophomore Caitlyn Kreutz was taken down inside the box.

Kendra Bonsall then tallied the game-winner in the 69th minute, recording her fifth career goal (to go with three assists since 2013) from the center of the box, assisted by sophomore Stephanie Magellan and redshirt freshman Lexi Marietti.

The game marked the 100th career Big West victory for 25th-year head coach Alex Crozier, the conference's all-time wins leader.

Bonsall also had a role in a goal during the first of back-to-back 2-1 wins, as the senior provided the service on Kreutz's sixth-minute score vs. Seattle on Sept. 25.

KREUTZ, BROWN AMONG BIG WEST LEADERS: Kreutz starts this week tied for seventh throughout the Big West in goals (with four) and ninth in assists (three). The conference's offensive player of the week on Aug. 29 is tied for sixth in the NCAA combined-points category (11).

Additionally, freshman goalkeeper Sophia Brown ranks third in the conference in saves, with 55 stops, including two while facing penalties (at No. 18 Cal on Aug. 19 and Marquette on Sept. 16).

CORNER CONNECTIONS: The Mustangs now have a 67-48 advantage in corner kicks on the year (including 47-27 in second halves). Cal Poly, tied for second in the league in corners, has allowed more of them to the opponent just twice through 13 games.

Cal Poly has scored three times off of corners: a header by 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 another header, by Marietti from freshman Jordan Patane at Marquette.

The Mustangs tallied another set-piece goal 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 launched into the box.

UNDERCLASSMEN LEAD ATTACK: Including Kessloff's PK vs. Hawai'i, all but one of the Mustangs' 15 goals have been scored by either freshmen or sophomores (along with accounting for 13 of 16 assists).

MUSTANGS IN THE RECORD BOOK: Now with 55 career starts, Bonsall is two away from joining the top 25 in school history. She's the squad's active leader in matches (65) and minutes (4,655) played.

Meanwhile, with 11 career goals, Kreutz needs six more to enter the all-time Mustang top 10.

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, senior Nicole Wheeler (No. 2 on the roster with 56 career appearances & 44 starts) and junior Emily Hansen (48 matches played, all but one in a starting capacity) have helped the Mustang defense to three shutouts this season (188 all-time).

Now 5-1-0 in Spanos Stadium in 2016, Cal Poly improved to 138-58-16 at home all-time on Sept. 30.