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Cal Poly to Host UCSB for Blue-Green Rivalry Match Thursday Night

Cal Poly to Host UCSB for Blue-Green Rivalry Match Thursday Night

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's soccer team will host UC Santa Barbara in the Blue-Green Rivalry on Thursday night, kicking off at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 7 p.m.

The Mustangs (6-8-1, 1-3-0) and Gauchos (10-2-1, 1-1-0) each have three points in the Big West Conference standings, for eighth and seventh place through the initial two weekends of play. The top four regular-season finishers ultimately advance to the conference tournament, hosted by Long Beach State from Nov. 3-6.

Cal Poly, looking to snap a three-game losing stretch and improve to 6-2-0 at home, enters the third week three points back of the fourth and final bid, currently held by Hawai'i (against whom the Mustangs own the head-to-head tiebreaker).

UCSB is led by junior Amanda Ball with nine goals, while sophomore goalkeeper Brittney Rogers has a conference-best 0.4 GAA to go with seven shutouts. Cal Poly leads the all-time rivalry 15-8-4.

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.

BONSALL SCORES AGAIN: Mustang senior midfielder Kendra Bonsall recently scored her fifth and sixth career goals in a three-game span, first tallying the game-winner in the 69th minute of the 2-1 victory over the Rainbow Wahine on Sept. 30 and then recording the equalizer in a 2-1 loss at Long Beach State on Oct. 6.

Now having made 57 career starts, Bonsall is tied with Carolyn Schifftner (1998-2001) for the 25th-most in school history. The squad's active leader in career matches (67) and minutes (4,835) played, Bonsall also assisted on sophomore Caitlyn Kreutz's sixth-minute goal in the 2-1 win vs. Seattle on Sept. 25.

Bonsall was also named the Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week on Aug. 29 and made the Marquette Invitational All-Tournament Team on Sept. 18.

MUSTANGS AMONG BIG WEST LEADERS: Kreutz begins the 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 also tied for eighth in the NCAA combined-points category (11).

Fellow sophomore Chelsea Barry, meanwhile, is also ninth in the conference with three assists.

Additionally, freshman goalkeeper Sophia Brown leads the conference in saves, with 71 stops, including two while facing penalties (at No. 18 Cal on Aug. 19 and Marquette on Sept. 16). Brown's 1,380 minutes in goal rank No. 2 in the Big West and No. 15 nationally.

UNDERCLASSMEN LEAD ATTACK: All but two of the Mustangs' 16 goals have been scored by either freshmen or sophomores (along with accounting for 14 of 17 assists).

In addition to Kreutz and Barry, sophomores Stephanie Magellan, Kelly Kessloff, Ashley Kirchick and Macy Vrabel have combined to contribute six goals plus four assists, while true freshmen Jessica Johnson, Megan Demijohn and Jordan Patane along with redshirt freshman Lexi Marietti, have added four goals and four assists.

Meanwhile between the middle third and back line, alongside Bonsall, senior Nicole Wheeler (No. 2 on the roster with 58 career appearances) and junior Emily Hansen (50) have led the Mustang defense to three shutouts this season. Wheeler and Hansen, co-captains with senior midfielder Breanna Rittmann, also have one assist apiece in 2016.

CORNER CONNECTIONS: Cal Poly has scored three times off corner kicks this fall, twice on headers, as well as once via a free kick into the box. The Mustangs have a 78-65 advantage in corners for the year (including 51-38 in second halves).

Cal Poly, third in the conference in the set piece, has allowed more corners to the opponent just three times in 15 games.

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 finishing her rookie year, having started all 19 matches for Arna-Bjørnar FC in Norway. Arna-Bjørnar, which improved to 21 points on Oct. 9 (at 6-10-3 for eighth in the Toppserien table) as Giannetti shut out Medkila IL in a scoreless draw, has three remaining matches scheduled through Nov. 5.

Giannetti (who made a school-record 380 saves from 2012-15) now has six shutouts as a first-year pro.