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Cal Poly Takes Big West Conference Road Trip to UC Irvine, UC Riverside

Cal Poly Takes Big West Conference Road Trip to UC Irvine, UC Riverside


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's soccer team will continue Big West Conference play on the road this weekend, first visiting UC Irvine at 7 p.m. Friday and then traveling to UC Riverside for a 1 p.m. kickoff Sunday.

The Mustangs (6-8-2, 1-3-1) are coming off a 1-1 draw against UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 13, moving to four points in the standings.

The top four regular-season finishers ultimately advance to the conference tournament, hosted by Long Beach State from Nov. 3-6. In eighth place with three games remaining (nine potential points), Cal Poly is three points back of both UCSB and the Anteaters (10-5-1, 2-1-1), who enter the week tied for the fourth postseason bid.

UC Irvine is led by the conference's co-leading scorer, junior Kiana Palacios, with nine goals (plus five assists), while freshman keeper Maddie Newsom has posted seven shutouts. Last year's 2-0 home win over UCI gave the Mustangs an 18-8-2 advantage all-time vs. the Anteaters.

The Highlanders (3-10-3, 0-5-0) feature senior Tayler Dragoo (four goals & one assist) up top, while junior Alanna Guzman leads the conference in saves per game (5.25). UCR topped the Mustangs 2-0 on the road in 2015, improving to 3-8-4 vs. Cal Poly all-time.

FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Links to live stats and tickets for this weekend's games can be found above, on the schedule page at or through the GoPoly Front Row app.

The Mustangs will be back home for Senior Day on Sunday, Oct. 30, hosting UC Davis for a 2 p.m. kickoff in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Admission is free for Cal Poly students.

For the general public, tickets can be bought at, 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.

BARRY BLAST UP FOR NATIONAL GOAL OF THE WEEK: Mustang sophomore Chelsea Barry scored in the 82nd minute of the Blue-Green Rivalry match against the Gauchos, blasting a free kick from 35 yards far-post over the extended diving reach of Brittney Rogers.

Barry's strike is one of four candidates for the national Goal of the Week, along with goals by Jennifer Westendorf of Notre Dame, Pablo Pelaez from San Diego State and Brandon Medina of Northwestern.

Fan voting is open through 12 noon Wednesday.

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 Hawai'i on Sept. 30 and then recording the equalizer in a 2-1 loss at Long Beach State on Oct. 6.

Now having made 58 career starts, Bonsall is tied for the 22nd-most in school history. The squad's active leader in career matches (68) and minutes (4,903) played, Bonsall also assisted on sophomore Caitlyn Kreutz's sixth-minute goal in a 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 this week tied for seventh throughout the Big West in goals, with four. Adding three assists, the conference's offensive player of the week on Aug. 29 is also tied for eighth in the NCAA combined-points category (11).

Additionally, freshman goalkeeper Sophia Brown is No. 3 in the conference in saves per game (4.8), with 77 total — including two while facing penalties (at No. 18 Cal on Aug. 19 and Marquette on Sept. 16). Brown's 1,490 minutes in goal rank No. 23 nationally.

CORNER CONNECTIONS: Cal Poly has scored three times off corner kicks this fall, twice on headers (as well as once via a free-kick served into the box). No. 4 in the Big West in the set piece (with 78 this season), Cal Poly has allowed more corners to the opponent just four times in 16 games.

CROZIER SURPASSES CENTURY MILESTONE: The victory over the Rainbow Wahine on Sept. 30 was the 100th career Big West win for 25th-year head coach Alex Crozier, the conference's all-time wins leader.

At 278-167-49 overall, Crozier ranks 31st nationally in coaching victories in NCAA history.

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

In addition to Kreutz and Barry (one goal & three assists), 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 squad with 59 career appearances) and junior Emily Hansen (51) 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.