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Cal Poly Women's Soccer Falls to Santa Clara on Late Goal, 1-0

Cal Poly Women's Soccer Falls to Santa Clara on Late Goal, 1-0

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Natalie Kennedy scored on a header with just over 10 minutes remaining to lift the Santa Clara women's soccer team to a 1-0 win at Cal Poly on Sunday as the Mustangs finished non-conference play in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Cal Poly's first chance took place almost five minutes in, when a shot by senior Emily Hansen bounced off the crossbar.

Also in the first half, sophomore Megan Demijohn forced a 20th-minute save by Courtney Ogren, before senior Megan Abutin (24') and sophomore Jessica Johnson (31') also placed shots on goal.

Mustang senior goalkeeper Brittney Viboch stepped in front of a Julie Doyle shot in the 73rd minute, keeping the match scoreless.

Play was largely even for most of the afternoon, as both sides finished with 16 total shots, including four each on frame.

The Broncos (5-5-1), coming off an Elite Eight appearance last year, broke through in the 80th minute when Doyle sent a volley from the right side of the box in to Kennedy, who headed the ball into the left side of the net from almost 10 yards for the crucial score.

Cal Poly had a couple more opportunities in the 89th minute, as Ogren saved another Johnson shot, followed by an Abutin corner kick, but the Santa Clara back line didn't allow another shot from there, holding on for the win.

The Mustangs (5-5-1) will stay home to open Big West Conference play, hosting UC Irvine at 7 p.m. Friday before returning to Spanos Stadium to face UC Riverside at 12 noon Sunday, Oct. 1.