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Cal Poly Continues Home Stand vs. SJSU Thursday, Utah Valley Sunday

Cal Poly Continues Home Stand vs. SJSU Thursday, Utah Valley Sunday

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly continues a three-game women's soccer homestand at Alex G. Spanos Stadium this week, as the Mustangs will host San Jose State on Thursday night and then Utah Valley on Sunday evening. Both matches are set to kick off at 7 p.m.

San Jose State, the defending Mountain West regular-season champion, is led by the conference's 2017 Defensive Player of the Year, senior Darriell Franklin.

The Spartans (0-2-0) also feature junior forward Jamilecxth Becerra, the 2017 MWC Newcomer of the Year, who scored in the 62nd minute of SJSU's 2-1 loss to Santa Clara on Aug. 17. Paige Simoneau owns a 1.49 GAA along with a .769 save percentage for SJSU through 182 minutes.

Utah Valley won the WAC Tournament title last year, topping Seattle U on PKs following a 1-1 stalemate. Sept. 2 is a Youth Day at Spanos Stadium, as all Sunday home games this fall have free admission for kids 13-and-under.

The Wolverines (0-2-1) are led by a trio of preseason All-WAC selections in Hannah Bruce (who distributed five assists as a sophomore), Amber Tripp (five goals in 2017 en route to the WAC Freshman of the Year accolade) and junior Brooklyn Nielsen, a third-year starter at goalkeeper. Katie Haskins tallied a 74th-minute goal on a free kick for UVU in a 1-1 tie with UNLV in Orem on Aug. 25.

Tickets are available at GoPoly.com, by calling (805) 756-4849 or by visiting the sidewalk window at the on-campus Performing Arts Center from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The Mustangs (0-2-1) began with a scoreless draw at home against Marquette on Aug. 16, lost 6-1 at No. 8 USC Aug. 24 and fell 2-0 to Boise State this past Sunday. Junior forward Jessica Johnson scored against USC (39'), tallying the seventh goal of her career.

FRESHMEN FACTOR: Freshmen accounted for all five Mustang goals between two preseason events, a 2-2 Green vs. Gold intrasquad draw Aug. 4 and a 1-0 exhibition win over Westmont Aug. 8. The five goals included two in a five-day span by Mackenzie George, from Roseville, Calif. via Woodcreek High, one of 24 players called to attend the USWNT U-19 training camp this past May.

George tallied a 61st-minute equalizer for the Gold team in the intrasquad before scoring again (4') against Westmont. Cal Poly's other goals during the scrimmage came courtesy of Brooke Rubinstein (15'), Brooke Oleson (40') and Ava McCray (55'). Additionally, all three of McCray's shots against Marquette were placed on goal, as the three-time CIF Sac-Joaquin Section champion from Davis High forced saves in the 29th, 40th and 58th minutes.

Two more freshmen have taken the majority of corner kicks, as Monserrat Hernandez Marquez and Emily Talmi have each lined up a team-high nine corners through three games. Hernandez Marquez has played a team-leading 255 minutes early on.

BARRY SELECTED TO PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Cal Poly senior defender Chelsea Barry was selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team on Aug. 9. Barry earned All-West Region third-team honors in 2017, playing 1,786 of a possible 1,795 minutes while anchoring the back line to five shutouts. Barry, who also added one goal and four assists as a junior, begins this week only two starts away (57) from moving into the top 25 in school history, as well as one assist back of No. 15 all-time at Cal Poly (currently with nine).

BROWN CHALKS UP 8TH CAREER SHUTOUT: Cal Poly junior goalkeeper Sophia Brown finished with three saves while earning the eighth shutout of her career (including one shared clean sheet in 2017) against Marquette. Brown begins this week having made 37 starts while ranking No. 8 all-time for the Mustangs in both career save percentage (.750) and saves (171).

TOP 25 OPPONENTS: In addition to the Trojans (who moved up to No. 7 this week), Cal Poly will face three more foes ranked in the Top 25 of Tuesday's coaches poll: No. 1 Stanford (Sept. 13), No. 9 Santa Clara (Sept. 21) and No. 18 Washington State (Sept. 16), each on the road.

TOP 4 ADVANCE TO CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The top four schools in the conference's regular-season standings qualify for the Big West Tournament, scheduled for Nov. 1 (semifinals) and Nov. 4 (the championship match). The Big West table awards 3 points per win and 1 per draw.

Big West action commences Friday, Sept. 28 in Spanos Stadium against CSUN. Defending regular-season champion UC Irvine will host the tournament provided the Anteaters make the four-team field. If, however, UCI doesn't qualify, hosting rights would then go to this year's No. 1 seed, a new format for 2018.

FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: All Sunday games at Spanos Stadium are Youth Days, with free admission for kids 13-and-under. This fall's additional Youth Days are vs. Cal Baptist (on Sept. 23, part of Week of Welcome around campus, at 1 p.m.), UC Davis (Sept. 30 at 12 noon) and UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 28 for a 2 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Senior Day).

Families are also encouraged to sign up for the Mustang Kids Club ($10 per child 8th grade or under), as over $300 in benefits include ongoing free admission to all 2018-19 regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events; opportunities to be an honorary captain at Mustang home games; a birthday card from Musty; free gelato at SLO Sweets every month (along with birthday scavenger hunts) and a T-Shirt.

Cal Poly students always get into games for free, and are also invited to join the Stang Gang. Stang Gang, Cal Poly's student fan group, features several rewards for a $10 one-time lifetime registration fee, including prizes from sponsors such as Adidas, Amazon, SLO Sweets, Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! Burger, Splash Café and Frank's Famous Hot Dogs, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.

Links to follow Mustang games live throughout the season can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.

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Photos © Owen Main