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Cal Poly Falls 5-1 at No. 6 Santa Clara to Finish Road Stretch

Cal Poly Falls 5-1 at No. 6 Santa Clara to Finish Road Stretch

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Taking on a Top 20 opponent for the third time in eight days, the Cal Poly women's soccer team fell 5-1 to No. 6 Santa Clara on Friday night, closing a five-match road stretch with a loss at Stevens Stadium.

Santa Clara (8-1-1), which moved up a spot in Tuesday's Top 25 poll, took the lead just under two minutes in at Buck Shaw Field, as Maria Sanchez connected with Maddy Gonzalez, who scored with a low shot slotted inside the left post.

Mustang freshman Clare Murphy placed a shot on goal in the sixth minute, but Bronco keeper Melissa Lowder was in position for the save.

Sanchez returned in the seventh minute to tally a header off a cross delivered from Julie Doyle, giving Santa Clara a 2-0 lead.

SCU then took a commanding 3-0 advantage in the 13th minute, as Sanchez assisted Gonzalez once more stemming from a rebound. It was the team-high sixth goal of the season for Gonzalez, while Sanchez brought her season assist total to eight, No. 2 in the nation.

Freshman Monserrat Hernandez Marquez forced another save six minutes into the second half, but the Broncos quickly responded (53'), as Briar Blake dribbled into the box to make it 4-0.

Cal Poly (0-7-3) got on the board in the 60th minute, when freshman Mackenzie George passed inside the box to senior Sydney Knauer, who beat the keeper to tally her second goal of the year.

Blake recorded a brace in the 68th, tracking down a loose ball and finishing to provide the 5-1 margin.

Additional Mustang attempts placed on goal after intermission came from freshman Megan Hansen (63' & 72') and senior Michaela Olney (73'), prior to one more by Hernandez Marquez, who tested SCU's Courtney Ogren seven minutes away from full time.

Freshman Madison Williams followed with one last look with just 52 seconds to play until the end of regulation, but Ogren stepped in front to finish conceding only the one goal. Cal Poly junior goalkeeper Sophia Brown came up with six saves.

The Mustangs will conclude non-conference play returning home to host Cal Baptist (6-1-1) at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday. Part of Week of Welcome around campus, Sept. 23 vs. the Lancers is also a Youth Day at Spanos Stadium, with free admission for kids 13-and-under.

Photo Courtesy of Shawn Nestor