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Cal Poly to Open Big West Play Hosting CSUN on Friday, UCD on Sunday

Cal Poly to Open Big West Play Hosting CSUN on Friday, UCD on Sunday

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's soccer team opens Big West Conference play in Alex G. Spanos Stadium this week, hosting CSUN at 7 p.m. Friday and UC Davis at 12 noon Sunday.

The Mustangs (0-8-3) enter Big West play coming off a 3-2 double-overtime home loss to Cal Baptist this past Sunday, as the Lancers won on a 104th-minute golden goal.

CSUN (4-3-1) went 4-0-1 on the road in non-conference play, leading the Big West in shots placed on goal (7.6) through eight initial games. Marissa Favela and Bethany Fitzsimmons have each scored a team-high three goals for the Matadors, while Alyssa Aguilar has distributed three assists. Amanda Delgado brings a GAA of 0.72 along with a save percentage of .875 into conference action for Northridge.

Meanwhile UC Davis (3-5-2), which plays at UC Santa Barbara Friday night before heading up the coast, finished non-conference action second in the Big West in shooting accuracy, at .496. Alicia Sloss tallied two goals for the Aggies, while Alexis Smith maintains a .733 save percentage to go with a 1.46 GAA in goal for UCD.

The top four schools in the conference 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.

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.

Friday evening's game will also be Pups at The Pitch Night, with dogs welcomed to Spanos Stadium, before Sunday is a Youth Day, with free admission for kids 13-and-under.

JOHNSON, KNAUER WITH TWO GOALS APIECE: Junior forward Jessica Johnson and senior midfielder Sydney Knauer begin Big West play leading Cal Poly in goals with two each. Johnson, an All-Big West Freshman honoree in 2016, starts the week No. 4 in the Big West in shots-on-goal per game, averaging 1.3. Knauer, meanwhile, having played in 54 games as a Mustang, has placed 14 of her 24 career shots on goal.

Senior Ashley Kirchick has a team-high two assists this year, giving her a career total of eight.

BARRY CLIMBING IN THE RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly senior defender Chelsea Barry has moved up in the Mustang record book in two categories. Selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team, Barry begins this week having made 65 starts in her career, moving to No. 13 in school history last weekend.

Additionally, with her assist to sophomore Georgina Stiegeler against Utah Valley on Sept. 2, she reached a career total of 10 while playing mostly in the back line, tying for No. 15 on Cal Poly's all-time assists leaderboard. Barry, who earned All-West Region third-team honors in 2017, has seen a team-leading 1,021 minutes on the season.

Barry, who previously earned TopDrawerSoccer's National Goal of the Week award for a 40-yard free kick on Oct. 13, 2016, scored the equalizer (89') against Cal Baptist on a free kick more than 5 yards above the penalty area.

BROWN ALSO ON CONFERENCE, SCHOOL HISTORY LEADERBOARDS: Cal Poly junior goalkeeper Sophia Brown leads the Big West Conference in saves, with 63. She's also No. 1 in the per-game category, averaging 5.7 a match. Brown now ranks No. 4 in school history for career saves with 226.

OVERTIMES APLENTY: The loss to Cal Baptist on Sept. 23 was the Mustangs' fifth overtime game in 2018, four of which have gone to double-OT. Cal Poly opened the season with a scoreless draw against Marquette on Aug. 16, with the other ties coming versus San Jose State (1-1 on Aug. 30) and Seattle U (also 1-1 on Sept. 9).

FRESHMEN FACTOR: 11 of the 12 newcomers from this year's recruiting class have already combined for 91 appearances. Included in the group of first-year Mustangs making an immediate impact, eight freshmen have combined to start 49 times.

Among the freshmen starters, Mackenzie George (one of 24 players called to attend the USWNT U-19 camp in May) has a goal and an assist; Brooke Rubinstein also has a goal; Megan Hansen, Emily Talmi and Clare Murphy have one assist each; Ava McCray has placed six of her nine total shots on goal; and Monserrat Hernandez Marquez and Talmi have accounted for 38 of the squad's 53 corner kicks.

CAL POLY ADDED TO ESPN3 FOR OCT. 21: Cal Poly's matchup at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Oct. 21 has been added to the WatchESPN lineup. The game against the Titans, defending Big West Tournament champions, is set for a 2 p.m. kickoff. WatchESPN telecasts are available on all connected devices.

FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Mustang 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.

All Sunday games at Alex G. Spanos Stadium are Youth Days, with free admission for kids 13-and-under. This fall's additional Youth Day is Oct. 28 vs. UC Santa Barbara 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.

#RideHigh

Photos © Owen Main / Nathan Nybakke