SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — After starting the 2019 season with four straight games on the road, the Cal Poly women's soccer team has returned to the Central Coast to host Pepperdine for its home opener, kicking off at 7 p.m. Friday in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Schedule posters will be handed out to the first 250 fans at Spanos Stadium on Sept. 6.
The Mustangs (0-3-1), who enter this week coming off a 1-0 loss at Utah, then will head south to take on San Diego at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Torero Stadium.
MUSTANG HOME OPENERS: Cal Poly is 15-10-2 all-time in home openers, including last year's scoreless draw with Marquette.
The last home-opening loss came to No. 2-ranked Stanford, 1-0 in 2015, while 2016 and 2017 saw 2-1 and 1-0 wins vs. San Francisco and Sacramento State, respectively.
SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine, which was ranked No. 22 in the national coaches poll on Aug. 27, heads to San Luis Obispo coming off a 1-0 loss to unbeaten, ninth-ranked Vanderbilt. The Waves (1-2-1) faced a Big West foe in UC Riverside on Aug. 22, winning 3-0 in Malibu.
Brie Welch leads the Waves with a pair of goals, while Shelby Little and Leyla McFarland each have tallied one apiece. Meanwhile between the posts, Zoe Clevely maintains a 0.91 goals-against average to go with a .700 save percentage, with the help of defender Isabel Nelson, 2018's WCC Freshman of the Year.
Pepperdine leads the all-time series with the Mustangs 6-4-3, with the last matchup taking place in 2016: a 2-1 Wave overtime victory on a 95th-minute golden goal in San Luis Obispo.
A LOOK AT USD: The Toreros and Mustangs haven't met in 12 years, with their last meeting occurring in 2007: a 1-0 San Diego overtime win at home, providing USD a narrow 6-5-1 all-time edge against Cal Poly.
San Diego (2-1-0) opened with a 3-0 victory over LIU, followed by a 4-0 win over Holy Cross, before being edged in double-OT at Long Beach State on Monday night, 2-1.
Milan Moses has accounted for three of the Toreros' goals so far, while Amber Michel brings in a 0.67 GAA to go with an .818 save percentage.
BROWN CLIMBING IN RECORD BOOK: Including nine saves in Utah, senior goalkeeper Sophia Brown begins this week with 290 career saves, No. 3 all-time at Cal Poly (17 back of No. 2).
Brown's 5.8 saves-per-game average in 2018 led the Big West in addition to ranking No. 28 nationally, while her 13-save effort at UC Riverside on Oct. 5, 2018 moved into a tie for No. 3 in school history for a single-game performance.
Through four matches, Brown ranks No. 3 in the Big West with a save percentage of .824, and fourth with a GAA of 0.88.
OLESON SCORES FIRST COLLEGIATE GOAL: Cal Poly sophomore Brooke Oleson tallied her first collegiate goal on Aug. 25, scoring a 54th-minute equalizer off an assist from freshman Nikki Trucco during the Mustangs' 3-1 road loss at Sacramento State.
Oleson, a grad of Salinas High (along with playing for the California Thorns club), came into 2019 following a freshman year in which she played her highest number of minutes in three straight matches to close out the year. Then in the spring scrimmage season, she also scored a goal against Fresno City College in a May exhibition.
MUSTANG DEFENSE SHARES SHUTOUT WITH SAN JOSE STATE: Cal Poly opened its season with a scoreless draw at San Jose State on Aug. 22. Brown made five saves in earning altogether her 11th career shutout (including one shared clean sheet). In the back line, sophomore Emily Talmi and freshman Kylie Rojas had complete-game 110-minute efforts, while Sidra Bugsch, Sydney Spina & Emma Hotaling also led the defense, including not allowing an SJSU shut in the latter OT period.
LAFAIX SCORES TWICE IN PRESEASON: Camille Lafaix, a freshman San Jose Earthquakes Academy grad out of Los Gatos, tallied two goals during the preseason to lead the Mustangs in the attacking third. Her first goal came in the 81st minute of the 2-1 exhibition win over Westmont on Aug. 9 (assisted by junior Georgina Stiegeler), before scoring again in the 12th minute of her Green side's 4-0 intrasquad scrimmage victory on Aug. 16 (with fellow freshman Madison Demijohn providing the service).
�� Georgina Stiegeler with the service and Camille Lafaix takes care of the rest!! ��— Cal Poly W. Soccer (@CPWomensSoccer) September 3, 2019
Come down to Spanos for the home opener, this FRIDAY! �� 7:00pm vs. Pepperdine - first 250 fans get free schedule posters! �� #RideHigh �� pic.twitter.com/NfcbbGHtUA
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.
Families are 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 2019-20 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, Breakfast Buzz, Eureka Burger, Frank's Famous Hot Dogs, Mr. Pickles, Old San Luis BBQ, SLO Sweets, Splash Café, Visa and Woodstock's Pizza, a member T-shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking-in at games.
Photos © Alexander Bohlen / Owen Main