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86th-Minute Goal Lifts USD to 1-0 Win Against Visiting Cal Poly

86th-Minute Goal Lifts USD to 1-0 Win Against Visiting Cal Poly

SAN DIEGO — Cal Poly was less than five minutes away from heading to overtime on Sunday against the San Diego women's soccer team, but Bekah Valdez tallied the afternoon's lone goal with only 4:55 remaining until regulation full time, sending the Toreros to a 1-0 home win.

Mustang goalkeeper Sophia Brown finished with seven saves, increasing her career total to 307, tying Kristina Grigaitis (1993-96) for No. 2 in school history.

Brown, a senior from Pleasanton, came up with a 16th-minute stop against Jamie Goralski, before denying Goralski again in the 30th. Cal Poly's Megan Demijohn would test Torero keeper Amber Michel 25 seconds before the break, but Michel stepped in front to send the match to halftime scoreless.

The Mustangs, who were coming off a 2-1 home win over Pepperdine on Friday, then generated a couple chances early in the second half, as Camille Lafaix angled a shot just wide in the 47th minute, before Cal Poly (1-4-1) earned a corner kick two minutes later, but the Toreros (3-2-0) were able to come up with the clearance.

Later on in the second half, Demijohn (55') placed another attempt on frame, but Michel again chalked up a save. One of Cal Poly's best chances of the day came in the 63rd minute, when Sydney Spina delivered a cross to the far post from the right side of the box, but Brooke Rubinstein's shot went barely wide, just to the left of the side-netting.

USD's Eden Quiroz (54' & 60'), Michaela Foster (58') and Goralski (76') kept up the pressure with shots on goal, as did Valdez in the 73rd, but Brown denied them each time. However, the Toreros (who finished with a 19-6 advantage in total shot attempts) kept knocking on the door, as Valdez returned to ricochet off the crossbar eight minutes before she found the game-winner.

Rubinstein forced a save in the 80th minute, and the Mustangs lined up a corner shortly afterward (84'), but USD again produced the clearance to stay level. The Toreros broke through two minutes later, beginning when Valdez made a move to elude her defender coming in from the left flank.

She then dribbled to her right a few steps and blasted a strike from above the penalty area, arcing over the extended reach of Brown mid-air, landing into the top-right corner of the goal.

Cal Poly created one last opportunity with a minute & 24 seconds to play, but Jessica Johnson shot over the bar, and USD didn't allow another shot the rest of the way.

Up next, Cal Poly will travel to Montana to take on the Griz at 4 p.m. Mountain Time Friday. The Mustangs will stay in Missoula over the weekend, facing Idaho State in a neutral-field match on Sunday at Montana's South Campus Stadium, kicking off at 11 a.m. MDT.