SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly continues Big West Conference action back on the road this week, as the Mustang women's soccer team first visits CSUN at 7 p.m. Thursday, before traveling to UC Davis for a 2 p.m. matchup on Sunday. A BigWestTV telecast will be streamed from Matador Field in Northridge the evening of Oct. 10, and live statistics will be available from Aggie Soccer Complex the afternoon of Oct. 13.
The top four schools in the regular-season conference table — which awards 3 points per victory and 1 per draw — qualify for the Big West Tournament, with the semifinals scheduled for Nov. 7 and the championship game Nov. 10.
This year's regular-season No. 1 seed will host the conference tournament immediately after finishing in first place, a change from in years past where the previous season's regular-season champ won hosting rights for the year ahead.
Through the opening week of conference play, UC Irvine secured 6 points for sole early possession of first place. Cal Poly (0-1-0; 3-8-1 overall) began its Big West schedule falling 2-1 to Long Beach State at home on Oct. 3, as the Mustangs held a 1-0 lead late before surrendering a pair of goals in the 84th and 85th minutes.
LAFAIX UP TO 4 GOALS IN FRESHMAN SEASON: Camille Lafaix tallied Cal Poly's goal vs. LBSU, putting away a 24th-minute rebound of a saved shot from Emily Talmi with a tap into the back of the net from close range. It was already the fourth goal of the season for Lafaix, a freshman from the San Jose Earthquakes Development Academy via Archbishop Mitty.
Earlier this year, Lafaix earned a brace and added an assist on Sept. 15, helping Cal Poly top Idaho State 3-1 in a neutral-field match at Montana. Her performance during the victory over the Bengals marked the first game in which a Mustang has reached five 'points' in the NCAA statistic (one goal equals 2 'points'; an assist equals 1) since Oct. 4, 2015, when future NWSL pro Elise Krieghoff, a USWNT U-23 camp invitee, also had two goals plus an assist at Hawai'i. Lafaix also scored on a header in the 2-1 win over Seattle U on Sept. 29.
BALANCED CONTRIBUTIONS: Eight different Mustangs have scored on the year, led by Lafaix's four goals along with two assists. Nikki Trucco, Megan Hansen, Olivia Ortiz, Kylie Rojas, Sidra Bugsch, Brooke Oleson and Jordan Patane also have one goal each, while Brooke Rubinstein, Madison Demijohn and Talmi have also recorded assists.
Bugsch, Lafaix and Hansen are tied for the team high in starts this fall, each with all 12. Hansen has played the most minutes among the Mustang XI so far this year: 925, mostly central to the midfield.
BROWN CLIMBING IN RECORD BOOK: Including her four saves vs. Long Beach, goalkeeper Sophia Brown begins this week with 329 career saves, No. 2 all-time at Cal Poly. The senior from Pleasanton is 51 back of Alyssa Giannetti's school-record total of 380 saves from 2012-15.
Brown — selected as Big West Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 30 — also ranks No. 7 in conference history for career saves.
SCOUTING CSUN: The Matadors (7-4-3 overall) opened Big West play 1-1-0 on the first weekend, first being edged 2-1 in overtime at Hawai'i before defeating UC Riverside on the road, 3-1 this past Sunday.
Alexis White has a team-high five goals so far, while Bethany Fitzsimmons has added three tallies in CSUN's attack. In goal, Amanda Delgado maintains a .776 save percentage and a 0.98 GAA for the Matadors.
The all-time rivalry between the two is even at 8-8-3. Cal Poly claimed last year's matchup 1-0 in San Luis Obispo thanks to a 53rd-minute goal by Sydney Knauer.
A LOOK AT UC DAVIS: The Aggies (5-7-0) also opened conference play on the road, falling 4-0 at Cal State Fullerton prior to a 2-1 loss at UC Irvine. A duo of Davis players, Leslie Fregoso and Casey Palmer, each have three goals in 2019, while Janessa Staab and Ana Williams both have distributed a pair of assists to lead the midfield.
Between the posts, Aggie keeper Nicki Rucki comes into the week with a 1.25 GAA alongside a .730 save percentage, including two shutouts.
The Mustangs have a 9-6-2 all-time advantage vs. UCD, which won the 2018 matchup on the Central Coast, 2-0, as Alicia Sloss scored in the 29th minute before Janae Gonzalez added the second goal in the 56th.
SAVE THE DATES: The rest of this season's remaining home slate also features additional giveaways and more community events inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium:
Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Cal State Fullerton (2 p.m.)
Admission is free for kids 13-and-under on Mustang Family Weekend.
Friday, Nov. 1 vs. UC Irvine (7 p.m.)
Coinciding with the Mustangs' Alumni Weekend, all Cal Poly professors receive free admission on Faculty Appreciation Night.
Sunday, Nov. 3 vs. UC Riverside (2 p.m.)
Admission is again free for kids 13-and-under as Cal Poly celebrates Senior Day.
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.
Links to follow Mustang game broadcasts throughout the season can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
Photos © Owen Main / Nathan Nybakke