The Cal Poly men’s soccer team moved into sole possession of third place in the Big West Conference standings Wednesday night, edging Cal State Fullerton 1-0 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
With the win, the Mustangs (7-6-3, 4-3-2 Big West) gave themselves 14 standings points on the season, surpassing the 12 of both Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis. Also Wednesday, UC Davis fell 1-0 to sixth-place UC Riverside.
The top four finishers in the league standings will advance to the Big West Tournament.
Cal Poly has clinched a berth in the conference tournament. The Mustangs close the regular season at last-place Cal State Northridge (3-13-2, 2-6-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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The Matadors, already eliminated from tournament contention, handed UC Irvine (13-2-3, 6-1-2) its first conference defeat of the season Wednesday, stunning the Anteaters 2-1.
UC Irvine, ranked No. 7 in the nation, and UC Santa Barbara, ranked 16th, entered the day safely in the top two spots in the league standings.
Cal Poly got all the offense it needed Wednesday in the 48th minute, as Jacob Hustedt assisted David Zamora for the decisive goal.
Patrick McLain had four saves for Cal Poly, while Trevor Whiddon had seven for the Titans (6-10-2, 4-5-0). The Mustangs outshot Cal State Fullerton 23-16, including an 8-5 advantage in shots on goal.
Big West Conference awards
Cal Poly’s Chris Frias was named the Big West Men’s Freshman of the Year.
Frias, a redshirt from Ventura, finished 12th this past weekend at the conference championships with an 8K time of 24 minutes, 42 seconds. Previously, Frias had finished 96th at the Pre-National Invitational (in 24:59) and 77th at the Stanford Invitational (25:15).
UC Davis’ Jon Peterson was named the Men’s Athlete of the Year, while UC Santa Barbara’s Amanda Moreno won Women’s Athlete of the Year honors.
Cuesta Athletes of the Month
Cuesta’s Eric Marsh and Ally Bernard were named the school’s male and female athletes of the month for November, respectively.
Marsh, a freshman and former Arroyo Grande High star, leads the Cougars in assists (46) and steals (57), and is second on the team in goals (54) and ejections drawn (37). The Cuesta men (22-8) are ranked No. 3 in the state.
Bernard, a Porterville native, leads the state with a school-record 165 steals. She also leads Cuesta in goals (69, fifth in the state).