The Cal Poly men’s soccer team broke a scoreless tie early in the second half, but conceded an equalizer and an own goal with less than 15 minutes to play in a 2-1 loss to Sacramento State on Wednesday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
A win would have clinched a spot in the Big West Tournament for the Mustangs (8-5-4, 3-3-2), but instead their postseason fate will stay up in the air heading into Sunday’s Blue-Green rivalry at home against UC Santa Barbara.
After defeating Sacramento State 3-1 on the road Oct. 18, Cal Poly sophomore forward John Chronopoulos opened the scoring Wednesday with his second tally of the season in the 54th minute on assists by Chase Minter and Matt LaGrassa.
But the Hornets (5-9-3, 3-4-1) took over from there, with Cylus Sandoval tying the game in the 78th minute. Sandoval then sent a cross into the box six minutes later that deflected off Cal Poly defender Jack O’Connor and into the net.
“This game came down to the little moments,” Cal Poly interim head coach Phil Ruskin said in a news release. “There were some moments where we were good and executed well. And then there were moments when we didn’t come up with the correct play and didn’t finish our chances and tackles, and that’s the definition of the game.
“I told our guys before the game that where we end plays and how we challenge and tackle makes a huge difference. That’s what defined the game tonight.”
Sandoval finished with a match-high five shots, while Justin Dhillon had a team-best four for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly goalkeeper Wade Hamilton made five saves, as did Sacramento State counterpart Philip Bru, who also stopped a penalty kick in the 65th minute taken by Chase Minter.
The teams were nearly even in total shots, with the Hornets earning the slight edge, 17-15. Sacramento State also committed five more fouls (14-9), while the Mustangs earned four more corner kicks (6-2).
WOMEN’S WATER POLO
Cuesta 16, Santa Monica 3
The Cougars jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a win at home to secure the top seed at next weekend’s Western State Conference championship.
Emily Schoennauer, Shanae Lauridsen and Molly Casey each scored twice for the Cougars (22-6, 6-0), who led 14-1 at halftime.
Mari-Rae Grois led all goalkeepers with 10 saves and was one of 10 Cuesta players who scored once.
The win propelled the Cougars to 22 wins for the fifth time in school history, and one more win would set a program record.
Fresno City 23, Cuesta 15
Heavyweight Brett Kimball recorded a pin, but it wasn’t enough for the Cougars (5-6), who dropped the first four bouts of the match.
Connor Pollock was upset 11-7 at 141 pounds as was Jonny Callas, 12-3, at 149 before John Sinclair got Cuesta on the board with a 7-4 decision over Isidro Arroyo at 157.
Joe Else followed with a 3-2 victory at 165, and Clayton Hartwell earned a 6-3 decision at 197 for the Cougars’ fourth win.
Cuesta heads to the San Francisco State Tournament on Sunday, and the Cougars will host the CCCAA State Wrestling Championships on Dec. 12-13.