The Cal Poly women’s soccer team dropped its season opener Friday evening, a 1-0 loss to Cal on a second-half goal by Ifeoma Onumonu at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley.
The Golden Bears, ranked No. 18 in the preseason NSCAA Top 25 poll and also playing in their first game of the season, scored in the 63rd minute when Arielle Ship, the 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year, passed in from the left to find Onumonu for the game-winner.
Mustang goalkeeper Sophia Brown, making her first collegiate start, finished with 10 saves, including a stop on a 24th-minute Ship penalty kick.
Brown, the 2015-16 CIF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Foothill High School in Pleasanton, also made saves against Heather Walleigh (in the 34th minute), Emma Fletcher (50’ and 85’), Onumonu (53’ and 85’), Ship (69’) and Kelly Fitzgerald (75’).
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Another Mustang true freshman, Jessica Johnson, also recorded her first career shot (firing wide in the 64th minute).
Cal Poly had another solid chance in the 88th minute, as senior Nicole Wheeler launched a corner kick in to junior McKenzie Flood, whose shot went wide.
Cal Poly will next play at Pacific in the Tigers’ season opener 1 p.m. Sunday at Knoles Field. WCC TV will provide a live video stream, with a link at GoPoly.com.