COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Looking to earn its first points in the Big West standings, the Cal Poly women's soccer team will travel to a pair of conference games this week, visiting UC Davis at 4 p.m. Thursday before heading to CSUN for a 1 p.m. kickoff Sunday.
The Big West table awards 3 points per win and 1 per draw, with the top four regular-season squads advancing to the conference tournament.
CSUN, defending regular-season champions, will host the postseason on Nov. 2 (semifinals broadcast on ESPN3/WatchESPN) and Nov. 5 (the championship game, televised by FOX Sports PT).
The Mustangs (5-7-1, 0-2-0) began conference action with two one-goal defeats, 2-1 in double-overtime to UC Irvine and 1-0 to UC Riverside.
The Aggies (2-9-0, 1-0-0) opened Big West play with a 1-0 home win over Hawai'i, while the Matadors (4-4-4, 0-1-0) fell 3-0 at Cal State Fullerton.
STIEGELER SCORES AGAIN: Georgina Stiegeler forced OT against UC Irvine on Sept. 29, scoring the second goal of her redshirt freshman season off a rebound in the 88th minute.
Tallied with 2:16 remaining until regulation full-time, her goal ranks as the second-latest equalizer in school history (trailing only Brooke Flamson — 1:52 from 90' — in a 2001 game at Pepperdine).
Stiegeler's first collegiate goal came in the 66th minute vs. SIUE on Aug. 20.
KIRCHICK, FLOOD CONNECT IN WIN OVER DENVER: Mustang senior forward McKenzie Flood scored her third career goal via a 34th-minute, give-and-go combination with junior Ashley Kirchick on Sept. 21, leading Cal Poly to a 1-0 victory over Denver.
BROWN, VIBOCH COMBINE FOR FOUR SHUTOUTS: Mustang senior goalkeeper Brittney Viboch made four saves against Denver en route to her second shutout over a three-game span. Viboch came on for the second half against Sacramento State on Sept. 15, another 1-0 win, after sophomore starter Sophia Brown left with an injury. The duo combined for three saves to share the clean sheet.
Returning for conference play, Brown's nine saves over the first two Big West matches have brought her career total of stops to 136 — No. 9 in school history.
DEMIJOHN SCORES BACK-TO-BACK GAME-WINNERS: After tallying a pair of game-winning goals within a three-day span — one of which was a double-overtime golden goal — Mustang sophomore forward Megan Demijohn was named the Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week on Sept. 18.
Demijohn scored her first in the 10th minute of the win over Sacramento State, and posted the latter goal on 104' to finalize the 2-1 comeback over Pacific on Sept. 17.
ABUTIN CLIMBS IN RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly senior Megan Abutin — selected to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team and the Hoosier Challenge Cup All-Tournament Team — has continued to rise in the Cal Poly record book.
Abutin, a fifth-year student-athlete granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA after a season-ending injury in the 2016 opener at Cal, scored her 18th career goal on a penalty in the win over Pacific, moving into a tie for eighth in school history.
Her 21 career assists — No. 2 in program history (three back of tying Kolleen Kassis' school record set from 1992-95) — rank No. 17 nationally among all Division I players.
In the NCAA's points statistic (2 per goal; 1 per assist), Abutin has brought her combined total to 57 — No. 8 all-time at Cal Poly in the category.
BARRY, HANSEN ALSO LEAD 18 LETTERWINNERS, 12 NEWCOMERS: Cal Poly, led by 26th-year head coach Alex Crozier (283-176-51 overall, 100-52-19 Big West), returned 18 letterwinners, joined by 12 newcomers.
In addition to Abutin (a third-team NSCAA All-West Region honoree in 2014), the group of returners is led by junior defender Chelsea Barry, a 2016 all-conference second-team selection, and Emily Hansen, a 2014 All-Big West Freshman Team member with a team-high 66 career starts (12th-most in program history).
Barry tallied the game-winning goal at CSU Bakersfield on Aug. 23, and has played a team-high 1,215 minutes this year. Last season, she won the TopDrawerSoccer National Goal of the Week accolade on Oct. 19.
Jessica Johnson, an All-Big West Conference Freshman Team honoree a year ago, currently is tied for second on the squad with two goals.
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Links to follow matches live can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
The Mustangs return to Alex G. Spanos Stadium vs. Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 before hosting Senior Night against Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19.
Cal Poly students always get into games for free, and are also invited to join the Stang Gang. Stang Gang — Cal Poly's student fan group — features several rewards for a $10 one-time lifetime registration fee, including prizes from sponsors such as Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! and VISA, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.
For the general public, 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 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Families are also encouraged to sign up for the Mustang Kids Club ($5 per child/8th grade or under), as benefits include ongoing free admission to all regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events, birthday cards, free ice cream from Doc Burnstein's and a T-Shirt.
MUSTANGS IN THE PROS: Two Cal Poly alumni are in their second seasons as professionals, both now in the Toppserien League in Norway, and a third former Mustang recently played in the World University Games.
Alyssa Giannetti, with Arna-Bjørnar (in Bergen), was ranked by EverybodySoccer as the No. 4 pro goalkeeper in the world in the U-24 category on July 27. Following her rookie season last November, Giannetti was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year by the Norwegian Football Federation.
Giannetti, who has 10 career shutouts in 34 professional appearances, helped the Bears advance to their first semifinal since 2012 on Aug. 30.
Elise Krieghoff, a forward for Vålerenga Damer (Oslo), had a hat trick on June 4 during a 6-1 win over Medkila IL. Krieghoff has made 15 appearances in 2017, and has six goals — including a bicycle kick voted as the Toppserien's best goal in the 14th round.
Kendra Bonsall, who played every position except goalkeeper from 2013-16, just played as a defender for the United States at the World University Games in Taipei from Aug. 18-28.
The U.S. finished fifth, closing with back-to-back wins, 5-2 over Mexico and 3-1 over South Korea, going 4-2 for the tournament. Bonsall played 405 minutes in Taipei, primarily in the back line, and placed her only shot of the tournament on frame. Brazil won the gold, 1-0 over Japan.
Cal Poly Visits UC Davis on Thursday, CSUN Sunday for Big West Matches
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)