SAN LUIS OBISPO – Junior goalkeeper Eric Kam chalked up four saves Saturday evening, but the Cal Poly men's soccer program saw a program-record 13-match unbeaten run at Alex G. Spanos Stadium snapped with a 2-0 loss to UC Irvine.
Senior forward Justin Dhillon placed three of his match high five shot attempts on target for Cal Poly (2-7-2, 0-3-1), which outshot UC Irvine (3-10-0, 1-3-0) 14-10, but lost at Spanos Stadium for the first time under second-year head coach Steve Sampson and for the first time since falling to UC Santa Barbara 2-0 (Nov. 2, 2014).
Freshman midfielder Christian Enriquez (above) added four shot attempts for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly recorded two shot attempts inside the opening 13 minutes with Dhillon heading high and Enriquez seeing an attempt blocked by the UC Irvine defense.
Kam produced his first save in the 19th minute, but UC Irvine broke through with the eventual winning goal on 28 minutes as midfielder Ivan Canales found defender Randall McDermott off the right post. McDermott fired from eight yards to place the Anteaters up 1-0.
Into the second half, Kam recorded his second save in the 57th minute and, offensively, Cal Poly produced multiple chances to tie the match. Dhillon saw a 59th-minute header caught by UC Irvine starting goalkeeper Alex Waldron before being stopped in the 63rd and 72nd. Enriquez was also turned away in the 84th.
However, UC Irvine – which forced Kam into three second-half saves – doubled its lead 15 minutes from full time with a Canales corner finding defender Jorge Lara, who headed his first goal of the year from six yards.
Cal Poly continues its four-match home stand versus UC Davis on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.