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Cal Poly Travels to Take On Top-Ranked Stanford, No. 16 Washington St.

Cal Poly Travels to Take On Top-Ranked Stanford, No. 16 Washington St.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Continuing a five-game road stretch, the Cal Poly women's soccer team will travel to face a pair of ranked Pac-12 opponents this week. The Mustangs will first take on top-ranked Stanford, the defending national champions, at 7 p.m. Thursday, before visiting No. 16 Washington State for an 11 a.m. kickoff Sunday.

Stanford (6-0-0), on a program-record-tying 28-game winning streak, was a unanimous No. 1 in Tuesday's United Coaches Top 25 poll, collecting all 35 first-place votes.

Stanford is led by junior defender Tierna Davidson, who has already played in 12 matches for the U.S. National Team. Davidson was one of five Stanford players chosen to the Preseason Watch List for the Hermann Trophy awarded annually to the national player of the year. She collected the College Cup Most Outstanding Defender award last year as the Cardinal won the NCAA title topping UCLA in the final, 3-2, to polish off a 24-1 season.

Meanwhile in the Cardinal attack, teammates Catarina Macario and Sophia Smith have scored three goals each this fall, while Jordan DiBiasi has distributed a team-leading four assists. Smith competed for the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup this past summer in France. Alison Jahansouz brings a 0.59 GAA along with an .824 save percentage into the match.

A Pac-12+ live stream will be broadcast from Cagan Stadium on Sept. 13.

Washington State (5-0-0) also starts the week unbeaten, led by goalkeeper Ella Dederick with a 0.41 GAA and a save percentage of .857. Dederick was picked as one of 10 NCAA Keepers to Watch by TopDrawerSoccer heading into 2018, after earning All-Pac-12 third-team accolades and playing for the U-23 USWNT in the spring.

Cal Poly (0-4-3) just traveled to the Pacific Northwest, earning a 1-1 draw at Seattle U Sept. 9, two days after a 2-1 OT loss at Gonzaga. Live video will also be streamed from Pullman's Lower Soccer Field Sept. 16.

Morgan Weaver has three goals and two assists to lead the attack for the Cougars, who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, eliminated in double-overtime by Florida.

JOHNSON EQUALIZES IN SEATTLE: Mustang junior forward Jessica Johnson scored her eighth career goal in the tie at Seattle U, equalizing for the Mustangs in the 87th minute. Tallied with 3:09 to play until the end of regulation, her tying goal ranks as the fifth-latest equalizer in program history.

Johnson starts the week No. 2 in the Big West in shots on goal per game, averaging 1.57. An All-Big West Freshman honoree in 2016, Johnson is taking 3.6 total shots per match for an on-target percentage of .440.

BARRY CLIMBING IN THE RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly senior defender Chelsea Barry has moved up in the Mustang record book in two categories. Selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team Aug. 9, Barry begins this week having made 61 starts in her career, moving into a tie for No. 19 in school history.

Additionally, with her assist to sophomore Georgina Stiegeler against Utah Valley on Sept. 2, she reached a career total of 10 while playing mostly in the back line, tying for No. 15 on Cal Poly's all-time assists leaderboard. Barry, who earned All-West Region third-team honors in 2017, has seen a team-leading 648 minutes on the season.

FRESHMEN FACTOR: A duo of first-year Mustangs combined to give Cal Poly a 2-1 lead against Utah Valley on Sept. 2, when Clare Murphy played a ball out wide to Brooke Rubinstein, who beat the keeper to the far post from the right edge of the box.

The Murphy-Rubinstein connection wasn't the first instance of freshmen making an immediate impact this fall, as 11 of the 12 newcomers from this year's recruiting class have already combined for 56 appearances.

Included in that group, six freshmen have combined to start 27 times.

Among them, Ava McCray has placed six of her eight total shots on goal; Mackenzie George (one of 24 players called to attend the USWNT U-19 camp in May) has landed five attempts on frame; Megan Hansen has an assist; and Monserrat Hernandez Marquez and Emily Talmi have accounted for 29 of the squad's 42 corner kicks (lining up 13 and 16 apiece). One of Talmi's corners set up Michaela Olney's 38th-minute goal at Gonzaga Sept. 7, earning her first collegiate assist.

BROWN AMONG BIG WEST SAVES LEADERS: To start this week, Cal Poly junior goalkeeper Sophia Brown leads the Big West Conference in saves, with 32. She's No. 4 in the per-game category, averaging 4.6 saves a match.

CONFERENCE PLAY STARTS SEPT. 28: Big West action commences Friday, Sept. 28 in Spanos Stadium against CSUN.

The top four schools in the conference's regular-season standings qualify for the Big West Tournament, scheduled for Nov. 1 (semifinals) and Nov. 4 (the championship match). The Big West table awards 3 points per win and 1 per draw.

Defending regular-season champion UC Irvine will host the tournament provided the Anteaters make the four-team field. If, however, UCI doesn't qualify, hosting rights would then go to this year's No. 1 seed, a new format for 2018.

CAL POLY ADDED TO ESPN3 FOR OCT. 21: Cal Poly's matchup at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. will be broadcast on WatchESPN. The televising of the game against the Titans, defending Big West Tournament champions, was announced Tuesday by the conference office. WatchESPN telecasts are available on all connected devices.

FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Mustang 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 12 noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

All Sunday games at Alex G. Spanos Stadium are Youth Days, with free admission for kids 13-and-under. This fall's additional Youth Days are vs. Cal Baptist (on Sept. 23, part of Week of Welcome around campus, at 1 p.m.), UC Davis (Sept. 30 at 12 noon) and UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 28 for a 2 p.m. Blue-Green Rivalry Senior Day).

Families are also encouraged to sign up for the Mustang Kids Club ($10 per child 8th grade or under), as over $300 in benefits include ongoing free admission to all 2018-19 regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events; opportunities to be an honorary captain at Mustang home games; a birthday card from Musty; free gelato at SLO Sweets every month (along with birthday scavenger hunts) and a T-Shirt.

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 Adidas, Amazon, SLO Sweets, Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! Burger, Splash Café and Frank's Famous Hot Dogs, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.

Links to follow Mustang games live throughout the season can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.

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Photos © Owen Main