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Cal Poly, UCSB Battle to 2-2 Blue-Green Rivalry Draw

Cal Poly, UCSB Battle to 2-2 Blue-Green Rivalry Draw

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Cal Poly established 1-0 and 2-1 leads on the road Sunday during a warm afternoon at Harder Stadium, but the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer team equalized both times, en route to a 2-2 draw in the Blue-Green Rivalry.

It marked the fourth consecutive stalemate between the two squads, following a trio of 1-1 ties the last three falls. In a double-overtime clash that saw a combined 27 fouls and five cautions issued, the Mustangs took the lead Sunday in the 25th minute.

Brooke Rubinstein ignited the go-ahead sequence settling a feed from Sidra Bugsch along the right flank before shaking her defender approaching the box. She then passed in to Nikki Trucco, who was on the finishing end mid-air just a few yards out, making it 1-0 into the back of the net.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Mustang goalkeeper Sophia Brown sent back Katherine Sheehy with a save, but UCSB kept applying pressure, as the conference's leading goal-scorer, senior Shaelan Murison, aimed high shortly afterward (58').

Only moments later, Murison would break through, tallying her 11th goal of the season in the 59th minute, unassisted after a move to split her markers, leveling the match with a shot to the bottom-right.

Cal Poly (1-2-1 Big West; 4-9-2 overall) regained the lead in the 71st minute via penalty, as Jessica Johnson was fouled on a collision inside the box. Fellow Mustang senior Jordan Patane stepped to the spot and converted, making it 2-1 thanks to her second PK in a three-week span.

The Gauchos (2-1-1 conference; 6-4-4 overall) would respond at home, however, again thanks to Murison.

UCSB's Angelica Ortega first shot off the crossbar, and Murison was in position for the rebound, capitalizing on the put-back for a 78th-minute equalizer. It upped her goal count on the year to 12, a total tied for No. 7 in the country.

Both teams had their chances nearing the end of regulation, as Lauren Hess was denied by Brown (86') three-&-a-half minutes prior to Cal Poly's leading scorer, freshman Camille Lafaix, being turned away by Gaucho keeper Hanna DeWeese.

The defenses imposed their will in the first overtime, as although both teams traded possession, neither registered a shot attempt. The stingy allowances by each back line continued into the second OT period as well, until Murison had one last look at a potential golden goal which would've amounted to a hat trick. Her shot just 43 seconds from full-time sailed over the top, however, on the way to both teams settling for 1 point apiece in the standings.

At the halfway point of the conference schedule, the Mustangs sit in sixth place in the table upon 4 points, three back of the top four for the Big West Tournament picture.

Brown ended the day with four saves, upping her career total to 341, now 39 back of the school record.

Cal Poly's road stretch continues traveling to Hawai'i, taking on the Rainbow Wahine on Thursday night. Kickoff on Oct. 24 in Waipio Peninsula Stadium is set for 10 p.m. Oahu Time (7 p.m. PDT on Spectrum HI).

Photo Courtesy © Juventino Ortiz