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Cal Poly Tops UC Riverside 3-0 to Wrap Season with Senior Day Win

Cal Poly Tops UC Riverside 3-0 to Wrap Season with Senior Day Win

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly jumped out to a quick lead over UC Riverside on Sunday at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, before adding two more goals after halftime to wrap up the 2019 women's soccer season with a 3-0 victory on Senior Day.

With the win, Cal Poly closed its season with 11 points in the Big West standings (via 3-3-2 in conference play), tied for fifth place in the table, only one spot (4 points) back of advancing to the four-team Big West Tournament.

Just four minutes into the match, Georgina Stiegeler ran up on a loose ball along the 18-yard marker at the edge of the box, and slid a short pass to her left to set up teammate Sidra Bugsch. Bugsch whistled a right-footed strike inside the far post, beating Highlander keeper Annie Bailey's diving reach to notch her third score of the season.

From there, neither side would score again for another 65 minutes, although Bugsch almost tallied a brace in the 13th minute, shooting off the post.

Mustang senior goalkeeper Sophia Brown made a pair of saves before the break to keep UCR off the board, first denying Alyssa Carranza in the 16th minute before sending back Miah Conde in the 30th.

The Highlanders' best chance came in the 54th minute, as Brown stepped in front of an Akari Shimizu shot, before Jennifer Barroso came in for the rebound to attempt a follow-up, only to have Mustang freshman Nikki Trucco deflect the shot to chalk up a rare team save.

In the 70th minute, Cal Poly earned a penalty kick, prompting Mustang players to call up Brown from her goal box to take the PK. Brown ran to the spot and then beat her counterpart by shooting to her right, recording a seldom-seen goalkeeper goal.

Although Mustang keepers in the past have assisted on others' goals, it's the first goal tallied for a Cal Poly goalkeeper in a regulation setting.

The Mustangs made it 3-0 just 45 seconds later, with Camille Lafaix passing ahead to Brooke Rubinstein for another goal, the first of Rubinstein's season on the fourth assist of 2019 for Lafaix.

With the game effectively in hand, Cal Poly (finishing 6-10-3 altogether) rotated its bench the rest of the way, finishing the afternoon playing 10 backups overall.

In the final 26 minutes, the Mustangs saw shots placed on target by Grace Park (75') and Jessica Johnson (89'), but Bailey and Caela Kaio came up with saves for UCR.

Brown finishes her Cal Poly career with a total of 364 saves, No. 2 in school history, 16 back of the program record. She also graduates No. 4 in the history of the Big West Conference for career saves, along with moving to third all-time at Cal Poly for career appearances in goal (71).

The shutout was the 13th of Brown's career. Next week's conference tournament will be hosted by Cal State Fullerton, which went unbeaten in the league schedule at 5-0-3 (12-2-4 overall) to secure the No. 1 seed.

Coming up for the Mustangs, the program will announce its 2019 National Letter of Intent signing class later this month.

The 2020 spring scrimmage schedule, comprised of six exhibitions from April through May (a few of which are expected to be held at Spanos Stadium), will likely be finalized in mid-February.

Photos by Owen Main