Crucial Big West match goes to Mustangs

On the strength of two second half goals, visiting Cal Poly defeated UCSB on Sunday afternoon, 2-0. The victory gives the Mustangs the Big West regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this week’s Big West Tournament. The Gauchos fall to the No. 3 seed and will travel to second-seeded Cal State Northridge on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Cal Poly’s Tiffany Gummow broke the scoreless tie with her fifth goal of the season in the 71st minute. Gummow’s game-winner came when she took a cross from Afton Thulin and lined a shot into the upper-left part of the goal, beyond a the reach of UCSB goalkeeper Tammy Lenham.

The Mustangs added an insurance goal in the 89th minute when Kristina Condon-Sherwood drove home a free kick from just above the top of the box. Condon-Sherwood took the free kick after Cal Poly’s Bianca Burright was taken down trying to dribble into the box.

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UCSB outshot the Mustangs 24-13 while both teams had six shots on goal. UCSB was whistled for just one more foul (10-9) while the Gauchos had nine corners compared to two for the Mustangs.

Coral Hoover earned her 10th shutout of the season when she made six saves. Lenham took the loss, making four saves for the Gauchos.

To open the game, Cal Poly had its first scoring chance when Julie McKee fed Morgan Miller on a cross, but was defected by a Gaucho defender.

Eight minutes into the game the Mustangs took the games first corner kick. Kaleena Andruss placed the ball perfectly in front of the goal, but no Mustang was able to get a header on it and the attempted cleared ball was picked off by Shandon Rovetta who put a shot wide left.

UCSB’s Kailyn Kugler, responded on the next possession, splitting two Cal Poly defenders, driving for the goal, but her shot from 15 yards out went wide left.

In the 25th minute Jacqui Simon took a shot from 15 yards out but Julieanne Grinstead blocked it only to have Kugler fire a second shot from about the same distance with Grinstead making a second block.

Two minutes later Cal Poly had the advantage in numbers when a cross by Andruss to the far corner of the box to Miller, but a slide tackle by a UCSB defender disrupted Milller’s shot and it went wide.

The second half opened with Burright beating two defenders with footwork and firing a shot from 15 yards out with Lenham making the save.

UCSB responded with Katy Roby, from just out side the penalty box, firing a shot with Hoover making a diving save.

In the 65th minute Gummow hit a shot that most thought would find the net but it defected off the top of the crossbar.

The Gauchos end the regular season with an 8-9-2 overall record and a 5-2-1 mark in the Big West. Cal Poly, which has won seven straight, is 13-5-0 and 7-1-0.

Santa Barbara will travel to Cal State Northridge on Thursday for a first round match in the Big West Tournament. The time of the contest will be determined on Monday. UCSB defeated the Matadors 3-2 in the second game of Big West play. Cal Poly will host UC Irvine in the first round.