SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – A back and forth contest saw the final chance go against Penn in a 3-2 win for Cal Poly on Friday night.
The Quakers led, 2-1, with under nine minutes to go, but two late goals for the Mustangs denied the Quakers their first win in California since 2009. There were three goals scored in the final 16 minutes of the match, commenced by a first career goal for one of Penn’s freshmen forwards.
Sam Hayward corralled a Jonny Dolezal pass down the right wing in the 74’, charging in alone to goal before booming a ball far left post and in for his first career goal to give the Quakers a 2-1 lead.
Minutes after Alec Neumann hit the crossbar from in close which would have given the Red and Blue insurance, Cal poly tied the match with a goal from Matt LaGrassa in the 82’ minute. John Chronopolous had his shot saved by Tyler Kinn, but the rebound went to LaGrassa’s foot and then to the cage before Penn could swallow the loose rebound.
Hayward had a chance to break the deadlock in the 86’, but his charging shot was just wide. Hayward had a step at the start of his run, but a defender was able to just jostle him enough to alter his attempt and send it wide.
Cal Poly would transition down field, drawing a foul about 15 yards over midfield. Chris Bernardi served the ball in, finding Connor Dreechsler’s head as the defender scored his first career goal in the 88’ to provide the difference maker.
Penn had energy at the start of the match, but its exuberance was counted by opportunity from the Mustangs as Cal Poly countered to scoring chances early. Goalkeeper Tyler Kinn was tested throughout the opening 45’, both on shots and service balls, but was able to deny each attempt taken by a Cal Poly player. However, it was an errant clear from his own side which led to Cal Poly’s opening goal.
In the 29’, Cal Poly sent a serve to goal which Nicky Yin attempted to head away. However, the clear didn’t find safety, instead finding Penn’s own goal to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead. For Kinn, it was the first goal conceded of the 2013 season and ended a streak of 286:48 of shutout keeping dating back to the 2012 season finale on Nov. 12.
Rather than let the unlucky bounce shake their resolve, the Quakers rallied in quick fashion. Duke Lacroix would send a ball down the left flank to the foot of Louis Schott. The junior, who entered the match with a goal in each of Penn’s games this season, packed his scoring touch for the cross-country trip and sent a ball to goal which deflected off a defender and in. The goal was credited as an own goal by the Mustangs.
Tyler Kinn finished with five saves, and was instrumental in keeping Cal Poly at bay off set pieces for most of the game. The Mustangs had a wide advantage on corner kicks, taking 14 to just two for the Quakers.
The Quakers close their California swing with a match at UC-Santa Barbara on Sunday at 4 p.m. EST.