Oct 6, 2013 9:55 PM by Chris Giovannetti
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - An 11th-minute penalty from Cal State Fullerton senior defender Jaime Cano stood as the difference on Sunday as the Cal Poly men's soccer team - despite placing seven shots on goal - failed to find the back of the Titan net and dropped a 1-0 decision at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Senior forward Mackenzie Pridham produced a game-high three shots on goal for Cal Poly (8-4-0, 1-1-0), which forced Titan senior goalkeeper Bryan Escalante into five second-half saves. Cal Poly, which entered Sunday's match as the highest scoring program in Division I with 32 goals, produced six corner kick opportunities to Cal State Fullerton's one and was whistled offside six times.
Cal State Fullerton (4-6-0, 1-1-0), which produced just two shots on target from open play, found the game's only goal in the 11th after Mustang senior defender Connor Drechsler was shown a yellow card for taking down a Titan attacker inside the Cal Poly penalty area. Cano stepped to the spot and buried his second goal of 2013 into the left corner of the Mustang net.
Cal Poly's first legitimate scoring opportunity occurred four minutes later as freshman forward John Chronopoulos looped an open-net attempt wide of the right post. Cal Poly was held without a shot on target until freshman winger Ari Lassiter was turned away in the 30th. Fellow freshman Justin Dhillon then ripped a 36th-minute attempt that was corralled by Escalante.
Into the second half, Pridham tested Escalante twice inside the opening 11 minutes before senior midfielder George Malki was stopped on 67 minutes.
Cal Poly's best chances to equalize came late. In the 79th minute, Pridham fired on Escalante inside the penalty area. The resulting loose ball from the save was scooped up by Malki, who reeled a close-range attempt off Cano guarding the inside of the right post.
Cal Poly's final chance to break through came in the 85th minute, as sophomore winger Chase Minter bounced a shot from the left edge of the Titan penalty area off of the Cal State Northridge crossbar.
Sophomore goalkeeper Wade Hamilton chalked up two saves for Cal Poly, which hits the road for the first time in conference play when visiting No. 25 UC Irvine on Friday, Oct. 11 and No. 6 Cal State Northridge on Sunday, Oct. 13.
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