Nov 6, 2013 11:29 PM by Chris Giovannetti
DAVIS, Calif. - Senior forward Mackenzie Pridham scored his 27th career goal Tuesday afternoon to establish a new Cal Poly men's soccer career goal-scoring record, but the Mustangs conceded twice against UC Davis in the final five minutes and suffered a 2-1 loss at Aggie Soccer Field.
Pridham, the second-leading scorer in Division I with 14 goals this season, set the record with Cal Poly's first shot attempt of the match. On 19 minutes, Pridham - one of 34 players selected to the Hermann Trophy Watch List for most outstanding player in the nation - flicked a ball over an Aggie defender and toward to the right post to cement the new program record. With the goal, Pridham surpassed both Clay Harty (1995-96) and David Zamora (2007-10).
"Mac has been consistently scoring goals for the last two seasons," said eighth-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher of Pridham, who also ranks second in program history with five multi-goal games and third with 58 points. "It's no surprise to us. He works hard, he gets into good spots and has good teammates. We're very happy with his growth as a player."
UC Davis (7-8-3, 3-4-2), which forced Cal Poly sophomore goalkeeper Wade Hamilton into five saves, found the equalizing goal in the 86th minute with junior forward Matt Wiesenfarth firing his fifth of the year by the right post.
After seeing his shot blocked in the 89th minute, Aggie junior forward Matt Sheldon produced the game winner 27 seconds from full time as a throw-in from sophomore Ryan Gross was flicked toward goal by fellow midfielder Hoshang Hatifie. Sheldon fired the winner near the right post.
"It was a quick and disappointing end today. It's often said that soccer can be a cruel game and today it was," fifth-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher said. "We controlled the great majority of the game and played a good brand of soccer, but we're the only ones to blame for losing. You need to be good all the way through the final second of each competition and to do it - especially in how we strive to do it - requires courage, awareness, poise and endurance.
"A soccer game is an exhibition of what you value and it can affect people in as many ways as they can perceive. We played some great soccer today and we hope their fans enjoyed how we played. The result stings, but stings go away. How we played will last much longer and we are proud of our team."
With the loss, Cal Poly (10-7-2, 3-4-2) saw UC Davis climb into a second-place tie in the Big West Conference North Division standings on 11 points with one regular season match remaining. The second-place program in the standings will host a conference tournament opening-round match on Tuesday, Nov. 12 while the third-place team hits the road.
Cal Poly closes the year at No. 12 and division champion UC Santa Barbara (11-4-3, 6-0-3) on Saturday, Nov. 9 while UC Davis visits last-place Sacramento State (3-10-4, 1-7-1) earlier in the day. With UC Davis owning the tiebreaker against Cal Poly, the Mustangs - through victory or draw - must better the result put up by the Aggies to finish in second place.
Cal Poly's regular season finale at Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara will be televised live on Fox Sports West at 8 p.m. In front of 11,075 fans - a figure matching the 10th-largest regular season attendance figure in NCAA history - the Mustangs and Gauchos finished in a 1-1 stalemate on Oct. 25 at Cal Poly's Spanos Stadium.
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