Cal Poly’s Sydney Knauer scored on a first-half cross delivered by fellow senior Ashley Kirchick on Thursday night, helping the Mustang women’s soccer team battle San Jose State to a 1-1 draw at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Knauer staked Cal Poly to a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute, finishing a give-and-go combination she started a few yards above the penalty area.
Knauer began the sequence by tapping a right-footed pass out to the corner of the box, where Kirchick settled the ball a few feet up from the goal line. Kirchick then launched a cross to her left, bouncing once deep into the center of the goal box, where Knauer capitalized from point-blank range.
The assist was the seventh of Kirchick’s career.
San Jose State equalized in the 53rd minute, as Hannah Hall angled a through ball between the Mustang back line ahead to Jamilecxth Becerra, who maneuvered to her left to get past the keeper, ultimately scoring into an empty net from 8 yards out.
It was the second goal of the year for Becerra, the 2017 Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year.
Ironically, each side’s goal came in halves during which the opposition largely controlled possession, as SJSU created a 10-5 advantage in total shots before the break, before the Mustangs responded by taking 11 of the match’s 16 combined attempts after intermission to the end of regulation.
The Spartans (0-2-1), defending Mountain West regular-season champions, took six corner kicks on the evening to the Mustangs’ four, although Cal Poly (0-2-2) finished with an overall 20-18 margin in shots.
SJSU’s Kara Burns was called into making nine saves in her first starting appearance of the season, while Sophia Brown saved five shots (on 15′, 24′, 33′, 93′ and 100′) for Cal Poly.
The Mustangs almost broke through in overtime, as junior forward Jessica Johnson tested Burns with a 96th-minute look, rebounded by redshirt sophomore Georgina Stiegeler, whose follow sailed over the crossbar. Neither team placed a shot on frame in the second OT period en route to the stalemate.
Cal Poly will wrap a three-game homestand by hosting 2017 WAC Tournament champion Utah Valley on Sunday, again at 7 p.m. Sunday night’s game against the Wolverines will be a Youth Day at Spanos Stadium, with free admission for kids 13-and-under.
-Provided by Cal Poly