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'We want to win conference and win NCAA's': Cal Poly women's soccer prepares for 2023 season

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Aug 10, 2023

It’s a new year for Cal Poly Women's Soccer Head Coach Alex Crozier who enters his 31st season at the helm of the Mustangs program coming off a season where they won the Big West regular season title.

With their first exhibition against San Jose State this weekend, the team is looking to repeat their regular season success so that they can give themselves a better shot in the postseason.

“It's all part of putting the pieces together for getting ready for conference because really the bottom line is we want to win conference and we want to go to the NCAA’s,” Crozier said.

Last year’s team’s calling card was their defense which recorded ten shutouts last season thanks to their ability to pressure and attack.

All-Big West first team selection Emma Brown, Aynsley Conner and the reigning Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Mackenzie Samuel, all return this year to help bring about another strong defensive presence for the Mustangs.

“ Aynsley, Emma and Mack are very close off the field as well so they have a good relationship," Crozier explained. "They play well together, they understand each other and that's huge.”

“I think we have a good starting core and our defense really builds together and because our relationships are so good off the field," Samuel added. "It really translates and we are able to have a fluid defense and help start the attack.”

Following their exhibition game against San Jose State, the team tests themselves early with an away game August 17 at Fresno State followed by a road match-up one week later against the the number one ranked team in the country, UCLA.

“A lot of people would find that as a daunting challenge, but I think we're going to take it in stride," Samuel stated. "We played them in the spring and we really held our own and it was great to see the team come together and fight for what we want and go toe to toe with some of the best.”

“They're just great opportunities for us to see how well we can play together,” Crozier added.

After winning the Big West regular season crown last season they were eliminated in the Big West Tournament, falling to Long Beach State in the semifinals. In the preseason coaches poll, Cal Poly was selected to place second in the conference behind LBSU.