Fresno State sophomore Sara Jo Ciapponi engages with Cal Poly freshman forward Caitlyn Kreutz during Sunday’s nonconference match at the Soccer and Lacrosse Field. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)
The Fresno State soccer team dropped its sixth-straight game after falling to Cal Poly Sunday by a score of 4-0. This marks the second loss at home with the first coming last Friday against Cal State Northridge (2-1).
Fresno State got off to a slow start, but the Bulldog fans brought the energy, helping the team stay optimistic. The Red Wave filled the stadium with the attendance exceeding 2,000.
“It felt great,” senior forward Fanny Johansson said. “It was a great atmosphere. We heard a lot of cheering and chanting, so that really kept us going and kept the energy high on the field.”
Cal Poly hit the ‘Dogs with a barrage of goals early in the match. The Mustangs’ first goal came at the 1:12-minute mark by forward Caitlyn Kreutz. Two more quick strikes soon after came with midfielder Katrina Drake scoring at the 6:01 mark, and forward Megan Abutin putting the ball in the back of the net just 55 seconds later.
“We were just flat, and we got caught off guard with a couple of early crosses,” head coach Brian Zwaschka said. “Just mishandling of some of those crosses and, unfortunately, the ball bounces to an opportunistic striker, and all of a sudden, we are straight down from the get-go. Certainly one of things we have to continue to address is making sure that the first big five minutes is wrapped up, and we didn’t do a nearly good enough job today. So we’ll keep focusing on it.”
The ‘Dogs were outshot 17-10, and the Mustangs had more shots on goal 9-6. Even though Fresno State lost and went scoreless in the match, the ‘Dogs are still seeing the silver lining and taking the positive results to the next match.
“Being down 3-0, we came and we did better in the second half,” Johansson said. “We worked for each other. We defended together, and we were flexible with the positions we played. We had each others’ back, and I think that’s the most important thing when you’re down 3-0 — to be able to come back and make something good out of it.”
Johansson played defender this match, yet she managed to get two shots off with both being on goal.
“It certainly is what you would expect from your seniors and what you would expect from your captain,” Zwaschka said. “Her energy is boundless. It was great that the bench came in and matched some of that and that also freed her up so that she could get forward.”
Freshman goalkeeper Nicole Theroux played the first half and had one save but gave up three goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Domenique Banta finished off the match, having four saves and giving up one goal.
Up next for the ‘Dogs is a match against the Pacific Tigers. The Tigers (1-4-0) are on a two-game losing streak, losing to Boston College (0-6) and North Dakota State (1-2).
Fresno State will host Pacific on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Soccer and Lacrosse Field.