SACRAMENTO – Junior midfielder Chase Minter scored his fourth goal in three matches and sophomore midfielder Sean Dhillon (right) added his first collegiate goal as the Cal Poly men's soccer program opened Big West Conference North Division play Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 triumph against Sacramento State at Hornet Field.
Junior goalkeeper Wade Hamilton chalked up five saves for Cal Poly (8-3-3, 3-1-1), which also received an 88th-minute own goal from Sacramento State to stay unbeaten in six of its previous seven matches. Also unbeaten versus Sacramento State in eight of the last nine matchups, Cal Poly improved to 10 points in the Big West North Division standings to retain the top spot.
Held to a single shot on target during the opening 35 minutes, the Mustangs broke through in the 36th as Minter – the reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Week after scoring all three of Cal Poly's goals last week – received a short pass from freshman forward Kaba Alkebulan in the penalty area before firing past Sacramento State goalkeeper James Del Curto.
The goal was Minter's team-leading seventh of 2014.
Hamilton recorded two saves in the first half, but Sacramento State deadlocked the match on 62 minutes with senior defender Mason McCann crossing in from the right of goal for senior defender Cody Hoster, who finished with a charging shot on net.
Fourteen minutes later, however, Dhillon produced the game-winning strike. It was Minter playing provider as he earned his team-leading fourth assist of the year by picking out Dhillon at the top of penalty area.
"We were very good in possession in the first half and created some good chances. We didn't score, but ultimately got the breakthrough with Chase's goal," interim head coach Phil Ruskin said. "We were again good in possession in the second half and rotated the ball nicely. We definitely created a lot of dangerous goal-scoring chances. Wade came up with a few big-time saves with Sacramento State putting some real pressure on us."
Two minutes from full time, Sacramento State placed Cal Poly up 3-1 as a cross by Mustang junior Kip Colvey knocked off a sliding Hornet defender and over the goal line.
Minter and sophomore winger Justin Dhillon each produced a match-leading four shot attempts for Cal Poly, which hosts co-Big West North Division leader UC Davis on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
"I'm proud of our guys for the victory," Ruskin added. "It was a game I thought we deserved to win. We're looking forward to getting better during the next two training sessions before facing UC Davis for first place on Wednesday."