Conor McDermott Welch
The Dons took the pitch on Sunday afternoon to take on Cal Poly (4-5-0) after a lengthy seven-day break. Unfortunately, the extra rest could only take them so far, and the crossbar seemed to be larger for the Dons as they lost the match 3-1 to the Broncos in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
USF had no shortage of chances in the first half. Within a two-minute span, junior forward Alex Alugas had one shot saved and put another one off of the crossbar. The Dons trailed 1-0 at halftime, a score that could easily have been more in the Dons’ favor.
In the second half, the game quickly slipped out of USF’s reach. Cal Poly scored three minutes into the half, and added a third goal in the 89th minute for good measure. The Dons got off 11 shots in the last 45 minutes, but didn’t strike until sophomore midfielder Amanda Whittle netted her team-leading second goal of the season during the 90th minute of the match to end the shutout. Junior goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel recorded a season-high seven saves, preventing an even more lopsided result.
The loss to the Mustangs is the third straight for USF, and it brings an end to the Dons’ non-conference schedule. West Coast Conference play will begin for the Dons this Friday at Loyola Marymount at 7:00 p.m.
“Everybody’s got a clean slate starting Friday and we have to go out there and get some [wins],” head coach Jim Millinder told usfdons.com.