By David Wilson
A 95th minute goal from junior defender Natalie Di Angelo in the first period of overtime handed Cal Poly Pomona a 2-1 win over Seattle Pacific University in the last game before California Collegiate Athletic Association play kicks off.
After an even contest in regulation, the Broncos earned a corner four minutes into sudden-death overtime.
Senior forward Daisy Duran floated an out swinging cross into the box. Seattle Pacific failed to clear, and the ball fell to freshman forward Samantha Putnam who cushioned the ball down for Di Angelo who needed one touch to fire the ball into the bottom left corner.
“It was kind of mangled in there. I saw our forward Sam [Putnam] had the ball, and I asked her to drop it,” Di Angelo said. “I just hit for a low corner because I know the goalie is tall and big, and it’s hard for her to get down low.”
Putnam had already left her mark on the game in the first half by setting up CPP’s first goal of the game, which put the Broncos up 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Her two assists against Seattle Pacific take her total to four in the season, in addition to one goal.
Head coach Jay Mason looked to strengthen the central striker position through recruiting after losing players in that position from last year.
“She’s got a great personality. She’s a team first kid, and as you saw she works really hard,” Mason said. “She gets excited in the game, and she has to learn how to slow down sometimes, but her physical presence, her energy and her commitment is something that makes it difficult for other teams to play.”
CPP’s attack came via a throw-in on the right side of the field that the 5 foot 9 inch Putnam received before holding off a defender turning into space and picking out senior winger Stephanie Rodriguez who made a run from the left across the box and in behind the defense.
From there, Rodriguez rounded the sprawling goalkeeper and coolly finished into an open net.
Seattle Pacific responded less than five minutes later with a cleverly worked set piece.
With the ball placed halfway between CPP’s penalty box and midfield, Seattle Pacific senior defender Maddy Booster played a driven ball on the ground to junior defender Kaytlin Willis at the top of the box instead of floating the ball in the air for her teammates to try and head.
Willis played a one touch pass to junior midfielder Julia DeVere who had been standing behind the Broncos two player wall and was unmarked.
DeVere did not waste her acres of space, slotting the ball past senior goalkeeper Ricki Ives into the bottom right corner.
“The girl who ran across the goal, one of our players should have been following her and marking her. I was one of the free players and I tried to follow her, but it was a little too late,” Di Angelo said. “It was a little disappointing for our backline because we’ve given up a couple goals off of set pieces.”
It could have been much worse for CPP heading into halftime.
In the 42nd minute Falcons junior forward Makayla Sonstelie dribbled past three CPP defenders before her shot rattled the crossbar.
In the second half, neither team created many chances with both teams getting into the final third of attack but not being able to connect on the final shot or pass.
The best chance of the half fell to Seattle Pacific who looked to have won the game in the 86th minute only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag for offside.
In overtime, the Broncos played on the front foot leading up to winning the corner in the 95th minute.
The win against Seattle Pacific was the second of a six game homestand.
Last year, in Mason’s first year in charge CPP, went 2-4-3 at Kellogg Field.
A stat that Mason has stressed to his team must be improved.
“We made a point before this game saying, ‘this has to be a tough place for teams to come and play.’ The atmosphere tonight was great, the fans were great,” Mason said. “I think the girls are taking a little more pride in defending this than maybe we did last year.”
CPP opened CCAA play with a convincing 4-0 win over Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Rodriguez got the Broncos off to a great start in the eighth minute by once again making a run from right midfield position with Amanda Duran providing the perfectly weighted through ball.
With the Dominguez Hills goalkeeper charging out to claim the ball Rodriguez slid and poked the ball past the keeper.
The first half was mostly wave after wave of CPP attacks but the Broncos had only the one goal to show for it heading into the break.
After giving up a set piece goal against Seattle Pacific, it was Cal Poly that took advantage of the set play against Dominguez Hills.
In the 58th minute, Daisy Duran floated a teasing ball into the box that the Dominguez Hills goalkeeper came to claim only for Putnam redirect into the open net.
CPP put the game out of reach in the 72nd minute when freshman midfielder Alison Hung opened her Cal Poly scoring account via header off a cross from sophomore forward Ambria Pogue.
An own goal by Dominguez Hills ten minutes later ended the scoring at four to wrap up a dominating performance to start the season.
CPP closed out the weekend with a 2-2 draw against Cal State Los Angeles after two ten minute periods of extra time.
An own goal by CPP leveled the score at two in the 61st minute forcing overtime for the second time in three games.
This time however, the Broncos score the winning goal.
After falling behind in the 18th minute the Broncos leveled and took the lead in the 21st minute through Amanda Duran and a penalty by Daisy Duran in the 25th minute.
CPP ended the week with an overall record of 5-1-1 and 1-0-1 in CCAA.
CPP will continue their homestand against Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay this Friday and Sunday.
Courtesy of CPP SPORTS INFORMATION
Senior outside midfielder Stephanie Rodriguez scored two goals in three games this week
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