Second Half Surge Pushes Cal Poly Past Men’s Soccer, 2-1

Second Half Surge Pushes Cal Poly Past Men’s Soccer, 2-1

Zack Wolfenzon netted his first goal of the season against Cal Poly Friday (Gil Talbot).

The Harvard men's soccer team drew first blood in the first game of its California road trip, but the Crimson could not hold on, as the host Cal Poly Mustangs netted two second-half goals to grab a 2-1 win Friday at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The result puts Harvard at 1-4-1 on the season while the Mustangs collect their fifth straight win to move to 5-2-0.

The Crimson dominated much of the action in the first half and ended the period with a 6-4 advantage in shots. Kyle Henderson unleashed the first two shots of the game within the first 14 minutes and Zack Wolfenzon followed with a pair of shots of his own minutes later. It was Wolfenzon who finally broke the scoreless drought in the 28th minute, collecting his first score of the season. The senior forward gathered a ball near midfield, dribbled for nearly 40 yards, besting three defenders along the way, and beat Cal Poly goalie Chase Hauser to give Harvard a 1-0 lead.

A tough blow was dealt to the Crimson in the minutes that followed, as freshman goalie Evan Mendez handled the ball outside the box, earning him his second red card of the season and forcing Harvard to play down a man for the final 56 minutes. Harvard dodged a bullet in the final minutes of the half as a Mustang shot clanged off the crossbar, allowing Harvard to take a 1-0 lead into the break.

The hosts were able to even the score early in the second stanza when Ian Clark put home a close-range shot in the 53rd minute, good for his second goal of the year. Playing down a man proved taxing on the Crimson as Harvard's shots were limited through the second half. The Mustangs found the back of the net for the second time in the 73rd minute, with Chris Bernardi's strike holding as the game-winning tally for the hosts. The Mustangs finished with a slight, 11-10, edge in shots and held the Crimson without a corner kick for the game. Henderson led the Crimson with four shots in the contest.

Up next, Harvard prepares for a tough test in No. 3 UC Santa Barbara. The Crimson will face the Gauchos Sunday in a 3 p.m. (EST) contest.