SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- An own goal via a Cal Poly defender with just over six minutes remaining in regulation broke a 1-all deadlock and lifted visiting UC Davis to a, 2-1, win over the host Mustangs, clinching the Big West Conference North Division title for the Aggies on Wednesday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
It is the second division title for the Aggies (9-7-2 overall, 6-2-1 in the Big West), who last won the north with a 7-3 record in 2012 and advanced to the tournament championship match. UC Davis, which snapped a four-match winless streak against Cal Poly, will be the top seed out of the division for this year's Big West tournament, earning a first-round bye and the right to host one of two semifinals matches on Nov. 4.
Already eliminated from tournament contention, the Mustangs fell to 6-10-1 overall and 2-6-1 in league matches heading into their season finale against UC Santa Barbara, which finished in a scoreless draw with Sacramento State on Wednesday.
The winning sequence came off a free kick after Cal Poly was whistled for a hand ball near midfield. Senior Noah Wilson played a ball down the right side to Justin Wright, who lofted a cross to the back post from the right side. Redshirt freshman Nabi Kibunguchy was there to meet it, but his header floated back out toward the top of the six, where a Mustang defender headed off the hands of his backpedaling goalkeeper and in for the eventual game-winning score.
All three goals came as a result of set pieces as the Mustangs were the first on the board in the 17th minute. Alex Sanchez sent a corner in from the left side that found the waiting head of Adam Olsen, who sent it home for his fifth goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Junior Roy Boateng then brought his team level just before halftime with his first score of the year, becoming the 16th different player to find the back of the net for the Aggies this season. Chase Rhode's shot off Luke Hazel's corner was stopped by Hernandez, but the keeper was unable to corral the rebound, as Boateng came in to punch home the goal with a header of his own to make it 1-1 in the 43rd minute.
The Aggies out-shot the Mustangs, 13-8, for the match, including a 5-2 advantage in shots on goal. Nine different players finished with shots, including two apiece from Adam Mickelson, Noah Wilson, Wright, and Greg Salazar.
UC Davis closes out the regular season on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 29) at 1 p.m., hosting Causeway rival Sacramento State at the Aggie Soccer Field. The Aggies will salute their senior class prior to kick off at approximately 12:45 p.m.