Men’s soccer beats Chico State

By Michael Zavala

It always feels good when a team hits its stride.

The rest of the California Collegiate Athletic Association had
better look out because Cal Poly’s men’s soccer team seems to have
found its way and is ready to take on the world.

The Broncos (3-4-1, 3-2-1) defeated Chico State at home Sunday,
2-1. The victory came two days after Cal Poly won against Cal State
Stanislaus at home in double overtime, 3-2.

With the two victories, Cal Poly remains solidly in third place
in the CCAA’s Southern Division and is only five points behind
leaders Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A.

“Winning at home against those northern [division] teams was
needed,” said head coach Paul Caligiuri. “We will be tough to beat;
we’ve found our stride.”

On Sunday, Cal Poly played aggressively, continually pushing its
offense against Chico State’s defense and chipping away until it
had a good opportunity to score.

That opportunity came at the 24:46 mark when junior forward
Hector Quevado scored off the corner kick from sophomore middle
fielder Rigo Cardenas.

The offense didn’t stop there, either. Six-and-a-half minutes
later, Cardenas juked past the Wildcats defenders and fed the ball
to sophomore middle fielder Miguel Abascal, who scored at the 31:16
mark.

Chico State made things interesting in the second half when Nic
Munley scored at the 53:32 mark, but senior goalkeeper Brian
Catalano deflected the rest of the shots the Wildcats took to lead
the Broncos to the win.

“[The team is] understanding each other right now,” said
Caligiuri.

On Friday, freshman forward Tyler Reinhart scored the
game-winning goal off the assist from Cardenas with only 28 seconds
remaining in double overtime to give Cal Poly the victory.

After a scoreless first half, Stanislaus’ Artemio Arteaga scored
the first goal of the game at the 52:05 mark. The Broncos responded
with a goal of their own from Quevado at the 68:18 mark.

Both teams continued to fight until a scant two minutes were
left in regulation, and Arteaga scored again to give the Warriors
the late lead.

However, the Broncos refused to quit, and Abascal scored a goal
with only 27 seconds remaining in the game to send both teams into
the overtime match up.

Catalano had four saves to earn the win.

Caligiuri is proud of the progress Cal Poly has made since
stumbling a bit to open the season.

“We definitely knew we had the talent,” said Caligiuri. “We had
the ingredients; we just needed to find the right chemistry. It’s
difficult to blend everyone in a short period of time.”

However, though the Broncos are definitely enjoying the feeling
of their first winning streak of the season, they’re not taking
their minds off what is next.

“They’re already focused on Sonoma State,” said Caligiuri.
“They’re not embellishing the victory too much.”

Still, it is difficult for Caligiuri to keep from being excited
about Cal Poly’s upcoming games.

“Winning two games before Pack the Stands Night against the top
team in the CCAA is great,” said Caligiuri. “It will be a good game
for the fans.”

The Broncos return to the field at home Friday on Pack the
Stands night against Sonoma State and again Sunday against Humboldt
State.

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