Broncos blanked by No. 8 Coyotes

By Marcelo Villa

The Broncos went scoreless on Friday and Sunday as it lost two
matches to Cal State San Bernardino, 1-0 and 2-0, respectively.

The two losses dropped Cal Poly Pomona’s record to 7-6-1 overall
and 5-6-1 in the CCAA. Cal State San Bernardino improved to 10-3-1
overall and 8-3-1 in the CCAA. The Broncos dropped from fourth to
fifth place in the conference rankings while the Coyotes remain in
second.

The Broncos found themselves with their backs against the wall
on Sunday in a playoff race that had them one place below a
qualifying spot. The team felt the do or die mentality even hours
before the game started.

“This is a must win game if we want to have a chance at making
the playoffs,” said senior forward Tyler Reinhart.

Skies were gray and the rain was coming down at the kickoff of
Sunday’s game, but a crowd of about 250 spectators still made their
way to the game to cheer for their respective teams.

“This game is everything if we want to stay in the playoff
race,” said senior defender Justin Valashinas before Sunday’s game.
“We need to win out the rest of our games if we want to have any
chance at making the playoffs.”

Even in the wet conditions, both teams were extremely physical
all throughout the game. Players were being knocked down all over
the field and referee Hector Perez had his whistle close in a match
that produced four yellow cards and approximately 18 fouls.

The Broncos’ defense was especially physical, allowing only nine
shots from the opposing Coyotes. Cal Poly Pomona managed to get
off 19.

Even with the amazing effort by the Broncos, the Coyotes came
out on top of the home team, 2-0.

Freshman midfielder/forward Juan Galarza scored in the seventh
minute on an assist by senior forward/midfielder Jose Godinez, who
also scored an unassisted goal in the 59th minute.

Senior forward Obi Agwu was shut down by the Broncos’ defense.
Freshman goalkeeper Andrew Todd stopped Agwu on numerous one-on-one
situations as well.

Cal State San Bernardino sophomore goalkeeper Tanner Olinger had
eight saves for the Coyotes and helped secure the win for his team
with the shutout.

More bad news came for Cal Poly Pomona in the remaining seven
minutes of the game when Valashinas had a vicious collision with
Coyotes’ junior midfielder DJ Vigil.

Valashinas, who was favoring his right knee, managed to walk off
the field, but did not return. The injury did not appear serious,
but precautions were taken to sit him.

On Friday, Agwu proved why he is the leading goal scorer by
stunning the Broncos in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in overtime.

Although Cal Poly Pomona attempted more shots on goal than its
opponent, Cal State San Bernardino only needed one well-placed
strike from its star forward to be victorious.

The goal by Agwu came on an assist by Galarza in the 93rd minute
of the match. This season, Agwu has scored 11 goals in 12 games,
which is an astounding statistic considering the strength of play
from the teams within the division.

Reinhart and junior forward Luis Gonzalez led the Broncos with
five shots each, but they were unable to find the back of the
net.

“We dominated for most of the game but we missed a lot of wide
open shots, myself included,” Reinhart said. “We just weren’t able
to put them away.”

Valashinas had a similar mindset.

“Honestly, we had a lot of chances and just couldn’t finish,”
Valashinas said. “It was just one of those games.”

Cal Poly Pomona will begin its final home stretch on Friday at
4:30 p.m. against UC San Diego and end it on Sunday against Cal
State East Bay at 11:30 a.m. UC San Diego is third in the CCAA
South Division, with a 6-4-4 record overall and a 6-3-3 conference
record, while Cal State East Bay is sixth, with an overall record
of 2-12-2 and a 1-9-2 record in CCAA play.

The Broncos will be looking to make up some ground in one last
run for the playoffs.

Reinhart has life-long love for soccer

Trevor Wills / The Poly Post

Reinhart has life-long love for soccer

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