By Bryan Stauffer
The Cal Poly Pomona women’s soccer team clinched a CCAA playoff berth for the first time since 2004 following their 2-2 draw against Cal State Dominguez Hills Friday at Kellogg Field.
With the tie, the Broncos mark their eighth playoff appearance overall as they clinched the number four seed for the conference tournament that will be held on Friday and Sunday in Carson.
The tie also extended CPP’s current undefeated streak to 11 games, topping the women’s previous record of nine straight, set back in 1990.
The Broncos continued their hot play against the Toros as they scored their two goals in the first 38 minutes of the game.
Former CCAA Athlete of the Week Samantha Stiles scored her fourth goal in two games as she rebounded a shot in off the crossbar in the 26th minute.
Alison Sauve and Kristin Mihara were credited with the assist as the initial shot from the left side was saved and deflected into open space.
Third-year forward Kaelyn Kaichi capped off a great scoring opportunity in the 38th minute when she dribbled around the defender, and shot from 14 yards out. Mindy Castro assisted her with a pass up through the midfield and put Kaichi in position to record her third goal of the season.
“Mindy did a real good job coming up against the defender,” said Kaichi. “She kicked it off of her and I just saw the ball, sprinted and kicked it around the goalie because she was coming out.”
The Broncos’ defense has been dominant as of late, holding opponents scoreless in the first half in their past four matches.
“Our defense is amazing,” said Kaichi. “We’ve got really strong players in the back. They’re always on their game.”
The CPP defense was on the verge of another shutout victory until the Toros found the net in the 82nd minute when third-year midfielder Caitlin Peterson scored off a rebound shot following Mayra Robledo’s missed opportunity.
CSUDH was not done, however, as their offense came alive in the last eight minutes of the match with another goal in the 90th minute. This time, midfielder Olivia Patterson delivered for the Toros as she scored off a penalty kick following a Bronco handball inside the box, tying the game up at 2-2.
Head coach Isabelle Harvey said the Broncos let up at the end of the match and allowed the Toros to get back into the game.
“I think that we had 15 minutes where we kind of sat back a little bit, and that’s when the other team obviously got the energy and scored the goals,” said Harvey. “I think that we are a team that works super hard and we have to do that, obviously, for 90 minutes.”
The stage was set for the Broncos’ fourth overtime match of the season following the Toros’ successful penalty kick.
In the first overtime period, the Broncos outshot CSUDH 4-1 but were unable to cash in.
CPP had several chances to score in the second overtime period as they were on the offensive for most of the period, but was unable to finish.
Although the Broncos were unable to defeat the Toros, they received some help from San Francisco State as they fought to a 1-1 tie with Cal State Los Angeles, ending CSULA’s chances of making the postseason.
Harvey said the playoff berth is huge for the Broncos following the slow start the team got off to.
“It’s been such a great accomplishment for the team because if you look at it, we were sitting at 1-4,” said Harvey. “Then we just kind of turned the corner and got a great effort from everyone, starting in practice to the game.”
Following the Broncos’ win Sunday against CSULA, they will open the CCAA playoffs Friday against Sonoma State in Carson.
Nathan Guerard/The Poly Post
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