By Christian Cataldo
The Cal Poly Pomona men’s soccer team traveled to Turlock this weekend to compete against Cal State Stanislaus in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament. After two hard-fought games, the Broncos captured the title and are moving on to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Tournament. This is the first time the team has won the championship.
The Broncos began the tournament facing off against Cal State Dominguez Hills in the semifinals on Friday. The Toros were coming off a shutout victory in the first round, while the Broncos’ impressive regular season record earned them a bye in the first round.
CPP took Dominguez Hills down with a score of 2-1.
Early in the first half, junior forward Christian Gonzalez Diaz found the back of the net coming off an assist from senior midfielder Daniel Garcia Jr.
The Toros tried to respond to the early goal by taking a total of six shots in the first half, but CPP’s defense held up as the game went into the half with a score of 1-0.
At the 76:30 mark in the second half, senior midfielder Daniel Asor scored a goal coming off the assist from Garcia Jr. and junior midfielder Michael Torres.
The Broncos maintained the 2-0 until they committed a foul, resulting in a penalty kick for the Toros.
Senior defender Santos Romero converted on the PK, making the score 2-1.
The Broncos held onto the one goal lead, and with the win moved on to the Finals.
This win was the team’s first playoff win. When head coach Yossi Raz was asked about this momentous occasion he responded, “I’m excited for the boys that they are going to go down in [the] history of Cal Poly Pomona.”
Senior Forward Ian Trantow added by saying, “It feels good to be that first team in history to get that first playoff win.”
The CCAA Championship Tournament Finals pitted the Broncos against the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors on Sunday. This game came down to the wire, as regulation and double overtime weren’t enough to determine a victor.
The Broncos finally prevailed after taking the 3-0 shootout lead, earning them the title.
The Broncos came out strong as Garcia Jr. converted on an assist from senior midfielder Armando Ochoa and sophomore forward Luis Najera Jr.
The Warriors responded with a goal of their own early in the second half, as junior forward Ramiro Ceja scored on the assist from senior midfielder Carlos Gavino.
The game was deadlocked at the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime.
The Broncos came out aggressively as they took three shots opposed to the Warriors zero shots in overtime, but CPP was not able to convert on any of those chances.
The second overtime saw both teams fighting but neither team could find the back of the net, forcing the game to go to a shootout.
Cal State Stanislaus’s Gavino started the shootout off with his miss. CPP’s Ochoa converted on his chance, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
The Warriors’ Gerardo Cazares also missed, while Bronco Garcia Jr. found the back of the net, making it 2-0.
CSUS’s Brady Taylor missed their third shot in a row as CPP’s Asor converted, giving the Broncos the 3-0 victory.
Before they took the field, the CCAA banquet on Thursday awarded some of the Bronco players for their excellent play this season.
Gonzalez Diaz earned both the Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year award. Senior Defender Jose Ortega was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year. Raz took home the 2014 Coach of the Year honor in only his second year as head coach, making him the first to win the award for CPP men’s soccer since 1996.
When asked about winning such a prestigious award, Raz said, “It takes a great effort by many people for us to win such an award.”
“We have a great administration who supports us. I have a fantastic coaching staff, and most importantly I have unbelievable players.”
Other Broncos were also honored as Gonzalez Diaz and Ortega were joined by Garcia Jr. for the CCAA First-Team. Junior goalkeeper Fernando Pablo Quevedo and junior forward Alexander Turkson earned spots on the CCAA Second-Team. Sophomore defender Leonel Espinoza and junior defender Jesus Tamayo made the Honorable Mention list.
Despite defeating the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors on penalty kicks for the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship, the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos’ men’s soccer team has come to an end, due to a nullification process applied by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The NCAA notified CPP on Monday about the nullification process, brought on by an ineligible student-athlete unknowingly competing in more than half of the Broncos’ games. Those games, being nullified, affect CPP’s winning percentage, pushing them out of a playoff seed for the NCAA Tournament.
Courtesy Abiel Coronado
Broncos win CCAA title
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