By Andrew Gordo
The Cal Poly Pomona women’s soccer team traveled to Turlock this weekend to play in the semifinal game of the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference tournament, where they fell to the Chico State Wildcats 1-0 in double overtime.
With the loss, the Broncos move to a 13-5-1 record on the year and await word from the National Collegiate Athletic Association selection committee as to if they will participate in the upcoming Division II tournament.
“We did everything right today,” said head coach Mike Dibbini. “We played well enough to win the game. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a cruel game. The better team doesn’t always win and I think that is what happened today.”
The Broncos played aggressively on both sides of the ball. On defense, they pressured the Wildcats on numerous possessions and prevented them from scoring a goal in regulation. While on offense, the Broncos shot the ball at will 18 times and tried to push their attackers forward.
But this was a game that was primarily based on both teams’ tough defenses. Neither the Broncos nor the Wildcats were able to net a goal in the 90 minutes of game time. As the defenders held strong and both goalies made some key saves, the game stretched into two overtime periods.
In the first minute of the second overtime period, the Broncos committed a foul just outside of the penalty box and gave the Wildcats a free kick. The Wildcats were able to cross the ball in and convert on a game-winning header.
Though they suffered a tough playoff loss, the season has been quite successful for the Broncos. Not only did the team make it to the conference semi-finals, but a number of players were recognized for their hard work this year at the CCAA Championship Banquet.
Senior midfielder Alison Sauve was crowned the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-CCAA First Team. Five other players were recognized and received honorable mention including freshman midfielder Daisy Duran, junior defender Rachel Killigrew, junior defender Megan Kisslan, junior defender Hannah Leu, and junior foward Melissa Martinez.
“It’s a team that was evolving and still learning from each other and we figured it out and did very well,” said Dibbini. “We had a nice little seven, eight game streak there where we did well, and I think it just was a matter of spending more time together. You look at the overall team, you only had four or five returning CCAA experienced players. Getting the newcomers acclimated was a benefit along with experience. We played better.”
The Broncos hope to continue their season and be a part of the NCAA Division II tournament next weekend. The NCAA will air its postseason selection show on Monday at 4 p.m. to determine the teams and field of play.
“We are still waiting on the quest for the NCAA bid, so hopefully we can get that and get another shot in the NCAA tournament,” said Dibbini.
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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