The men’s soccer team played against the Cal State East Bay Pioneers on Oct. 9 and went into double overtime, resulting in a 1-1 draw. The Broncos prevailed in a thrilling game against the Stanislaus State Warriors on Oct.7 in a 2-1 overtime win at Kellogg Field.
Cal Poly Pomona now stands at 9-3-2 overall and a 5-2-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
“I thought we were OK,” head coach Yossi Raz said. “I don’t think we were great or bad. We have some stuff we tried to execute that we progressed on. We have a week off. Hopefully we can improve moving forward with the season and see where the season takes us.”
The Broncos got off to a slow start on defense against the Pioneers, allowing a goal just 12 minutes into the game.
Four minutes later, the Green and Gold retaliated with a goal of their own, after junior forward Luis Najera nailed a shot on the left corner of the net to tie the game 1-1.
“As a team collectively, we had to come together to come back from being a goal down,” said Najera. “We were pushing, pushing and pushing and we finally got a goal.”
The Broncos were the more aggressive team on the offensive side for most of the game, as they outshot the Pioneers 19-11. Najera was on attack mode throughout the game, taking seven of the Broncos’ 19 shots.
“He’s a good player,” Raz said. “He scored great goals. I think if he focuses more he can score more.”
The Broncos and the Pioneers locked one another on defense for the remainder of the game, resulting in a 1-1 tie. Junior goalkeeper Jason Trejos was outstanding on defense for the Broncos, converting on four saves.
“It was a level of resilience, but at the same time we need to help our defense, offensively,” Najera said. “We need to score, and us not doing that puts a lot of pressure on our defense.”
CPP’s matchup against the Warriors drew 893 spectators.
In the 49-minute mark, sophomore forward Andres Caker scored his first goal of the season after leaping above a defender to deliver a header on an assist from junior midfielder Kevin Martinez to lead 1-0. The Warriors retaliated with a goal of their own 10 minutes later to tie the game 1-1 and send the game to overtime.
Just three minutes into overtime, Najera’s first goal of the season came in a big way, after connecting on a penalty kick to score the winning goal. The Broncos were more aggressive on the offensive side, as they outshot the Warriors 16-10 and in corner kicks, 12-1.
“We got a little bit more clear of how teams are going to play us,” Raz said. “We tried to get better in our craft. Hopefully we can draw some knowledge from these games and take it home to the next.”
Najera is looking forward to the next game.
“I like that we’re always working toward our goal,” said Najera. “Never quitting. Just got to keep grinding, and that’s something we always do. Something we’re always able to put through hard work and dedication.”