By Miguel Lopez
The playoff run of the men’s soccer team comes to an end after a 1-0 overtime clash against UC San Diego for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II West Region title on Friday night.
The Green and Gold finished with an overall record of 13-6-3 and an 8-3-1 in the CCAA.
“I’m proud of the guys,” said head coach Yossi Raz. “I am proud of the things they have accomplished this year and what this group of seniors were able to accomplish throughout their careers here at Cal Poly Pomona. They created one of the best teams in the region.”
Friday’s contest signaled the final college game for five seniors. The seniors have had a big impact on the Broncos reaching new heights and milestones for the past four years.
“I’m wrapping up my fourth season in Pomona,” said Raz. “We together experienced the highs and lows on this journey. These seniors are graduating with a Regional Title and two Conference Tournament Championships, we went to the Final Four, and we played for a National Championship game. They are great ambassadors to the Cal Poly university and obviously to the men’s soccer program. I couldn’t have chosen a better group to work with.”
The Broncos and Tritons battled a back and forth contest both on offense and defense. CPP outshot the opposing team 16 to 15 but were unable to capitalize on a goal. Junior midfielders Sergi Monso, Kevin Martinez and Dante Medina led the Broncos on offense with three shots.
“I thought we produced good opportunities,” said Raz. “We had great looks near the net. The ball just didn’t bounce our way tonight.”
Both teams locked one another on defense by not allowing a goal in the first 90 minutes of the game, sending the game into overtime. The Green and Gold had six saves in the game compared to the Tritons, who had five saves.
“I think our defense was phenomenal all year,” said Raz. “We just gave up one goal in three games in the playoffs. That tells you how good this overall defensive unit is.”
The deciding factor of the game came near the 94-minute mark, after the Tritons scored just four minutes into overtime. The goal ended the Broncos’ quest to a second trip to a National Championship game.
“The group fought hard and played a very good game,” said Raz. “The game could have gone both ways on many occasions, but I got to congratulate San Diego for a hard-fought battle.”
Raz looks forward to next season.
“I’m very proud to be a head coach for this group,” said Raz. “They are very resilience, we had to overcome a lot of adversity this year. We kept fighting and we made a nice season out of this year. The team took us on a long journey. We will group ourselves and build a quality program for next year.”
Courtesy of Bronco Athletics
The men’s soccer team competing against the UC San Diego Tritons
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