By Fredy Ramirez
Men’s soccer advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four and will compete against the University of Charleston this Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri.
This will mark the second time in three years that the Broncos reached the Final Four.
The Broncos relied on the experience of seniors that played in the Final Four two years ago.
“I feel like we’ve been able to keep the energy up high and try to keep the team as united as we can in games,” senior midfielder Kevin Martinez said.
The University of Charleston will play in its fourth consecutive Final Four, and have lost one game this season.
Senior forward Will Roberts leads the offensive attack for the Golden Eagles, tallying 11 goals and five assists this season.
Charleston’s defense is one of the stingiest in the nation, allowing only eight goals in 22 games including the playoffs.
“We are going to have a really tough game on Thursday and we just have to take it one day at a time,” senior defender Nadeer Ghantous said.
The Broncos’ offense will try to overcome the Golden Eagles’ defense.
CPP’s offense is led by one of the best strikers in the nation, senior forward Sergi Monso, who has scored 21 goals and notched 11 assists in 23 games.
The Broncos averaged 2.39 goals a game this season so taking away Monso will not be enough to shut down the Broncos’ offense.
Each team will prepare in different ways, but the one thing both teams will do, is rest.
“I think the most important thing is the recovery,” acting head coach Adam Reeves said. “For us, we have played four really tough games over the past two weekends.”
The Broncos grinded throughout the entire tournament as they faced Simon Fraser and Point Loma to start off narrowly escaping with victories in both games 2-1 and 1-0.
The next game proved to be more difficult as they faced an undefeated Cal Baptist team for the West Region Championship.
The back line for the Broncos stepped up to the challenge and shut down the Lancers’ offense leaving with a 1-0 victory.
Difficulties increased in the quarterfinal as CPP squared off against ranked No. 1 Midwestern State.
The Broncos battled all game answering every goal Midwestern State scored with one of their own.
In the end, the game went to penalty kicks and the Broncos seized the opportunity, winning 6-5.
Twelve days will have passed from the emotional victory against Midwestern State to when the Broncos play Charleston.
Whoever comes out on top, will move on to the Division II NCAA Championship game on Dec. 2.
CPP reached the National Championship game two years ago losing 4-0 to Pfeiffer.
Courtesy of Zeno Ferguson
Kevin Martinez and goalkeeper Jason Trejos after last weekend’s penalty shootout win over Midwestern State
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