Junior left-back Ori Kenett wheeled away in celebration arms spread wide as teammates mobbed him on the left touchline. Kenett had just deposited a left-footed blast into the top right corner from just outside the box on the left flank, putting the Broncos up 3-0 rounding off a near-perfect first-half display and sending the Broncos on their way to a 4-1 win over Cal State San Marcos.

Kenett, overlapping on the left as he had done much of the first half, received the ball in a position that usually results in a cross into the box. This time, San Marcos defenders backed off almost inviting him to shoot. He accepted and sweetly struck the ball past the helpless junior San Marcos goalkeeper Justin Tesar.

“Usually I do cross it,” Kenett said. “It’s just an instinct, you see the players and you’re like give it a shot … I was shocked.”

Patricio Yrizar scored his second goal of the season on Sunday afternoon against UC San Diego. (David Wilson | The Poly Post)

The goal typified a confident performance from Cal Poly Pomona, who controlled the match with possession and put San Marcos away within 45 minutes.

The Broncos wasted little time putting San Marcos, which entered the game on a 5-game winless streak, under pressure. With the first corner of the game, senior midfielder Cyro Oliveira floated a ball into the box that found the head of sophomore forward Brian Peek to put CPP up 1-0 two minutes in.

“I knew it was a young team on edge a little bit and I told my guys, ‘If we can start early and get one on them they’re really going to question themselves,’” Head Coach Adam Reeves said.

For the first 20 minutes, Reeves kept his starting lineup on the field. When he made his first two changes in the 21st minute, they immediately proved decisive. Reeves changed both players on the right side, replacing junior right back Angel Cova with sophomore Garrett Jensen and junior Jordan Jackmon with senior Sergio Martinez.

“We have good pieces on the width and I didn’t think we were getting out of the first two what I was hoping we would,” Reeves said.

Within a minute of coming on, Jensen and Martinez combined down the right flank with Jensen making an overlapping run to the byline. He played in a low cross back toward the penalty spot that made it through the crowded box to Peek, who fired a one-touch shot into the net.

Brian Peek scored three goals this past weekend, pushing his goal total in the season to four. (David Wilson | The Poly Post)

Kenett, Cova and Jensen constantly overlapped to join in the attack and create a numbers advantage in wide areas.

“Our strength as a team is our center,” Kenett said. “Teams know that, so they can prepare, and they pack the middle so that’s why we left back and right back and wingers need to give our value at the width.”

The key for fullbacks is to not be caught upfield at the wrong time leaving the team exposed for counter attacks.

“You just have to be aware of your surroundings,” Jensen said. “If I see Ori on the left side further up and there’s two attacking players back I know this is a time I need to stay back just in case.”

During the week, CPP practiced playing out of the back under pressure and changing the point of attack in preparation for San Marcos’s pressing style. The front five for San Marcos tried to force mistakes out of junior Jason Ramos and senior Nadeer Ghantous.

Throughout the half, sophomore attacking midfielder Eduardo Faria found pockets of space between the San Marcos midfielders and back line to create scoring opportunities and bring teammates into the attack.

“In the first half I thought we were very good in how we were trying to break them down and how we were trying to get at them,” Reeves said.

In the 24th minute, Faria combined with senior midfielder Yrizar who found Faria with a slipped pass into the box that set him up one-on-one with Tesar. Faria looked poised to finish off San Marcos, but his shot rattled the near post.

With a three-goal lead, the Broncos opened the second half with sloppy play and allowed San Marcos to apply pressure. Sophomore midfielder Jacob Cuccia pulled a goal back for San Marcos in the 67th minute.

Six minutes later, CPP ended any chance of a comeback. A corner kick taken by Kenett was cleared out of the box but was recycled back out on the right flank to Kenett. He faked right and got the ball back on his favored left foot and floated a ball that looked destined to be heading out for a goal kick.

Junior midfielder Jimmie Villalobos saved the ball from going out of play by heading the ball back into the middle of the box where Faria stood, unmarked to deposit an easy header into an open goal.

The Broncos defeated 10th ranked UC San diego Sunday afternoon 2-0.

The CPP win handed the Tritons their second loss in conference play and of the season.

Peek scored the first goal for the Broncos off of a rebound by shot by Faria.

CPP will now head on the road to face Cal State Monterey Bay Friday afternoon and then Cal State East Bay on  Sunday.

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