The Broncos clinched their fifth straight spot in the CCAA Championship tournament with a win over Cal State Monterey Bay. (David Wilson | The Poly Post)

Winning streak extended to nine games

Cal Poly senior midfielder Patricio Yrizar blasted in a ball after it bounced off the Cal State Monterey Bay’s goalkeeper, winning the match for the Broncos, 1-0, in a tough match on Friday night.

“I was very concerned about Monterey Bay, they are at home and they scored 11 goals in their last three games, but I thought the guys did a great job not falling into the trap,” head coach Adam Reeves said.

The Broncos clinched their fifth straight spot in the CCAA Championship tournament with a win over Cal State Monterey Bay. (David Wilson | The Poly Post)

The Broncos took a total of six shots in the first half but struggled when it came to seeing the frame.

The Otters made a total of three shots with only one on goal. The match was scoreless at the half.

Entering the second half, the Broncos took the lead when it came to shots with a total of nine.

The Otters fell behind with only two, none of which were on goal.

The match headed to overtime after two scoreless halves. The Broncos started the period off strong with four shots, the last one finally seeing the back of the net.

Bronco forward Gabriel Castillo took a shot, which rebounded off the Otter’s goalkeeper, Daniel Lomeli. Yrizar received the rebound and put it into the net, breaking the tie and winning the match in the 98th minute.

“Gabriel Castillo came off the bench and played up top and obviously he created the goal,” Reeves said. “He had a few other chances throughout the last 60 minutes of the match to maybe finish the game earlier. You always want to see your strikers finish their chances and be a little bit more deadly in front of the goal but if you look at his performance overall I thought he was pretty good.”

On top of his one assist, Castillo took a total of four shots during the match, three on goal.

“I think our togetherness worked really well because there was a lot of times in the match where we were getting frustrated and things weren’t going our way but we still stuck together and fought together as a team,” Castillo said.

The Broncos have had quite a journey since the start of the season. After a rough patch in the preseason, they have come full circle and have been dominating the conference since.

“I thought we didn’t do a good enough job early in the year defensively to keep us in games until we starting understanding each other and attacking,” Reeves said. “With time, more training sessions, videos and with a little bit of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on the training ground, it has obviously helped our performance drastically.”

The Broncos have now secured their spot in the CCAA Championship Tournament. This will be their fifth straight season competing for the title.

“We’ve come a long way since the beginning. We’ve had a lot of new faces and I think we’ve adapted with the new guys and got them on the same page,” Castillo said. “I feel like that has helped us out a lot and it was really hard to do that at the beginning of the season because they were not used to our system and the way that we played, but I think we are all on the same page now and we are doing pretty well.”

After losing 10 seniors last season, the Broncos had to make several adjustments and learn how to work with a whole new group of players.

“I think from the start, our mentality wasn’t there and there wasn’t that bond as a team,” Yrizar said. “I think after losing a few games at the beginning it made us realize that we need to change our mentality and everyone needs to know what to expect from each other and what our role is.”

As the conference season nears its end, the Broncos are prepared to take on their last few matches.

The Broncos defeated Cal State East Bay 3-0 Sunday afternoon to extend their winning streak to nine games.

Sophomore midfielder Eduardo Faria got the scoring started for the Broncos in the 24th minute.

Thirty minutes after scoring their second goal of the game via penalty kick, junior midfielder Jimmie Villalobos scored the Broncos’ third goal of the game.

Broncos now sit on top of the CCAA standings with the win.

The Broncos will head to Cal State Los Angeles on Thursday to take on the Eagles at 7 p.m., before heading to Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sunday to take on the Toros at 2 p.m.

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