After a tough loss to Cal State Los Angeles on Thursday night, the men’s soccer team regrouped and defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday afternoon.
The 1-0 victory earned Cal Poly Pomona the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s regular season title.
The Broncos traveled to CSULA Thursday evening to take on the Golden Eagles. After surrendering two goals in the first half and another two in the second, the Broncos lost 4-0.
After the loss, the Broncos fell to second place, one point behind CSULA. In order to take the title, they would have to beat CSUDH on Saturday and hope that CSULA either lost or tied to Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday as well.
“We need to get our heads straight, tell ourselves we are bigger, pick each other up and look forward to the next game,” junior midfielder Jimmie Villalobos said. “Like every other team, you win some, you lose some but at the end of the day we need to keep moving forward and looking for the win.”
The Broncos did just that on Saturday when they defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills 1-0 at Toro Stadium.
In the 55th minute, junior midfielder Jordan Jackmon scored for the Broncos putting them in the lead 1-0. That would be the only goal for the entirety of the match and was enough to give the Broncos the victory and the CCAA title.
“We were hoping to get a different result than the game at L.A. and luckily we did, so it is great moment,” Jackmon said.“[We are going to prepare for the tournament] the same way that we have been all season and take it one game at a time.”
The Broncos have made Cal Poly Pomona history, as they are the first team to earn the CCAA regular season title for men’s soccer.
“It is an incredible feeling, obviously, we made history so it is a bonus to know that,” junior midfielder Ori Kenett said. “Finishing up first after grinding and grinding all season and after a rough start, there is nothing better than that. I am really, really happy right now.”
The Broncos have worked hard all season with a 9-2 record and a nine-game winning streak to land them the No. 1 seed in the championship tournament.
“Jordan scored the winner — that kid works so hard you know what you are going to get out of him every game,” head coach Adam Reeves said. “He just gives the team everything he has. As a group to build into a game of the magnitude that Cal State L.A. was and then get wiped off the park, to have to turn around 36 hours later and perform, I thought they did a good job.”
Year after year, the Broncos have come incredibly close to winning the regular season title but this year they finally clinched it.
“Nobody will ever be able to take this away from us; we have been grinding for this since I got here in 2015,” Reeves said.
“In 2015, we didn’t win the regular season title and then we ended up winning the region and going to the national championship game. [In] 2016, we were at home on the last day against UC San Diego, up 1-0 with 10 minutes left and we ended up losing 2-1 and lost a regular season championship. Last year, we were at home on senior night to win the regular season championship, got upset 1-0 to San Bernardino. So it has been a long time coming, and I want them to enjoy it and be proud of what they have accomplished.”
The Broncos earned a bye for Tuesday’s match and will head straight to the semifinals on Friday, where they will face the winner of the match up between Cal State San Bernardino and San Francisco State.
“It is a huge boost because we have a bye in the first round which means we can rest and our opponent Friday has to play Tuesday, so that is massive for who we are and what we want to do,” Reeves said. “There are obviously things we need to work on and we need to improve to continue to be who we are.”
The Broncos’ next game will be the semifinal game on Friday in La Jolla in the CCAA Championship Tournament.
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