Men’s soccer kicks off season in Canada

The men’s soccer team headed to Canada last week to compete in two preseason matchups at Terry Fox Field in Burnaby, British Columbia.

On Friday, the Broncos faced some familiar competition, No. 13 Simon Fraser, who they competed against twice last season. 

Despite an impressive goal by senior midfielder Jimmie Villalobos minutes before the half, the Broncos were unable to get past the Clan, falling 3-1. 

The game remained scoreless for the first half hour, until the Clans’ junior forward Matteo Polisi got past the Broncos’ junior goalkeeper Jordan Aldama, taking a 1-0 lead.

Only a couple minutes later, the Clans’ senior forward William Raphael retrieved a ball that ricocheted off the crossbar and bicycle-kicked it into the net for their second goal of the half.  

Two minutes before halftime, Villalobos blasted a shot from 20 yards out to give the Broncos their first and only goal of the evening. 

“I opened up my hips, it got in the right pocket, and I put it to my right,” Villalobos said. “I had a good shot and luckily it went in. It was good motivation for us to keep going.”

Jordan Jackmon kicks off his final year with the Broncos, with one goal and four shots on goal against Montana State Billings.
(Courtesy of CPP Athletic Department)

In the second half, the Clan increased its lead when Christian Hanche-Olsen scored in the 59th minute, ending the match with a 3-1 advantage. 

“I thought we did OK. We had a lot of right moments and stuck to what our coach asked us to do. The results just didn’t show,” Aldama said. “We had a lot of opportunities. We had a lot of corner kicks, but we just didn’t finish our chances.”

This was the first official match the Broncos competed in with not only their new head coach, Matt O’ Sullivan, but also some new players.

“We’ve added some new important pieces to the group, but I feel like the team is engaged and motivated,” Villalobos said. 

“Our recruits never missed a day [of practice], that is how committed they are. They are ready to learn and ready to win.”

The Broncos had one day to recover before facing off against another familiar face, Montana State Billings on Saturday morning. 

After going into double overtime, the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw. 

The Yellowjackets opened up the scoring in the 17th minute, after their junior forward Shantik Bedrosian got past the Broncos’ sophomore goalkeeper Miguel Bayma.

Not long after, the Broncos tied the game up when junior defender Garrett Jansen sent a perfect pass to senior forward Jordan Jackmon, who fired it into the back of the net.

That would wrap the scoring on both sides for the remainder of the regulation.

After two rounds of overtime, the game resulted in a tie. 

The Broncos had many chances and dominated the game with 23 shots, 12 of which were on goal.

Bayma ended the game with a total of four saves.

“I think we performed very well in a lot of aspects,” O’Sullivan said. 

“The team’s chemistry is one of our strongest points and we are in a great position right now to be really good. I have no doubt that we will be really good because of the relationship and chemistry that the senior guys have built with the new guys. 

“We are in the process of building something special and sometimes when you build something special it takes a little bit of time.”

The Broncos now have three preseason games remaining before conference begins on Sept. 26, when they will take on Cal State San Bernardino.

“We need to stay together. Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some,” Villalobos said. 

“But I feel very confident going into conference with this team and I think we will make a huge impact this season.”

The preseason continues this week, as the Broncos face off against Azusa Pacific University at Cougar Soccer Field on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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