The men’s soccer team kicked off its 2019 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference play with a 3-2 victory against the No. 15 Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes on Thursday night.
Earlier in the week on Monday, the Broncos finished out their preseason against the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. After a bumpy preseason run, the Broncos ended it on a high note, defeating the Vulcans 6-0.
Senior midfielders Jimmie Villalobos and Cyro Oliveira each were responsible for two goals in Monday’s match. While junior midfielders Eduardo Faria and Omer Green each made one to upset the Vulcans.
The Broncos entered conference play with a record of 1-3-1. On Thursday, the Broncos hosted the Coyotes at Kellogg Stadium. It didn’t take long for the Broncos to open up the scoring. In the sixth minute, senior defender Ori Kenett took a corner kick and delivered a perfect pass to senior forward Jordan Jackmon, who headed it to Green, who tapped the ball into the left side of the net.
“Everybody is doing their positions in the corner well and I’m just happy to score again,” Green said. “We are getting our confidence back, especially after the last game where we won 6-0.”
The Coyotes responded in the 15th minute to tie up the match.
“In moments we were fantastic, and in moments we weren’t great,” head coach Matt O’Sullivan said. “However, in the moments we weren’t great, we dug a little deeper and that is what it takes.”
The Broncos continued to place pressure on the Coyotes’ defense and were rewarded in the 29th minute. Kenett made his second assist of the night to Villalobos, who knocked a shot from 20 yards out to take back the lead before heading to halftime.
This marked Villalobos’ sixth goal in six games.
“It’s always a team effort. Every time I score, I like to give it to my teammates. I appreciate what they do on the field,” Villalobos said. “We had a bumpy road the first few games, but we told each other that we just need to go out and win. Everybody on the field is giving their 100%.”
The Broncos expanded their lead in the 73rd minute when Faria split two Coyote defenders and found the back of the net to put the Broncos ahead 3-1.
“Cyro had the ball and passed it to Garrett (Jansen). Garrett went to the end of the field and touched it back to Cyro, who tried to come inside by himself, but he touched it to me,” Faria said. “I saw that he had someone defending him and they left some space for me, so I went in there and just shot to the left.”
A little over three minutes later, the Coyotes scored on a penalty kick to narrow the lead. However, the Broncos were able to hold off the Coyotes for the remainder of the game, ending with a 3-2 advantage.
“Management of the game was the key tonight. Once you manage the game a little bit better, it gets a little bit easier,” O’Sullivan said. “We scored three goals. We just have to try and tighten up a little bit and try not to concede as many goals. But the attacking is incredible and we have a great group of attacking players. We have to defend a lot better and if we defend a lot better, we are going to be very hard to beat.”
The Broncos will compete in two games this week. They will take on UC San Diego at 7 p.m. Friday before heading to Cal State San Marcos at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
“Now we have the same confidence we had last season and we are now playing our game,” Faria said. “I think it will be much easier now and we are in a good position to continue winning.”
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