By Breezh Nunez, Nov. 9, 2021

The Nov. 3 game against CSULA was a hard loss for the Broncos, as they brought home a score of 1-2 after pushing the game into double-overtime.

The Bronco’s started the game with an early lead when forward Emma Barrow raised the stakes by shooting a goal outside of the box in the first half.

However, the game took an unexpected turn when CSULA player Melody Landphear’s penalty kick tied the score 1-1 in the second half. After going into double-overtime, CSULA finished the game with a penalty kick that upped to the final score of 1-2 unfortunately ending the season for the Broncos.

Head coach Jay Mason explained that the first goal put them in a comfortable position in the lead; however, he acknowledged that the tactical skill of CSULA and other outside factors kept the Broncos on their toes.

“At the first half we had close to 60% of the possession but the problem with LA is that they have a lot of talent and athleticism, so we knew they were going to create some chances and transitions and we were trying to minimize those opportunities,” said Mason. “We did have some nagging injuries on some of our players in our backline. Two of our starters had some ankle issues that they were playing with, but it was a good start after that first goal.”

As the Broncos faced a tied game, the CSULA coach changed the formation of the Golden Eagles’ play.
Following the formation change, CPP suffered a blow when defender Amanda Faber injured her ankle.
Because of this, Mason was forced to change the Broncos’ formation to decrease some of the added pressure.

“Just the way LA plays, when they get the ball, they do a good job of getting it forward quickly, whether they throw forward or over the top of you and start running, so they put us under a little bit of pressure,” said Mason. “However, I thought the girls responded well after that and we created some more chances. Overtime we created three chances inside the six-yard box that we missed and it’s hard.”

Assistant Coach Jackie Bruno agreed that the Broncos may have kept the lead had game making decisions been made differently. The decision to shift away from an aggressive play style proved detrimental in this final game, which hurt them as a team. She further explained that they shifted their usual aggressive playing style this last conference play.

“Sydney is a 10-year goalkeeper that’s so experienced and she just did everything to protect that goal and was convinced that it wasn’t a penalty kick and went for it and it is what it is in that situation,” said Bruno. “I felt like we could’ve secured and pushed on for a 2-0 lead, but we were playing a bit conservative trying to just secure the 1-0 lead, but soccer’s a cruel game and sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce in your favor, and I think that penalty kick was an indicator of that.”

Bruno explained that the seniors carried a lot of emotional maturity through this loss, although it was disheartening for them to fail securing their spot in the playoffs. She reflected on the team’s latest loss and what it means for next season.

“There were so many reflecting points, but at the end of the day I think we just have to move on from it. For this new season we just need to reflect on things that we did, maybe opportunities that we could have taken advantage of to take us into the lead or runs that we had throughout the season, and we just have to take those moments into next year and learn from the lessons that maybe let us down this year,” said Bruno.

Although the season has come to an end for the Broncos, Mason couldn’t be happier for all the timeless experiences both on and off the field. He expressed pride in coaching the team and facilitating each player’s growth.

“The 18 months that we were off was difficult, but the thing I love most about being a coach is the relationships that you get to be a part of within the team and the challenges that come with it, whether it’s the sport or social dynamic. I was grateful that we had the opportunity to be together again,” said Mason. “I think the journey throughout the season was challenging for all of us in different ways. I know I was wanting the girls to find the success I think they deserved and built, but missing out on a year and a half, I just wanted them to enjoy the experience, be able to play and find that success so their experience as a student athlete finishes the way we all wanted it to. I hope they leave proud of what they built as far as the legacy within the program.”

As the season ends comes to an end, the team hopes to carry on some of the positive habits they developed over this past season.

Junior Bridget Carbonneau, defender and forward, hopes the team will channel the immense energy it displayed on the field this season.

“In terms of next season, we always try to bring 100% of our energy to practice which really translates into how we play in the game. Typically, our coach will really push us during practice, and that really carries on to the energy of how we play during games,” said Carbonneau. “We just need to keep working hard and lifting each other up into next season.”

Mason plans to encourage and train next year’s team in a similar manner.

“For us the biggest challenge is to build a new leadership core that’s going to lead the team through the spring and into the fall,” said Mason. “We want to keep strengthening that team chemistry and just really drive home the mentality it’s going to take for them to be successful in the fall. It is a lot of physical, tactical, emotional and mental development and learning for this group. I think they’re ready for that challenge.”

For more information on the team, visit the CPP Athletics website.

Featured image by Tom Zasadzinski

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