By Ashley Neckel, Nov. 16, 2021

On Nov. 12, the CPP men’s soccer team dominated the CCAA semifinals game against the CSUSB Coyotes. Achieving a 2-1 score, the Broncos advanced to the CCAA finals against Cal State LA on Nov. 14 at the Jesse Owens field in Los Angeles.

The Broncos started strong, as defender Garrett Jensen scored the first goal of the match only six minutes and 21 seconds into the first half. The goal marks forward Paul Henschke’s third assist in addition the 12 goals he scored throughout the season.  

“It was a great goal from our team,” said Henschke. “I got lucky that I touched the ball and Garrett was right behind me.” 

Entering the second half of the match with seven offsides and three saves made by senior goalkeeper Jordan Aldama, the Broncos temporarily remained in the lead. However, Coyotes’ junior defender Isaac Balderrama scored his first goal of the season, tying the game late in the second half. 

Nonetheless, the Broncos employed an increasingly aggressive attacking style to regain the lead.  Going into overtime, freshman forward Kevin Hernandez kicked the game-winning goal, sending the team to the CCAA finals. 

Although he scored the winning goal of the match, Hernandez insists the win was a result of tireless efforts from his teammates. 

“I don’t think it was just me, it was the whole team. It was the whole process; practicing set pieces this whole week came at the perfect time and we did well in the end,” said Hernandez. “The spirit was there. We wanted it more than them and it came out to victory.” 

Although the Broncos’ lead appeared to slightly waver nearing the end of the game, Assistant Coach Kevin McCarthy noted that consistent training helped refine the team’s skills.  

“I thought today we kind of got lost and became chaotic and we need to instill how we see the game with possession and buildup,” said McCarthy. “We were creative and tried a few new cool tricks. I thought we played a little bit more direct today- we hit some more balls; that gave them some trouble.”  

With nine returning players from the 2019 season, the Broncos were determined to make up for the loss of the 2020 season due to the pandemic.   

To view the team’s stats from this season, visit the Bronco Athletics website.  

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics Department

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