By Michael Yu, Nov. 23, 2021

The CPP men’s soccer team played against Cal State LA on Nov. 14 at the Jesse Owens Field in Los Angeles, as the final match of the CCAA championship culminated with the Broncos suffering a 3-1 loss. Nonetheless, the Broncos earned the opportunity to advance to the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.

The game kicked off with strong defensive plays from the Broncos, as the CSULA team hardly left its side of the field. The game was locked in a stalemate for the majority of the first half, with neither team able to score.   

As both teams fought to break through each other’s defenses, senior midfielder Eduardo Faria shared his thoughts on how CPP was able to effectively command the field. 

“We were able to control the flow of the game really well, especially in the first half where we had a lot more chances to score than them,” said Faria.  

Midfielder Eduardo Faria defends the ball from the CSULA team. (Courtesy of Mike Farrell)

However, as the game progressed, the tides turned as CSULA scored its first point in the 24th minute of the first half. Upon entering the second half of the game, the Golden Eagles were able to score two more goals. 

“The game went well for the first 20 minutes, but then they got a counterattack and we gave up a soft goal,” said senior goalkeeper and captain Jordan Aldama. “We conceded an easy goal while they gained more momentum and it all trickled down from there.”  

Falling behind 3-0, CPP was able to gain momentum and push through CSULA’s defense as third year forward Jerry Ramirez scored the team’s only goal near the end of the match. 

Prior to the match, the Broncos decided to alter their usual game plan by utilizing a different lineup of players. Aldama shared that the team did this to remain unpredictable after having played against CSULA multiple times this season. 

Midfielder Ateno Ajeakwa blocks an opponent from reaching the ball. (Courtesy of Mike Farrell)

As the team regrouped after the defeat, Head Coach Matthew Sullivan shared his perspective of the games results and the team’s performance.  

“It was disappointing that we lost,” said Sullivan. “Even though we started really well and had some good chances in the beginning, we just missed some key moments and weren’t good enough today.”  

Cal Poly Pomona now ranks fifth in the NCAA Division II Super Region 4 as of Nov. 17, following the results of the CCAA championship tournament. The team opened as the No. 7 seed in the Super Region 4 bracket during their first championship game against Biola on Nov. 19.  

As the Broncos entered the NCAA championship, they are intent on learning from their mistakes and playing both smarter and harder.  

“Right now, it’s do or die; win or go home,” said Aldama. “We have to put all our energy, all our focus and all our desire into these upcoming games.”  

To keep up to date on the team’s progress in the NCAA, visit the Bronco Athletics website.

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