By Joseph McVey, Sept. 27, 2022
The Cal Poly Pomona women’s soccer team started the in-game season strong with a physical and aggressive game against Cal State Dominguez Hills pulling off a 1-0 victory against the Toros.
This hard-fought battle saw the Broncos play outstanding defense, keeping the ball away from CSU Dominguez Hills for the majority of the game.
Head coach Jay Mason was very happy with the team’s performance and improvements since the preseason.
“I’m proud of them. We got the shutout and the first win of the conference so we’re starting out on the right foot,” said Mason. “I think we struggled to find the back of the net, but for them, I know they’re happy, and hopefully, they can carry that into their next game on Sunday.”
The first and only goal of the match came late in the first half in the 38th minute. Scoring for the Broncos was defender Liberty Ortiz, sending in a free kick from outside of the box. The score gave the Broncos the upper hand ahead of physical second half.
As the first half came to a close, forward Julia Lucero headed the ball into the goal in what would have been a 2-0 Bronco lead going into half. This effort came in vain as Lucero was caught offsides, negating the score.
Ortiz played a hard-fought game with many touches and three more attempts to score, two of which were free kicks that narrowly missed in the 45th and 50th minutes.
Ortiz did such while playing a position she had not played since childhood.
“I haven’t played center back since I was little, but I think I did a great job stepping up to the adversity of it and I had a lot of fun playing the position,” said Ortiz.
Both midfielder Marisa Salazar and forward Allyssa Larkin also played great offense, each attempting two shots on goal but were unable to find the back of the net.
Though the Bronco offense had challenges scoring, there was good synergy among the team with great passes and communication from all players involved, demonstrating their teamwork.
The first score of the in-game season was heavily complimented by the physicality and power of their defense, allowing the opposing team five shot attempts to CPP’s 12. This stronghold of the backline led to CPP holding possession for most of the game.
Leading this defense was goalie Audrey Brown, keeping the Toros out of net to secure the Broncos’ second win of the season.
“I always want to do better. I think in the moment when I needed to step up, I was able to. I am pleased having got the shut out, but I also want to keep improving so I can help my team,” said Brown.
With the physical nature of the match, the intensity was met with many fouls from both teams. CPP had six fouls while CSUDH had nearly double at 11. Two of these fouls were shown yellow cards from the Toros that resulted in two CPP players unfortunately being injured.
When asked about how his players were feeling after the game, coach Mason noted that injuries are part of the sport.
“We will probably have a clearer picture tomorrow. There were moments in the game that got out of control, but these things are going to happen, and we just have to manage them,” said Mason.
Although their preseason didn’t go as they had hoped with a record of 1-4-1, the CPP women’s soccer team has their heads up high as they prepare for their next game.
Being 1-0 and claiming their first home win in conference, the Broncos will continue to work hard and improve as the season unfolds, looking to clinch a spot in the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament later this season.
Feature Image by Joseph McVey
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