Intensity was not enough: Men’s soccer draws 0-0 versus Biola

By Daniel Duque, September 5, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s soccer team started off the preseason with a 0-0 game in Kellogg Stadium against Biola University Thursday, Aug. 31. The Broncos had multiple opportunities through the course of the game but were unable to score.

Although Broncos head coach Matt O’Sullivan was satisfied with the overall performance of the team, he was disappointed the Broncos could not capitalize in the final third to secure a win.

“We still have that relentlessness to go forward; we never stopped pushing,” said O’Sullivan. “We just missed the chances. Sometimes we did it at the wrong time, and we need to learn and understand when to do it and when not to.”

The game started off with both teams battling for possession with neither side making progress up the field.

The first real opportunity for the Broncos came from forward Mads Frederiksen, but his shot went slightly off the left from Biola’s net. CPP continued to overwhelm the opponents, drawing two fouls in the 18th and 23rd minutes as Biola’s defenders desperately guarded their net.

Bronco midfielders Max Laguna and Kevin Hernandez had two other opportunities in the first half, but neither could keep their shots on target, leaving the game scoreless after 45 minutes played. Despite the Broncos’ offensive game during that period, Biola’s goalkeeper Gijs van Schouten was not forced to make many saves as the side’s defenders were able to snuff out CPP’s attacks.

Courtesy of CPP Athletics

The crowd witnessed the Broncos’ offensive creativity early in the second half as forward Sam Lena created two chances in the 47th minute. However, Biola’s defense again prevented the Broncos from celebrating their first goal of the season.

Lena and forward Paul Roger Henschke repeatedly attacked Biola down the left wing for the next 20 minutes of play but were similarly unable to score due to the opponent’s aggressive defensive game.

Bronco midfielder Mike Moser had two opportunities to score during the 70th minute after a corner kick, but Biola’s defenders cleared the ball yet again. CPP’s clearest chance came after a corner kick in the 71st minute, but forward Jakob Singh’s shot was saved by Biola’s goalkeeper.

The intensity of CPP’s attacks weakened toward the end of the game. Despite the amount of set pieces and scoring opportunities the Broncos had, the game ultimately ended with a scoreless draw.

Lena, who played during the second half of the game and was crucial in the Broncos’ offensive creativity, talked about Biola’s defensive game.

“They dropped off a lot,” said Lena. “When you have 11 players behind the ball, it is very hard to break down, and sometimes, we had to break through the middle, break through around, kick the ball over the top so that we could turn them and go across. It is very hard to break when they sit all the way back, especially since they didn’t press us at all.”

Despite performing well, Lena pointed out that the team needs to work on its finishing before the next match.

Broncos midfielder Christian Bru, who played 27 minutes, earned his first collegiate start since he joined the team in 2021. He reflected on what it means to be part of the team.

“It is a great school, it is a great community, I love being here,” said Bru. “People come up to you and people respect you. A lot of people show up to the games, and today we had a ton of people. It is nice to be here.”

Just a few days later, the Broncos took on Point Loma Nazarene University Sept. 2 at Kellogg Stadium. That action-packed contest ended in a 5-3 victory for CPP. Their third preseason game will take place Friday, Sept. 8 in Golden, Colorado as the Broncos face off against the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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