Men’s soccer draws 1-1 on the road despite dominant performance

By Cesar Rivas, Sept. 12, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s soccer team traveled to Golden, Colorado, for the first away game of the season Sept. 8 against Colorado School of Mines. Despite a strong offensive performance from the Broncos, the fixture ended in a 1-1 draw.

“We should have won; it’s pretty simple,” said head coach Matt O’Sullivan.

The Broncos came flying out of the gates to start the match, playing long balls over the top to forwards Paul Roger Henschke and Mads Frederiksen, while fullbacks Jasper Winslow and Christian Miramontes pushed up the pitch to join the attack.

The first real chance came in the seventh minute when Frederiksen tried to play Henschke into the box, but the ball took a deflection with the play ultimately culminating in a missed corner kick.

Throughout the first half, the Broncos played from their backline, controlling the possession of the game.

“One hundred percent, I would say that is one of our strongest parts of our game,” center-back Cesar Ruvalcaba said. “We have a lot of trust in our backline to make plays instead of just boot the ball up field.”

In the 19th minute, Miramontes put in a cross from the left side to Frederiksen, who forced a save out of Mines’ keeper Caden Allaire. Soon after in the 23rd minute, Ruvalcaba launched a corner kick over the Orediggers’ defense, forcing Allaire to make another save.

Keeping the pressure on, Winslow made a fantastic run forward from the middle of the pitch and found Sam Lena on the wing in the 29th minute. Lena then played the ball back to Winslow in the box, resulting in a Bronco goal.

“I found myself in the midfield, I drove, played the ball out wide, I kept going and got the ball in the box and just made a play,” Winslow said.

CPP goalkeeper Sucre Herrera was only forced to make one save in 90 minutes off a Mines set piece in the 32nd minute, which he pushed wide for a corner kick.

The attack continued to pile on throughout the first half, including a shot from just outside the box that hit the post from Mike Moser. The Broncos ended up outshooting the opposition 10-2, with five shots on goal.

The Broncos offensively started to slow down at the start the second half. Colorado School of Mines started the half with a high press, causing disruption in the Broncos’ backline for the first 15 minutes of the half.

“I think it created a little bit of chaos,” Ruvalcaba said about the opposition’s second-half aggression. “It gave us something to think about. You could see once we figured it out, we got more comfortable to play out.”

The Orediggers kept creating chances and eliciting corner kicks and throw-ins in dangerous areas. In the 60th minute, Colorado School of Mines forward Nathan Dreher broke through, scoring the equalizer off a long throw-in that was poorly cleared.

“It’s a mental lapse, not doing our job on that one play, and that’s what hurt us,” Ruvalcaba said.

Conceding a goal revived the Broncos’ urge to go searching for the game winner. They created countless scoring opportunities but could not execute the final pass when they got into the final third.

“They kept pushing on to us, but we were just giving silly stuff away,” said O’Sullivan.

With both teams fighting for that next goal, fouls started to become a more consistent occurrence in the match. Mines’ goal scorer Dreher received a straight red card in the 79th minute for a late tackle from behind on defender Thomas Guei.

Being up a man for the final 10 minutes of the match prompted the Broncos to further pursue a late game-winning goal. In the 81st minute, a solid build up in the midfield led to a back post cross from Frederiksen that forward Jakob Singh tried to get his head on. In the end, however, the pass was cleared away.

A few chances went by, but neither team was ultimately able to secure the winning goal, and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. The Broncos would have finished the game outshooting the Orediggers 21-5, with 10 of those shots being on target.

“On paper we were the better team,” Winslow said. “For a lot of the game we were playing the way we wanted to play. We didn’t finish our chances, and we let one in, and that’s how it happened.”

The Broncos headed from Golden to Denver for their second away game of the season against Regis University Sept. 10, which ended in a decisive 3-0 victory for CPP, bringing the team’s overall record to 2-0-2 so far this season.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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