By Jonathan Shone, Sept. 19, 2023
Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s soccer team notched an early score in Sunday afternoon’s clash against the Regis University Rangers, followed by two goals in the final minutes, culminating in a 3-0 shutout victory.
The Broncos dominated possession and took 29 shots throughout the match, with 13 of those shots being on target. CPP’s defense also effectively locked out Regis’ attackers, allowing just three shots on target.
Defender Christian Miramontes got things rolling early for CPP, securing the opening goal in the seventh minute after midfielder Melvyn Perez Cortez launched a throw-in into the Regis penalty area that ricocheted off a Regis player’s foot directly into his trajectory.
Regis tried to mount attacks throughout the half but could not find open shots, courtesy of a formidable defensive effort from the Broncos. CPP, meanwhile, stayed aggressive and attacked the goal persistently, resulting in 12 shot attempts from seven different players before the end of the period.
Much of the second half followed a similar trend, with CPP striking a staggering 17 shots while Regis managed only four as the Broncos stifled their offense.
“We did a better job at territory control,” said Broncos head coach Matt O’Sullivan. “We had them pinned in their own half for long periods of time.”
Defender Fin Jackson, forward Paul Roger Henschke and Perez Cortez each attempted shots during the first portion of the second half, but Regis goalie Greg Squire thwarted all their attacks.
After a prolonged scoring stalemate from both teams, the action kicked up once again with just under five minutes remaining when Henschke skillfully arced a throw-in overhead into the vicinity of the Regis penalty area. In frantic pursuit of the ball, a Regis defender collided with Squire, who had ventured outward from the goalpost, creating a clear path for forward Jakob Singh to deliver the score with ease. This would go down as Singh’s maiden goal in collegiate competition.
“I was going to flick it onto Paul, but Paul called it,” Singh said after the game. “He flicked it to me instead, and I just trusted him.”
Squire received a red card a minute later for a desperate slide tackle on defender Jasper Winslow as he approached the Regis penalty area. Following a brief lull in the action, Henschke executed the free-kick. The initial kick deflected off the outstretched left hand of replacement goalie Cristian Sattin, causing the ball to rebound toward Henschke, who promptly struck it in the right corner of the goal to record the Broncos’ third goal of the night.
This score was the final nail in the coffin for Regis.
Henschke notched yet another brilliant offensive game overall, registering one goal, one assist and five shot attempts with each one being on target. Despite his continuously stellar play, however, he stresses he cannot become too complacent with his game.
“I think if you’re going to be happy with yourself, there’s a point where you get stuck in development,” Henschke said. “So, I still try to work on everything to be better next game.”
Goalkeeper Sucre Herrera, garnering his second consecutive start for CPP, similarly had a standout performance, accumulating three saves and recording his first clean sheet as a Bronco.
O’Sullivan conveyed his satisfaction with the team’s assertive offensive approach and commitment to locking down the defensive third. He also emphasized the team could still improve its ability to lockdown games when in the lead.
“So far so good in terms of performances,” O’Sullivan said. “We just have to bury teams when we have the opportunity.”
Following the victory, the squad’s overall record improved to 2-0-2 this preseason, with Regis falling to 1-2-1.
The team concluded its three-match, non-conference road series Saturday, Sept. 16, beating Azusa Pacific University 4-0. The Broncos will face off against Cal State San Bernardino Sept. 23 for their final preseason matchup.
Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics
Feature image shows the Broncos facing Azusa Pacific University Sept. 16.
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