Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s soccer team made a massive statement by beating Azusa Pacific University in a 4-0 rout Saturday, Sept. 16, outshooting the Cougars 14 to nine in the process.
After CPP goalkeeper Luke Garciduenas thwarted an early attack from the Cougars, the Broncos pushed the ball down the pitch with ease. Senior forward Paul Roger Henschke provided a beautiful touch to junior midfielder Kevin Hernandez, who then banged home an early goal to give CPP a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the game. The strike marked Hernandez’s first goal of the season, while Henschke recorded his fifth assist of the season, the most in the CCAA.
Hernandez later spoke about the importance of starting fast for the Broncos.
“Scoring the first goal early in the game allows us to keep putting pressure on our opponent,” Hernandez said. “It gives us control of the game. We force them to play at our pace, and that is exactly what we did to them all night.”
After the first strike, the pitch opened up for the Broncos. The offense kept the intensity up as a forward pass from defender Cesar Ruvalcaba allowed Henschke to boot in his third goal of the season in the 15th minute, widening CPP’s lead to 2-0.
In the 43rd minute, forward Jakob Singh led an attack into the box and scored off another deflected shot, making it 3-0 for the Broncos.
After the first-half fireworks from the Broncos, APU tried to get back in the game, but the outstanding defense and goalkeeping of CPP kept thwarting the Cougars. Garciduenas put in a tremendous performance, denying multiple attempts from APU. He finished with three saves and recorded the second clean sheet of the season.
The goal train did, however, have one more stop for the Broncos in the 68th minute as forward Mads Frederiksen smacked home CPP’s fourth goal of the evening from 8 yards out, sealing the deal and guaranteeing the win. Sophomore Sam Lena provided the assist on the play with a swift move to find Frederiksen square in the middle of the box. With that goal, Frederiksen joined Henschke at the top of CPP’s scorer leaderboard.
The Broncos outshot APU 14 to nine and controlled the pace all night long. This dominant 4-0 win now marks three in a row for CPP over APU. Hernandez chalks up this recent success to the coaching staff.
“All credit to the coaching staff for the scouting plan that they put together for us,” Hernandez said. “We have played APU for three years now. We know what they try to do, and we just try to exploit their weaknesses.”
Broncos coach Matt O’Sullivan was pleased with the team’s effort and was happy to see four different Broncos get in on the goal-scoring action.
“You know, it’s funny — I finish these games, and I always need to look at the stats to see who actually scored for us because I forget in the moment, so to end that game and see four different names shows how well we executed our gameplan,” O’Sullivan said. “We played fast, free, and kept the pressure on them all night. Anybody could have scored for us at any moment, that is the sign of a great offensive attack.”
Following the match, CPP hosted conference rivals Cal State San Bernardino in their final non-conference game of the season Saturday, Sept. 23, ultimately winning the match 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Henschke. The Broncos will then head north to face off against Cal Poly Humboldt for the conference opener Friday, Sept. 29.