Men’s soccer continues win streak with commanding victory over Humboldt

By Lann Nguyen and Kelsey Coen, Oct. 10, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s soccer team kicked off the first game of the regular season Friday, Sept. 29, dominating Cal Poly Humboldt on its own turf with a 2-0 victory.

The victory marked CPP’s fourth-straight win as the team continues its undefeated run since the season began in August. The match was a one-sided affair as CPP recorded 17 shots in the game compared to Humboldt’s four attempts at the goal. The Broncos also recorded eight corner kicks, seven shots on goal and two goals while Humboldt failed to secure a single corner kick or goal throughout the 90 minutes.

“We definitely advanced the ball better; we were able to break their lines of pressure and move the ball from the whip to the inside and find good chances well after the first half,” said forward Sam Lena. “They barely got close to our goal, so I think it’s just the ability to break through the lines of pressure that we created or that they created, and we just did better against them and then just created goal chances.”

Humboldt started off strong with a shot on goal in the first minute which CPP goalie Luke Garciduenas comfortably saved.

Following an extended fight for possession, the Broncos began advancing up the pitch, taking two shots and securing two corners by the 10th minute.

The game began heating up in the 16th minute as CPP midfielder Kevin Hernandez forced a save out of Lumberjack goalkeeper Adrian Gallardo right before CPP forward Mads Frederiksen struck gold, finding the back of the net in the 17th minute.

“It’s really great,” said Frederiksen. “I feel like it’s the best start you could possibly get keeping a clean sheet and scoring two goals.”

A swift downfall began for Humboldt after that, and Frederiksen fouled less than a minute later followed by another foul on CPP, as well as an offsides offense by Humboldt.

Humboldt’s struggles continued as referee Jose Moreno called the Lumberjacks offsides in the 19th minute during their most promising attack of the half.

The action picked up again in 25th minute when CPP secured three consecutive corner kicks. At times, the Broncos’ front line was too eager to score, resulting in CPP receiving two offsides calls as they pushed to widen their lead before the first half ended. Ultimately, the first half ended with CPP up by a single goal.

The second half kicked off with a corner kick as CPP continued pressuring Humboldt’s defense for the first five minutes of the half. In the 51st minute, the Broncos’ attack culminated with Hernandez taking another shot at goal. While his initial shot was blocked, CPP defender Jasper Winslow collected the ball and passed it to Lena, allowing him to score the second and last goal of the game in the 52nd minute.

Lena commented on his performance in the match following his second goal of the season.

“Throughout all the games I’ve definitely had my ups and downs,” said Lena. “I did get Player of the Match against USD and one other, so those were good performances, but after that I wasn’t performing as well as I wanted to. But luckily, I came into this game with a good mentality, and I had good touches on the ball in the beginning, and it set up good to continue through the game, and it led to a goal.”

Following the second goal, the game was relatively slow until the 63rd minute when Humboldt’s goalie made two more saves to keep the Broncos’ lead at two. Tensions flared up again in the last half hour of the match as two Lumberjacks and one Bronco received yellow cards. Ultimately, the game ended in a 2-0 victory for CPP.

While the ball occasionally moved back and forth across the pitch, CPP dominated possession and took advantage of the several fouls and set pieces Humboldt handed them.

“We were just a little bit more organized and more disciplined, I think, than our opponent,” said Bronco head coach Matt O’Sullivan. “We played our way a lot better than they played their way.”

Following the victory in it conference opener, CPP took on Sonoma State in Rohnert Park, California Sunday, Oct. 1, a match the team won 3-1. The team then took on its toughest opponent yet in Chico State for its home opener Friday, Oct. 6.

Feature image courtesy of Humboldt Athletics

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