Cal Poly Pomona women’s soccer team suffered a 0-1 loss against Cal State Monterey Bay Sunday morning, Oct. 22, in its eighth game of California Collegiate Athletic Association conference play.
The team headed into this CCAA matchup with a nine-match undefeated run, dating all the way back to the preseason, but ultimately fell short by a single point in the final half of the game, despite multiple offensive efforts and chances for redemption.
CPP forward Julia Lucero shot first in the opening 10 minutes of the game, encourgaging the team to add on pressure with two more attempts at goal in the next seven minutes of the match. Substitutions from both teams soon followed and, besides two corner kicks in the 30th minute and another attempt at the goal from CPP, the half died down until the 40th minute.
In the 43rd minute, Bronco defender Lindsay Sung received a yellow card, and two minutes later Otter midfielder Tiger Rendon made the first goal attempt of the half for CSUMB.
“Going into Monterey we knew it was going to be especially important that we took the game serious,” said CPP midfielder Liberty Ortiz. “We knew Monterey was going to need to win nearly almost every, if not every, game going forward. And that started with our match, so there was no doubt they were going to come out fast and aggressive.”
The second half of the game kicked off with four fouls in the first few minutes, three of which were on behalf of Monterey Bay. Following the foul frenzy, CSUMB forward Alexandra Diaz sent the ball just wide, allowing her teammate Amelia McManus to take advantage of the ball and score the only goal of the match.
With added pressure, CPP’s offense launched two shots on goal and followed with another two corner kicks within a 10-minute window.
Things heated up in the final moments of the game, as CPP earned a direct freekick given to Ortiz at the left edge of the 18-yard box. In an attempt to defend their net, all 11 CSUMB players lined up at the goal, effectively blocking the kick from entering. Although CPP had more attacking opportunities throughout the match, Monterey Bay took home the win and closed out the game.
Ortiz admitted the team got too comfortable with their performance in the first half of the game as they anticipated a more positive outcome.
“It took us time to get comfortable and unfortunately a goal for the team to collectively adjust to what we were going against,” Ortiz said. “We fell asleep on their offensive set piece, which turned the course of the game. I think if we are consistently locked-in, we can eliminate these moments.”
With just three games left in the season, CPP will need to reset and focus on winning the remainder of the conference.
Head coach Jay Mason reflected on the mistakes made in the game and hopes a well-rested week and proper training will get the team ready for the upcoming game-filled weekend.
“It’s a long weekend,” said Mason. “We had a lot of girls that were sick on this trip, so I think their energy levels were not maybe at their peak. So we’re going to recover and get healthy. And we got another really tough weekend of CCA opponents that have come off good weekends themselves. So just get healthy and prep for those two games.”
This loss dropped the Broncos’ CCAA record to 6-1-1 from their previous two-match unbeaten record while CSUMB’s record moves to 2-5-1 in conference play.
After the loss to Monterey Bay, CPP bounced back with a 2-1 win over Cal State East Bay. However, the Broncos again lost 1-0 against Cal State San Marcos in their final home game of the season Oct. 29. CPP will finish off the regular season against Cal State San Bernardino Nov. 2 before vying for the championship at the CCAA Tournament in mid-November.