Two competitors for Team Victor and Team battle for possession during the grand final. | Photo by Alexander Novoa

Students put their best foot forward in ASI indoor soccer tournament

By Aaron Coloma, Feb. 27, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona students gathered at the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex to participate in an indoor soccer tournament hosted by Associated Students Inc. Feb. 16.

Three teams participated in a five-vs-five round-robin style tournament where every team got the chance to play each other and the two best-performing teams competed in a championship game. Games consisted of eight-minute halves, separated by a three-minute halftime.

ASI competitive sports manager DJ Netherly said students maxed out registration at 30 people, but only half showed up.

“We would have expected more [people], but this happened to be a good turnout with three teams so that way we don’t have to rush it and cut games short,” said Netherly.

Team, Team Victor and Team 3 clashed for the opportunity to win specialized tournament winner t-shirts.

The first game of the tournament was an exciting match between and Team Victor. Team Victor took a three-goal lead in the first half, finding goals through a nice shot which left the goalkeeper wrongfooted after a deflection, a tap-in after the ball was played off the wall and a nifty free-kick routine. scored twice in the final 30 seconds following a couple of defensive errors by Team Victor, but the goals proved to be only a consolation as the game ended 3-2.

After a short break, Team Victor returned to the court to face Team 3. Team 3 took an early lead through a side-footed goal into the bottom left corner after a free kick, but after a back-and-forth first half, Team Victor took a 3-2 lead right before the whistle through sociology student and tournament top scorer German Chavez’s second goal of the game. Chavez completed his hat trick in the second half and set up another goal after a slick passage of play to see his team to a resounding 7-3 win.

Chavez attributed his success to his history of playing the sport in a club setting growing up, and even into college for the CPP men’s soccer club team. He said his mindset and worrying about his own game helped him focus throughout the tournament.

“[Being the top scorer] is pretty cool,” said Chavez. “I just came out to have fun and made sure to stay humble.”

Team Victor went undefeated against three teams to win the tournament. | Photo by Alexander Novoa

The final game of the preliminary stages was between and Team 3. pulled ahead early through team captain and mechanical engineering student Matthew Sanchez’s header following a save by Team 3’s goalkeeper. A second goal from Sanchez into the top left corner gave a two-goal cushion, which they saw into halftime.

In the second half, Team 3 struck early through a calm finish into the bottom right corner to cut’s lead in half. Another well-worked goal soon after leveled the score with nearly the whole half still to play. restored its lead right away through an electric counter-attacking team move, then a powerful strike at the near post put ahead by two and sealed the victory, sending them to the final for a rematch against the undefeated Team Victor.

Chavez opened the scoring early in the final game with his fourth goal of the tournament before Team Victor extended its lead to two through an unfortunate own goal which came off the wall, then’s goalkeeper into the net.

Team Victor didn’t take its foot off the gas after halftime, tallying a third goal just before the midway point in the half to make the score 3-0. pulled one back soon after to make the game interesting, but two goals within the final minute of the match secured a 5-1 win and the championship for Team Victor.

Despite coming second, Sanchez and his teammates enjoyed being able to compete in a casual environment.

“It just made it fun because we could bring friends from around campus together, and we had a good time,” said Sanchez.

ASI will host several more sporting events and tournaments throughout the semester. Students interested in competing can learn more get involved through the ASI Portal.

Feature image by Alexander Novoa

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