Soccer breaks losing streak in overtime

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

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In the 105th minute of the match and the second overtime period, CSUEB drew a corner kick against the Coyotes (4-5-3 overall, 3-2-1 conference). Junior midfielder Andrea Hernandez booted the ball into the crowd and after a deflection another junior midfielder for the Pioneers, Tia Sidtikun, collected the ball in front of the net and laced a rocket past the goalkeeper for the victory.

“It was great commitment from Andrea to transition from hustling to win the ball back for us and then starting our attack,” CSUEB Head Coach Amy Gerace said. “The corner kick was also well executed.”

The Pioneers improved to 5-9 overall and 3-5 in California Collegiate Athletic Association matches with just four regular season games left on the schedule.

“We would like to have more possession of the ball, but we didn’t, and that’s a credit to East Bay,” CSUSB Head Coach LeBaron Hollimon said. “The last play was one of those tough situations you have to deal with and we didn’t. We gave up so many corner kicks and scoring chances it was bound to happen.”

Despite the exciting finish, it was the defense and goalkeeping that kept CSUEB in the match. Several defenders made crucial plays in the marathon match and junior goalkeeper Katelyn Oshima was huge in the net for the Pioneers in the victory.

CSUEB’s defense allowed just 4 total shots and 2 shots on goal, both of which Oshima saved. Due to injuries this season at the goalie position, the Pioneers have played multiple people in the position, including a freshman from Livermore, Amanda Valentine. Oshima and Valentine rank second and third respectively in the conference in goals given up with 6 and 9.

“The great part is that we feel very confident with both keepers in the net,” Gerace said.

CSUEB dominated the ball and had the advantage in total shots, 15-4, and shots on goal, 7-2. It was a good sign for the Pioneers who have been outshot this season by opponents 165-121. CSUEB has also been outscored by opponents this season 23-15 and are averaging just 1.07 goals per game while their opponents are scoring 1.64 goals per game against the Pioneers.

“We just weren’t as sharp as we needed to be,” Hollimon said. “We had to rely on our defensive and we did as much as we could but eventually the law of averages catches up to you.”

The win came on the heels of three straight CCAA Conference losses after the Pioneers started conference play a perfect 3-0. CSUEB fell to Chico State, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Stanislaus before defeating CSUSB on Sunday.

With just four games remaining, every match is crucial when it comes to postseason consideration. The Pioneers are currently in seventh place in the conference. CSUEB’s next game is at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 in Arcata when they travel to take on Humboldt State (6-4-1, 3-2-1) at College Creek Field.

The Pioneers will then travel to Rohnert Park on Oct. 25 where they take on Sonoma State (8-1-2, 5-0-1) at 11:30 a.m. at Seawolf Soccer Field. The Seawolves are in first place in the conference and have won their last six games while allowing just 4 goals to their opponents this season.

“Humboldt is a team that has found a lot of success this year,” Gerace said. “Our focus this week is more about us and areas we can improve. We followed that same formula last week and it was one of the best weeks of training in addition to the best I’ve seen the team play this past weekend.”