CSU East Bay’s men’s soccer team found themselves in a familiar position against a familiar foe, Chico State.
The CSUEB (2-6-3, 1-5-3) men’s soccer team played northern division leader Chico State (5-5-3, 4-2-3) to a draw Friday evening at Pioneer Stadium in a 0-0 double overtime match.
The match was the teams’ second match that ended in a tie, and the final conference match of the season for the two teams’.
The Pioneers imagined Chico State would have difficulty on a bigger field in Pioneer stadium as Chico State would have problems adjusting to the wide open space that the Pioneers’ wingmen are used to spanning at home.
From the early going in the start of the match, the Wildcat attackers and midfielders applied ample pressure on the Pioneer front three keeping them in the middle of the field and penetrating deep into the backfield.
The Pioneer defenders, however, limited the Wildcats to just four shots overall and two on goal, limiting the scoring opportunities in front of the box.
Showing his speed in the first half in the front side of the playing surface was sophomore forward Chris Lara, who would often find himself taking advantage of the width of Pioneer Stadium’s field but was lacking the one step needed to catch up to the passes put out in front of him on the wing.
The only thorn in the Pioneers’ sides in the first half was Wildcat freshman forward Matt Hurlow.
Hurlow was able to place the only two shots on goal that goal keeper Rene Martinez would see. The Pioneers could only muster one shot on goal in the first half, which came from junior midfielder Felix Jaekel.
In the second half of play, the Pioneers came out with a cool, collective demeanor coming out of the locker room.
“We’re not too much of a ‘rah-rah’ kind of team,” CSUEB head coach Andy Cumbo said. “They know what their job is and they’re always professional.”
The Pioneers seemed to apply more pressure on the attack but the defense started to slow as Chico put as much pressure as they could on the Pioneers, which in turn they found themselves generating scoring opportunities that met the defense of the Pioneers at their best.
One such instance, gave goalkeeper junior Bryce Bookhammer an opportunity to flash his skills as the Pioneers had trouble clearing the box.
Bookhammer was able to leap a plethora of defenders and snatch the ball from its flight saving a scoring opportunity for the Wildcats.
Extra minutes provided the same entertainment from both teams as Chico State would go on the attack and the Pioneers would answer back. Also, the Pioneers would put on another goal keeping showcase as senior Rene Martinez made a leaping save to prevent a high kick going into the back of the net.
Team leader and senior midfielder Florian Reppin played a solid game assisting the front line in keeping pressure on the Wildcats’ attack. However, he would sit out the second half after sustaining a minor calf injury. His return and degree of injury is uncertain.
“We were more prepared to play and are three weeks better,” Cumbo said.
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 2:03 pm.