Men fall, women tie on senior day

News and Sports Editor,
Louis LaVenture

Men’s Soccer

Losing is tough, especially on senior day.

The Cal State East Bay men’s soccer team came up short after Cal State Los Angeles forward Steven Eberle laced a game-winner past CSUEB senior goalkeeper Adrian Topete with just five minutes left in regulation for a 3-2 victory.

With the Pioneers out of playoff contention, this was the final game of the year and senior day for CSUEB. It was a pair of sophomore forwards, Jeremy Romero and Michael Paiva that got the scoring started. Freshman midfielder Marco Neves found Romero and he was able to blast a shot past Golden Eagles goalkeeper Anthony Perez for an early 1-0 lead just 12 minutes into the contest.

Fifteen minutes later, senior midfielder Chris Gaitan passed the ball to Paiva who put the ball past Perez for a 2-0 lead. Paiva and Romero end the season tied for the lead in goals with 5 each. It was Gaitan’s fifth assist of the season, which is also a team-high for the Pioneers in 2015.

“The seniors were great, all of them are leaders,” CSUEB Head Coach Andrew Cumbo said.

“You can’t really replace experience, I’m confident that we have done a good job developing others who will step into a leadership role immediately.”

Underclassmen Steffen Sauer, Juan Alfaro, Paiva and Romero will be asked to step up into those positions for next year’s squad, Cumbo explained.

CSULA scored once before halftime to narrow the CSUEB lead to 2-1 and they didn’t score again until there was less than ten minutes left in regulation play. The Golden Eagles tied the game 2-2 in the 81st minute and nabbed the game-winner less than five minutes later in the match.

“We took our foot off the gas pedal,” CSUEB senior Duke Driggs said. “We got lazy and we were not working together.”

The Pioneers finished the season 5-12 overall and 3-9 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference games. CSULA finished the regular season 11-3-2 overall and 8-3-1 in conference play which puts them in post-season play. The Golden Eagles are currently awaiting the announcement of the playoff matches. For Driggs, the final game of his career was bittersweet.

“Our coach always says that a part of you dies when you finish playing your last game,” Driggs said.

In addition to Topete, Driggs and Gaitan fellow Pioneer seniors Michael Tieku and Kellen Crow also competed in their final matches at CSUEB.

Women’s Soccer

It was a battle of defenses in the women’s game and after double overtime, defense won as the teams ended the regular season with a 0-0 tie.

The tie was the final game of the year for Cal State East Bay who had several scoring chances in the opening minutes after halftime and totaled 11 scoring opportunities in the second half, but the Golden Eagles defense smothered the ball and denied those opportunities.

Both teams went back and forth but defense was the theme of the day.

The Pioneers outshot CSULA 15-10 but the Golden Eagles had a 4-3 shot on goal advantage in the game.

However, CSUEB junior goalkeeper Katelyn Oshima was perfect on the day and stopped all four shots by the offense.

Pioneer juniors Corryn Barney and Andrea Hernandez both had two shots on goal but could not find the back of the net thanks to Golden Eagle goalkeeper Adriana Maldonado who recorded the shutout.

CSUEB ends the season 5-12-1 overall and 3-8-1 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference competition while the Golden Eagles finish 2015 at 7-6-4 overall and 7-3-2 in conference games.

While the Pioneers are out of the playoff contention, CSULA will likely make the cut which will be announced this week.

“The current junior class is loaded with talent and experience,” CSUEB Head Coach Amy Gerace said. “They are a fantastic group to build around.”

Mindy Castro, Joanna Giron, Sara Silva and Laura McIntosh are the four departing seniors for CSUEB.