The Orion

Wildcats offense carries team in weekend nail biters

Senior+defender+Donta%27e+Garcia+heads+the+ball+away+from+the+opposition.+Photo+credit%3A+Ryan+Mccasland
Senior defender Donta'e Garcia heads the ball away from the opposition. Photo credit: Ryan Mccasland

Senior defender Donta'e Garcia heads the ball away from the opposition. Photo credit: Ryan Mccasland

Senior defender Donta'e Garcia heads the ball away from the opposition. Photo credit: Ryan Mccasland

Justin Couchot

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The Chico State men’s soccer team had a change of pace this weekend in their style of play letting the offense take the reigns opposed to the defense.

In the previous six games leading up to Saturday’s matchup against Cal Poly Pomona, the Wildcats had allowed just two goals. This weekend in the two games between Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino, four goals were allowed by keeper Damion Lewis and the defense.

However, the offense has begun to heat up once more after just 2 goals in the last three games.

In the first game of the weekend, the ‘Cats hosted the 11-3 Cal Poly Pomona Broncos and took them to double overtime coming up just short in the loss.

With just over five minutes left in regulation, Jeremiah Egujie appeared to have pocketed the game winner.

 

Following an exuberant team celebration, the referees came together and waived the goal back, due to a foul. The Wildcats never seemed to regain the momentum. In double overtime, the Broncos eventually won 3-2.

The Wildcats did have a couple great things to take away. First off, they outshot Pomona 15-13.

Secondly, with the departure of starting midfielder Carter Johnson versus Sonoma State due to a possible season ending injury, true first-year midfielder/forward Eruvey Arceta has taken this opportunity as his time to shine. While he has shown off with his passing so far this year leading the team with six assists, in Friday’s matchup against Cal Poly Pomona, Arceta scored twice for his first multi-goal game of his collegiate career.

Sunday’s matchup against Cal State San Bernardino was a physical one. Five yellow cards were pulled (3 for Chico and 2 for San Bernardino) as the game heated up throughout. After going down one just before halftime, the Wildcats were true to their often late-game power and finished strong tying it up in the second half and finishing later on.

In the 65 minutes of play, Justin Bethke scored after a free kick by Arceta was not cleared by Cal State San Bernardino. Then, once it reached overtime, the Wildcats decided they had played enough extra time for the weekend.

Just one minute into overtime following a great run by midfielder/forward Esten Schroeder, Donta’e Garcia scored his first goal of the year to give the Wildcats the win and split a set of conference games this weekend.

Midfielder Ronan McEnroe summed up the weekend by saying:

“All of us wanna win every game and when we see we only have 45 minutes left on the scoreboard to get back in the game, we’re willing to do whatever it takes. Today (Sunday) was a good example of that. We just kept pounding their defense and eventually the game was ours.”

The Wildcats have their final two home games this weekend. They host Cal State East Bay Friday night at 7 p.m. Then, the ‘Cats host Cal State Monterey Bay Sunday at 2 p.m. for senior day.

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Injured forward Dylan Wakefield telling his youngest fans he aims to back for senior day. Photo credit: Justin Couchot

 

The ‘Cats seven seniors will celebrate their careers and hope to welcome back injured forward Dylan Wakefield for one last game at University Soccer Stadium.

Justin Couchot can be reached at sportseditor@theorion.com or @JCouchot_Sports on Twitter.

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Wildcats offense carries team in weekend nail biters