Chico loses in final minute of overtime during conference tournament.


Chico State defender Garrett Hogbin keeps the ball away from UC San Diego in this archived photo. Photo credit: Maury Montalvo

In a heartbreaking loss, the Chico men’s soccer season came to an abrupt end, as they were put down by Cal State LA by a score of 1-0 with just 22 seconds left in the second and final overtime. After a great save on a penalty kick by Wildcats keeper Damion Lewis, Los Angeles managed to get the rebound and score the game-winning goal with under a minute on the clock.

With the game deadlocked at 0-0 after over 100 minutes played, both sides were tired but neither seemed to give out. LA controlled the ball for a majority of the game, but was unable to overcome Chico State’s defense, which had played incredible for the entire 109 minutes, and had allowed no goals through LA’s first 18 shots.

However, in the final minute of the final overtime, Los Angeles was awarded a penalty kick, which led to an amazing save by Lewis, but unfortunately ended up being rebounded and put back by the Golden Eagles for the only goal of the game.

Chico State midfielder Esten Schroeder chases after the ball in game against UC San Diego in this archived photo. Photo credit: Maury Montalvo

The disappointment could be felt from miles away, as the Wildcats needed to waste just 22 more seconds to force penalty kicks. Despite the fact that LA outshot Chico 19-4, the defense of the Wildcats came through for a vast majority of the game, but fell short when they needed it most.

Damion Lewis played well as always this game, notching five saves, to CSULA’s one. Two of those saves even came on penalty kicks, where both teams were sure LA would score their first goal.

However, this was still not enough to propel the Wildcats to victory, due to Chico’s lack of shots attempted, which was a season low of four, and their inability to make much noise offensively.

Had the Wildcats been able to run out the clock, it would’ve been marked a scoreless draw, which would’ve all but secured a playoff berth for the Wildcats.

However, since they lost, the path to the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament gets tougher, as they beat the #20 team, UC San Diego 2-0 twice at home, but then lost in a tough game to #25 CSU Los Angeles 0-1.

Chico State forward Jeremiah Egujie makes a play with the ball against UC San Diego in this archived photo. Photo credit: Maury Montalvo

With their record at 13-5-1, Chico State will have a stressful Monday, when the NCAA Championship selection committee will decide whether or not the Wildcats have done enough to advance.

All of this takes place at 3 p.m., which is when the teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament will be announced.

Connor McPherson can be reached at [email protected] or @theGOATMcphers1 on Twitter.