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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcats one up Western Washington

The Chico State men’s soccer team huddled before their exhibition match against Holy Names University. Aug. 31, 2019 Photo credit: Lucero Del Rayo-Nava

Chico State’s men’s soccer team got their season off to a good start with a 2-1 win over West Washington University.

“It was exciting to play in our first game of the season,” centerback Garrett Hogbin said.

The teams were tied at zero for over 20 minutes in an early defensive battle.

Western Washington seemed to have control of the game as they had six shots in the first 25 minutes of the game, while Chico didn’t have any.

“After the first 25 minutes we definitely made adjustments and had to reorganize ourselves and stick to our strengths in order to dominate the game,” Hogbin said.

When the Wildcats did that, it showed results. Chico State took the lead with a goal 26 minutes into the first half when Matt Hafizi scored with an assist from Mikey Hirsch.

Mikey Hirsch defending Holy Names player that has possession of the ball. Aug. 31, 2019 Photo credit: Lucero Del Rayo-Nava

The Wildcats were able to hold on to their lead for the rest of the first half.

After the break, the teams stayed stagnant offensively until the Wildcats scored in the 77th minute.

Hogbin scored off of a free kick to give Chico State the 2-0 lead. The lead gave the team a good cushion with only 13 minutes to play.

“It felt good to score early in the game and season but we were really just focused on the win,” Hogbin said.

Minutes later, however, Western Washington’s Georg Cholewa put the Vikings on the board and applied some pressure to the Wildcats.

The late goal wasn’t enough though, as Chico’s defense held out for the 2-1 win on opening night.

“We worked really hard going in to this and felt really prepared,” Hogbin said.

The Wildcats will look to carry on their momentum in their next match against Seattle Pacific on Sept. 7.

Matthew Ferreira can be reached at [email protected] or @MattFerreira__ on twitter.

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