Wildcats kept scoreless against San Bernardino

Mikey+Hirsch+defending+the+ball+not+letting+Tony+Di+Donato+%28far+left%29+and+Sergio+Gonzales+%28far+right%29+get+the+ball.+Photo+credit%3A+Hana+Beaty
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Wildcats kept scoreless against San Bernardino

Mikey Hirsch defending the ball not letting Tony Di Donato (far left) and Sergio Gonzales (far right) get the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Mikey Hirsch defending the ball not letting Tony Di Donato (far left) and Sergio Gonzales (far right) get the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Mikey Hirsch defending the ball not letting Tony Di Donato (far left) and Sergio Gonzales (far right) get the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Mikey Hirsch defending the ball not letting Tony Di Donato (far left) and Sergio Gonzales (far right) get the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Matthew Ferreira

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The Chico State men’s soccer team went into Sunday’s match against San Bernardino with an overall record of 7-3 and had won four of its last five games. Over that stretch of games the Wildcats have had no problems putting up points but Sunday’s contest was a different story.

Neither team was finding any offensive success in the first half, both teams had instances where they picked up momentum but the ball stayed in the middle of the field for most of the half.

Joey Scotti

Joey Scotti (left) waiting for the right moment to steal the ball from Brandon Sangbarani (right). Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Statistically the Wildcats were the better offensive team in the opening frame. They had five shots on goal compared to San Bernardino’s one, but a solid effort from goalkeeper Jacob Huber kept Chico scoreless.

Goalkeeping

Goalkeeper grabs the ball away from Justin Bethke (far left) and Servando Higuera (middle). Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Defender Garrett Hogbin nearly broke the tie 18 minutes into play with a perfectly placed “bicycle” kick but Huber kept the game tied with an even more perfect save.

Garrett Hogbin

Garrett Hogbin ready for a good kick to the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

The teams went into the half tied at zero, both looking to regroup and get on the scoreboard.

“We were defending as a team in the first half, and communicating very well….in the second half we just wanted to try and put the ball away and put the team away,” said goalkeeper Jose Paredes.

servando Higuera copy.JPG

Servando Higuera (right) keeping an eye on the ball while Frank Daroma (left) steadily keeps the ball rolling. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

The Coyotes had a similar strategy as they moved the ball into Chico territory early in the second half. After a few shots and rebound opportunities they finally got what they were looking for.

With 52 minutes on the clock San Bernardino’s Gerardo Flores kicked a goal off of a long throw in from forward Brandon Sangbarani. The goal was Flores’ fifth of the season and gave the Coyotes the first goal of the game.

Mikey Hirsch 2

Mikey Hirsch controlling the ball and not letting Tony Di Donato take it away. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

After the goal, the San Bernardino defense continued to frustrate Chico’s offense. The Wildcats only put up two shots in the next 18 minutes. Within that time frame Flores lost no time and struck again 59 minutes into play to extend the Coyote’s lead 2-0.

The Wildcats struggled offensively for the rest of the half, only putting up one more shot bringing their match total to eight.

With six minutes left in the game, San Bernardino’s Omari Mark put the final nail in the coffin with a goal off an assist from forward Pedro Arellano to put the game out of reach.

“In the second half they (San Bernardino) played more offensively and we didn’t defend well enough on the set pieces and it cost us the game,” Paredes said.

This was Chico State’s second straight scoreless loss and look to get back on track when they face UC San Diego Friday night in La Jolla.

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

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