Men’s soccer pitches third straight shutout

Alex+Fluitt+in+the+middle+of+a+shot+attempt.+Photo+credit%3A+Mary+Vogel
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Men’s soccer pitches third straight shutout

Alex Fluitt in the middle of a shot attempt. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Alex Fluitt in the middle of a shot attempt. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Alex Fluitt in the middle of a shot attempt. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Alex Fluitt in the middle of a shot attempt. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Matthew Ferreira

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The Chico State men’s soccer team won their matchup against Cal State East Bay Thursday, and got to show off their offensive firepower while doing so.

The team came into the game on a streak of two straight shutouts and were looking to keep dominating on the offensive and defensive ends.

The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first half. A minute into the game Senior winger Mikey Hirsch scored a 15 yard goal assisted by teammate Jacob Chong.

The goal was the first shot for either team and set the tone of the game early.

“Scoring early is huge, it sets the tempo and our team gets some momentum,” Hirsch said. “Usually when we score first we get the win so that was our goal coming into the game.”

The Wildcats also found some early success on the defensive end of the field.

The Pioneers were able to get some offensive penetration and even found themselves with a few close scoring opportunities. Thanks to some clutch blocks and saves from Goalkeeper Jose Paredes, the Wildcats’ lead stayed at one.

Fast (Optimized)

Men's soccer player showing their speed. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

With 21 minutes on the clock Hirsch struck again to extend the lead. Justin Bethke crossed the ball six yards from the goal and in a perfect spot for Hirsch to make the sliding finish.

Chico’s defense held on and they went into the half with a lead of 2-0.

When the second half began the Wildcats got right back to business. Forward Jacob Chong scored an eight yard goal assisted by Anais Mayo with 12 minutes into the second half. This tough angled shot gave the Wildcats’ an overwhelming 3-0 lead.

Despite the comfortable position on the scoreboard Chico didn’t take their foot off of the gas.

Gotta Stay Focused (Optimized)

A player focusing on getting the ball and getting through the play. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Just five minutes later Hirsch scored his third goal of the game, earning him his first “hat trick” of his soccer career.

Hirsch’s third goal was Chico’s fourth and gave them the insurmountable 4-0 lead.

Paredes and his defense continued to play well and secured the team’s sixth shutout of the year and their third in a row.

Kick it! (Optimized)

Alex Fluitt in the middle of a kick! Photo credit: Mary Vogel

“We all stayed on the same page (defensively) and our defenders flexed when they needed to since they (East Bay) were sending in the long balls,” Paredes said.

The Wildcats will look to extend their shutout streak to four games when they go heads up against Cal State Monterey Bay Saturday at the University Soccer Stadium.

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

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