Men’s soccer gets fourth straight shutout win

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Men’s soccer gets fourth straight shutout win

Servando Higuera does his best to keep the ball against Monterey Bay. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Servando Higuera does his best to keep the ball against Monterey Bay. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Servando Higuera does his best to keep the ball against Monterey Bay. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Servando Higuera does his best to keep the ball against Monterey Bay. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Matthew Ferreira

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The Chico State men’s soccer team’s streak of domination continued Saturday with a 3-0 win over Cal State Monterey Bay.

The team had won their last four games going in to Saturday, with three of those wins being consecutive shutouts.

Battling for the Ball

Garret Hogbin battles against Monterey player, Steve Lopez for the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

In the beginning of the game both defenses came out strong, keeping the shot totals low and the scoring opportunities at a minimum.

Chico was able to get a few shots off early, but didn’t find any scoring success until a little later in the first half.

The Wildcats were finally able to get on the scoreboard 31 minutes into the first half.

Fighting off Monterey Bay

Andrew Hazzard fights off Monterey player in an attempt to run for the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

Chico’s Justin Bethke sent a cross in from 18 yards out and Midfielder Cooper Renteria “volley” kicked the ball in from six yards out past the Monterey goalkeeper.

The Chico State defense was hungry in the first half, only allowing one shot on goal while keeping the ball in the middle and offensive end of the field.

“We’ve been trying to control the final third a little better, just so teams don’t attack us as much and use the long ball against us to get between our defenders,” said Chico State goalkeeper Jose Paredes.

Chico vs. Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay player, Steve Lopez kicks the ball away from Chico player, DiAngelo Gleaves. There was a series of pushing and arm grabbing as the two were neck and neck. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

After the halftime break it didn’t take long for the Wildcats to pick things up where they left off.

Just two minutes in, Forward Jacob Chong scored his ninth goal of the season off an assist from Mikey Hirsch to extend the Chico lead to two goals.

Soon after Monterey Bay’s Josh Marquez received a red card 49 minutes into the game, and as a result was ejected. This left the Otters shorthanded for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats quickly capitalized on the man advantage as Chong scored another goal just four minutes later to make the lead three goals to none.

Chico Soars

Chico was closing in on the goal post when player, Alex Fluitt trips over Monterey goalie, Daniel Lomeli when trying to get the ball. Photo credit: Hana Beaty

“Our coach gave us a game plan and we just stuck to it,” Chong said. “We hustled very hard as a team and caught them (CSUMB) off guard.”

The Monterey Bay offense gained a little momentum late in the game bringing their second half shot total to eight. This was a drastic change to the offense from the first half as they only took one shot.

Saturday’s game was a great example of the offensive and defensive play that has earned Chico State an 8-4 record in conference play and a spot in this year’s California Collegiate Athletic Association playoffs.

The team doesn’t know who their opponent will be yet, but if California State University, San Bernardino wins Saturday then the first round game will take place at University Soccer Stadium Tuesday.

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

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