Wildcats fall short to Holy Names


Javier Hernandez

the Wildcats huddle up prior to the start of the 2nd half vs HNU

Chico State men’s soccer was back at University Stadium after a lengthy road trip to Washington. 

They battled the Holy Names Hawks who were in town from Oakland. The crowd was anxious for soccer.

The game started off fast for the Wildcats. They were full pitch pressing their opponents and it worked to their advantage. The pressure created opportunities for the home team and was affecting the Hawks’ game plan.

Chico State forward Jacob Chong had some shots on goal before the 20th minute of the game. 

Then 21 minutes into the game, forward Miles Rice threw an inbound pass to midfielder Liam Duerksen who maneuvered his way through the Hawks’ defense and passed the ball to Chong who scored the first and only goal for the Wildcats. 

The opportunities were there for the Wildcats, but the execution wasn’t on par.

“We had 22 chances,” said Wildcat forward Josh Smith. “We are creating opportunities, we just need to get better at putting them in the net. We need to get more consistent and execute the goals.”

#12 Liam Duerksen & #13 Anthony Kaskie attacking the Hawks defense
Photo by Javier Hernandez

The game slowed down for the second half, until a game changing call was made in the Hawks favor.

In the 73rd minute, a Wildcat defender fouled Hawk forward Guiherme Fao Martins in the Chico box, which resulted in a penalty for the Hawks. This controversial play changed the momentum. 

Martins took the penalty and scored the Hawks first goal. This uplifted the Hawks and gave them confidence for the rest of the match. 

For the next 10 minutes, the Hawks were in control. In the 82nd minute after a deflection by the Wildcat defense during a corner kick, Hawk forward Elio Corral punched in the Hawks’ second and eventual game winning goal. 

A tough loss for the Wildcats after how they played in the first half. They created chances and defended well, but the game switched momentum quickly.

“Mentality, our mentality has to be better,” said Wildcat defender Connor Gorrien. “This is a young and inexperienced team. Losing four games in a row isn’t something that uplifts teams.”

“We have only had five games together,” said Wildcat midfielder Anthony Kaskie. “Each game we hope to get better. I think we have been even though the results haven’t been there.”

Losing isn’t the ideal result for teams during their season, especially for a Wildcat program that has been as successful as the men’s soccer team. These growing pains are necessary for teams to grow and learn. 

The Wildcats host Academy of Arts University on Sunday, Aug. 19 at University Stadium at 6 p.m. 
Javier Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter