Chico State Men’s Soccer snaps 6-game losing streak


Javier Hernandez

The Wildcats pre-game ritual before their match up vs CSM.

The Wildcats have been in search of their second win of the season since their week 1 win against Western Washington which came back on Sept. 2nd. 

They hosted their second straight California Collegiate Athletic Association match at University Stadium. 

The Wildcats had another challenger ahead of them, the San Marcos Coyotes were in town. Both teams were looking for their first CCAA win of the season, and in the end, the Wildcats were able to come away with one. 

The Wildcats were missing one of their anchors on defense as Wildcat defender Connor Gorrien was injured last game and wouldn’t get to start against the Coyotes. 

However, this immense loss to their back line didn’t bring down the Wildcat defense. They were sharp from beginning to end. 

The defense did its part to keep goalkeeper Luis Albarran’s goal to zero. He also had four saves on the day. 

The real difference was the play from the midfield. Midfielders Mauro Rafael and Cayden Hotaling were winning their challenges and controlling the midfield for the Wildcats.

“We give it everything we possibly can,” Hotaling said. “We want to win every ball and tackle to make sure we have the possession advantage.”

The game started off slow, both teams were trying to figure each other out. At halftime, both teams were in a scoreless tie.

Photo by Javier Hernandez
Coach Restrepo giving Mauro Rafael and Servando Higuera some halftime instructions.

Not much offense was put up by either team. Both teams had their opportunities to open up the game, but both came up short. 

It started to look like the game was going to head into overtime, but that didn’t happen. 

89 minutes into the game, midfielder Adrian Fontanelli used his speed on the left wing to get past the Coyote defense and sent a pass into their box. 

The ball was missed at first, but then Wildcat forward Miles Rice finished the pass with a furious shot to score the only and eventual game winning goal. 

The team erupted and all celebrated with Rice near the Wildcat bench and an alumnus in the stands yelled “This is what Chico State soccer is all about.”

“It is undoubtedly the best feeling I have had in my life before and I want to hold on to it,” Rice said. “Hopefully we use this game to help us keep winning.”

A win of this magnitude is what this young Wildcat team needed for their confidence, after dropping the previous six games. The Wildcats sit with a 1-1 record in their conference. 

“These next two games are away and we just have to take it one game at a time,” Fontanelli said. “We have a good team, we just need to focus and practice and things will fall into place.” 

The Wildcats now travel to face off against their next opponent, the Monterey Bay Otters on Oct. 8. Then on Oct. 10, they travel to face off the Dominguez Hills Toros. 

On Oct. 14, they will head off to Cal State East Bay in Hayward to take on the Pioneers. 

The Wildcats won’t return to University Stadium until Oct. 17 when they host Stanislaus State. 

Javier Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter.