Wildcats end skid, put up back-to-back wins against Pioneers and Warriors


Raymundo Sayago

Defenders Avery Huggins (left) and Ben Souza (right) in high spirits after establishing the lead.

Chico State Men’s Soccer, currently (5-3-4) and (2-1-2) in conference play, ended a small losing streak with a win on Oct. 6 against the East Bay Pioneers, who are (4-5-3) and (2-2-1) in conference play.

The Wildcats had not won a game since Sept. 23, dropping a game to Cal Poly Pomona and tying with Cal State LA at home last weekend.

The match got off to a slow start with only 12 shots between both teams, leading to zero goals in the first half.

However in the 54th minute of play, junior midfielder Noah Ross scored his first goal of conference play to give the Wildcats a lead.

“It felt good,” Ross said.“ I was glad to finally be able to get in a dangerous position, it definitely shifted the momentum a little bit.

The Wildcats ramped up the shots in the second half of the game, attempting 15 shots compared to only six in the first half.

“We were a little caught off guard by how much pressure they put on us,” sophomore midfielder Kristoffer Brown said. “Once we got the goal it settled us down a little bit, and we were able to really improve in the second half.”

The shift in attitude was evident, because 24 minutes after Ross’s goal, lead sophomore forward Gabriel Delich netted his first goal of the season off an assist by Benjamin Ralph.

Delich got his most playing time of the season with 43 minutes of play and made the most of it. 

“Every point matters this late into the season, the main goal is playoffs,” Delich said.

The Wildcats continued rolling with their momentum in Turlock this past Sunday when they took on the Stanislaus State Warriors (1-3-1) on Oct. 9

The Wildcats started off quickly. Just 16 minutes into the first half Chico State drew a foul in the foul box by the Warriors which led to a penalty kick. 

As Stanislaus State shook and put their heads down at the call, the Wildcat’s players dapped each other up and cheered each other on because they knew what was coming next.

Adrian Fontanelli took the penalty for Chico and shot it to the bottom left side of the box, putting the ball just under the goalkeeper who dove in that direction trying to block the shot. 

This penalty marked the first score for the Wildcats in the matchup against the Warriors. 

The team then regrouped at halftime and made adjustments before going onto the pitch for the second half. 

Only four minutes into the second half, Ross who scored a goal against East Bay on the Thursday before, ended up getting an assist from Preston Moll.

Moll centered it into the right corner of the foul box, where Ross jumped up and finished it, scoring the goal with a header. 

This put the Wildcats up 2-0 and resulted in them leading the rest of the game, effectively shutting out the Warriors. 

As the Wildcats advance deeper into the season the playoffs begin to come into thought. Chico State currently sits third in the CCAA Men’s Soccer rankings with five more games to play.

Chico State is set to continue play on the road against San Marcos on Oct. 14 against Cal State San Marcos at 3:00 p.m. To watch the livestream, make sure to tune in on the CCAA Network. 

Jackson Elrod can be reached at [email protected] or @jacksonelrod13 on Twitter.