Chico State Men’s Soccer falls short but there is much to be excited about


Annette Moll

Kameron Kascht fighting off defender during Chico State’s 2-0 loss against Dominguez Hills on Nov 4.

Since the beginning of the season, the Wildcats were looked at as “too young” by outsiders. 

This season, 24 players on the Wildcat’s 32-player roster were sophomores or younger, making up 75% of the team, while the next closest in the California Collegiate Athletic Association was 63%.

The youngest team in the conference started off play with a tie in their first game, loss in the second and came home to get their first win of the season against Saint Martins 6-1 at University Stadium.

The Wildcats then went on to go 2-1-1 in their next four games, only allowing two goals across that entire span.

Conference play began on Sept. 23, when the Wildcats faced off against Sonoma State. Throughout the squad’s first six games, they played to the tune of a 3-1-2 record giving them playoff hope. 

Chico State finished off the regular season conference play with a 0-1-4 record in their last five games, only scoring four goals over the slew of matchups. 

There were a few key, last-second goals in some of those games, such as Justin Rickett’s first conference play goal all year in the 86th minute against Cal State San Marcos to tie the game. Or the goal in the last regular-season game of the year by Preston Moll to knot it up 2-2 vs their rival, the Cal Poly Humboldt Lumberjacks.

This last run was enough for the team to secure their playoff spot as the number five ranked team, marking the sixth straight playoff berth for the Wildcats.

They went on to face the number four ranked California State Monterey Bay, who they previously lost to 0-1 on their home field during senior night just a week prior. 

Midfielder Adrian Fontanelli takes possession from Dominguez Hill. Photo: Annette Moll

However this time, Chico State got off to an early lead and didn’t look back. Goals from Miles Rice, Adrian Fontanelli and Justin Ricketts, as well as the defense not allowing a goal permitted the Wildcats to advance to the CCAA semifinals.

The Wildcats had to face the number one seeded team — the unbeaten Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros just five days later. 

After traveling to San Bernardino, Chico State had their hands full against the Toro’s who scored in the 32nd minute then tacked on another one in the 36th minute. 

Their opponent’s offense proved too much for Chico State. It was a hard fought game but the Wildcats came up short, falling to Dominguez Hills 2-0 in full-time.

Head coach Felipe Restrepo had much praise for his young squad after the game.

“It was a good year, I’m extremely proud,” Restrepo said. “We gained a lot of experience and we got a young group, we look forward to what’s in store for the future.”

Sophomore Miles Rice played his hardest and despite the loss, he is looking forward to the future. 

“I’m hungry,” Rice said. “I want to keep working, come back next year and see if we can make a run with these guys.”

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