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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State Men’s Soccer kicks the season off with dominant win over Seattle Pacific

The Wildcats celebrate after Miles Rice (front center) scores a goal. Courtesy: Aaron Draper.

Chico State Men’s Soccer defeated Seattle Pacific University, with a dominant 2-0 win Thursday evening. 

The Seattle Pacific Falcons, a traditional soccer powerhouse and a longtime rival, could not hold down the Wildcats in the season opener.

Head Coach Felipe Restrepo had strong expectations going into the game. Restrepo “knew [Seattle Pacific] was going to be tough,” he said, acknowledging the deep-rooted rivalry between the two schools. 

Junior goalkeeper Emanuel Padilla, a transfer student in his first-year on the team, was surprised by the team’s competitiveness.

“Coming in from the first day … their level was always win, win, win,” Padilla said.

The match started off with the Wildcats dominating possession in the first half. Junior forward Miles Rice, scored an early goal in the 6th minute and had the Falcons playing defense for most of the first half. 

With one goal under their belt, the Wildcats maintained their lead by keeping the pressure on the Falcons. Forwards Rice and Noah Ross, attacked aggressively, giving the Falcons little chance of moving past the Wildcats. 

The second half of the game marked a shift in the dynamic between the teams. The Falcons went on the offensive, attempting multiple shots at the goal. However, the Wildcats held through and held off the Falcons for most of the remaining half. 

The last 10 minutes of the match turned into a fight for the Wildcat’s second goal. The Wildcats broke through an increasingly frustrated Seattle Pacific, and attempted several shots at the goal, including a shot off the crossbar in the 88th minute.

In the 89th minute, that second goal became a reality when Rice scored off an assist from Padilla, causing the stadium to erupt in cheers. 

Rice easily became the top player of the match, establishing himself as the leading goal-scorer of the season with one game down. He looks to maintain his title of leading goal-scorer from last year in which he scored six goals. 

Confident about the outcome of the game, Rice says he is looking forward to the rest of the season. 

“It’s important to win early, so you can keep it rolling and build your momentum,” Rice said.

For more information about Chico State Athletics, visit the Wildcats home page.

Steven Amador can be reached at [email protected] or at [email protected].


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