By Josh Bennett
The men’s soccer team had plenty of opportunities to get on the board against UC Irvine, but eventually was outmastered, losing 3-0.
Despite outshooting the Anteaters 12-10, CSUB was unable to score with any of their possessions, struggling to find the goal. Irvine controlled the ball for most of the game, which led to three goals.
Late in the first half, UC Irvine regained possession from the ‘Runners, forcing them to abandon the game plan and play defensively.
This took away a large chunk of valuable time from the ‘Runners, and eventually led to the first Irvine goal of the night 32 minutes into the game.
“It was hard because they worked us for that time instead of us controlling the game” said sophomore midfielder Dante Niño.
“We’re not a good defensive team. Irvine was dominant. Even though we are a young team, Irvine should have been worked harder,” said Tobin.
Entering the second half, Irvine maintained control of the game, and scored another goal 51 minutes into the game to extend their lead by two.
Following a yellow card on junior midfielder Lucas Dall’Orso, Irvine scored for a third time, sealing the victory for the Anteaters.
“Irvine was the better team. They were in control. We have six or seven guys playing their first season of collegiate ball, so Irvine was more experienced than us and deserved to win. This is a learning year for us,” added Tobin.
“We need to learn from our mistakes,” said Niño. “If we don’t work hard enough, it will be like this every game.”
About 15 minutes into the game, senior defender Scott Luedtke was removed with a hamstring injury, and never returned. Sophomore goalkeeper Anthony Perez also went down with an apparent right shoulder injury, but recovered and stayed in the game.
“It hurt to lose the senior leadership Scott has for this young team,” said Head Coach Simon Tobin.
The ‘Runners fall to 2-4-1 on the year, and fall to 0-1-1 on their home field. The all-time series with UC Irvine is now 6-1 in favor of the Anteaters.
CSUB will then begin Western Athletic Conference play when they travel to Las Vegas to face UNLV on the sixth. They will also face San Jose State on the 11th, and Seattle University on the 13th, before finally returning home to face San Jose State again on the 18th.
“We are geared towards conference play,” said Tobin. Tobin also added that he purposely gave the team a tough non-conference schedule, not only to help his young team quickly gain experience, but to help prepare the team for the conference play in hopes of winning it.