Men’s Soccer drops first 2 games but new coach Eddie Soto sees improvementscsudhbulletin September 9, 2019 0 COMMENTS
Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
Beginning a season losing the first two games at home might not seem reason to commend your team, but that’s what new Toro men’s soccer coach Eddie Soto did after his team’s two first games of the 2019 season.
Of course, when you follow a 4-0 blowout loss with a close one-goal defeat,
there is reason to be optimistic.
“We just need to keep building on what we’re doing,” Soto said.
” If we can keep improving every game like we did the last two games, I’ll
CSUDH was clobbered in its home opener, losing 4-0 to Azusa Pacific.
Azusa, a perennial powerhouse in Southern California Division II soccer,
limited the Toros to five shots, only one of which was on-target
and controlled possession 64 percent of the game.
It was close at halftime, with the Toros only trailing 1-o. But the defense collapsed in the second half, allowing three goals in 15 minutes.
Three Toros were given yellow card cautions during the game and midfielder Dani van Steijn received a straight red card in the 65th minute for bringing down a Cougar forward and stopping him from a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Soto was disappointed with losing his debut turn as the program’s new coach,but saw some positives.
“I thought we defended very well in the first half,” he said. . “We gave up a
soft goal, but individually and collectively I think we defended well in the
first 45 minutes.”
He also recognized areas that need improvement going forward.
“We have to get better with the ball and relieve some pressure off ourselves,” he said. “That was something we did poorly today, we had a really tough yime making a play.”
Two days later, the Toros hosted Point Loma, The team once again trailed at
halftime 1-0, but rather than a defensive lapse came out stronger. The game was nearly equalized in the 60th minute when a free kick was awarded just outside the box. The ball was sent in for a cross and a Toro connected with a header, only to have it bounce off the left post and cleared by a Sea Lions
The Toros’ efforts eventually paid off as they were able to find an equalizing
goal in the 75th minute to make it 1-1. Senior JD Hauenstein served up a pass inside the box to junior Steven Espinoza, who blasted a right-footed shot past the outstretched arms of the Point Loma keeper and into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Eight minutes later, the Sea Lions retaliated and netted a second goal from Hunter Loomis, which proved to be thye difference in the non-conference matchup h
“The result wasn’t there, but we played extremely well,” said Soto. “The team is starting to understand what I want from them defensively and offensively. The identity we’re trying to create for ourselves, we saw it tonight.”
The Toros (0-2) travel to Lacey, Washington for their next two matchups,
facing powerhouse Simon Fraser University on Thursday,
at followed by Saint Martin’s University on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.