Humboldt State capitalizes on strong offense and outstanding defense to defeat Warriors
Coming into Sunday’s match, the men’s soccer team had dropped an agonizing match to Chico State, setting the stage for a dominant game against the visiting Stanislaus State Warriors.
Humboldt showed up strong for the home crowd, exhibiting their goal-scoring prowess by netting three. Meanwhile, Stanislaus was unable to make a mark on the scoresheet. With 24 goals on the season, the Jacks now average three goals a game and play with the defense to back up the scoring.
The first half of the match saw fairly even play between the two teams, with both sides rushing forward to test the defenses. The Jacks’ defense allowed six shots in the first half but goalkeeper Robert Quintero stood tall in net, making three saves early on to hold the Warriors scoreless. On the offensive end of things, the Jacks failed to capitalize on a few free and seemed unable to sustain pressure in Stanislaus’ defensive zone putting just 5 shots on the board with all sailing wide of the mark.
The second half of the contest saw a much more aggressive start from Humboldt State, who were immediately making deep runs into the Stanislaus side of the pitch. It wasn’t just the offense who came out looking assertive however, with Quintero coming out of the net to make a perfectly-timed tackle in the middle of the Warrior’s attack. With confidence in the defense’s ability, Jacks’ forward, Isaiah Dairo, found the back of the goal just 10 minutes into the half to score his team-leading sixth goal of the season and put Humboldt up 1-0.
The scoring would not stop there. Freshman midfielder, Nicolas Falco, buried the first goal of his college career into the top of the Warrior’s net only 15 minutes later. Following his goal, Falco made a beeline to the Jacks’ sideline jumping into a sea of his teammates all clearly ecstatic to him get on the board.
With a 2-0 score in their favor, Humboldt State eased back just a bit on the offensive front, focusing on making safe plays in the interest of protecting the lead. Even with a more defensive approach for the final stages of the game, Jacks’ midfielder/forward Devin Hauenstein chipped the ball over Stanislaus goalkeeper Justin Motzkus to score the home team’s third and final goal of the match.
Following his shutout performance for the Jacks, Quintero was very positive, noting that it was a strong overall performance from the team which led to their success.
“The last few games we really stepped up defensively,” Quintero said. “Today we just put it all together. Everyone stepped up, we had each other’s back on the defensive end. No goals, so that’s always good to get a shutout.”
Head Coach Fred Jungemann was also impressed with Quintero’s performance in goal and the confidence that it brought to the whole defensive line.
“Rob’s a senior leader for us and he’s a big part of what we’re doing,” Jungemann said. “When he plays like he did today, he gives the defense so much confidence and self-belief. He’s a big part of everything we’re doing back there, and I’m really happy for them to get the shutout the way they played and, obviously, Rob was a big part of that.”
With the win on Sunday, the Jacks moved to 5-3 this season and were able to put Friday’s loss behind them in resounding fashion. Jungemann was happy to have picked up the second game but still saw room for improvement from the weekend as a whole.
“I don’t think we can ever get past losing some points,” Jungemann said. “But certainly winning points today will give us a good taste in our mouths and hopefully give us something to build towards for next weekend.”