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Men’s Soccer Finishes Season With an Emotional Senior Day

Jacks defeat Dominguez Hills by two goals, but fall to Cal State LA

The Humboldt State University men’s soccer season concluded over the weekend and honored senior players at College Creek Field.

It was an emotional ending to another season of Jacks’ soccer as the final two games yielded different results. On Thursday, the men’s team beat Cal State Dominguez Hills 2-1 with two goals from the Jacks leading scorer Isaiah Dairo. He scored the game-winner in the final minute.

Saturday’s matchup against Cal State Los Angeles was held on Senior Day, and for athletes Robert Quintero, Rudi McClellan, Isaiah Dairo, Israel Gonzalez and Gus Baxter it was their last game as a Lumberjack.

A ceremony commenced before the game, with senior players taking photos with their families and Head Coach Fred Jungemann. For some players like Isaiah Dairo, their last game had an impact on them.

“Having my family here motivated me,” Dairo said. “They don’t get to see a lot of games that I play and for them to see these last two games of my college career was special.”

The Jacks fell to Cal State LA 2-1. The lonesome goal came from Dairo, but it was not enough to help the Jacks come back from a point deficit.

“I had tears in my eyes when the final whistle blew because I looked over to my family, and they were clapping and filled with joy,” Dairo said.

In the first half, the Jacks and the Golden Eagles were off to a competitive start. After a 20-minute scuffle for possession, Cal State LA slipped one through HSU’s defense giving them an early 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, Jacks’ midfielder Israel Gonzalez connected a pass to Dairo, which he finished in the Golden Eagles’ net.

Senior Israel Gonzalez battles for the ball during the Jacks’ match against Cal State Los Angeles at College Creek Field on Nov. 9. | Photo by Thomas Lal

HSU goalkeeper Robert Quintero kept his composure throughout the first half and made drastic saves.

“In the first half I remember the pile of players fighting to score and me stretching out my hand to prevent the ball from crossing the line,” Quintero said.

With ten minutes left in the first half, the Golden Eagles were able to score another goal on the Jacks. With the Jacks now trailing, Jungemann felt it was a response for his players showing a pulse in the fight.

“Our goal reminded them we had a fight in us,” Jungemann said. “So they started to take us more serious, and they certainly did what they wanted to do, but our players held their ground.”

Going into the second half, the Jacks and Golden Eagles fought hard to overcome the opponents’ strategies, but both teams were unable to add any points to the board.

Humboldt State senior Gus Baxter soaks in the moment after his final game as a Lumberjack against Cal State LA at College Creek Field on Nov. 9. | Photo by Thomas Lal

“This day is part of our lives every year and it doesn’t get easier,” Jungemann said. “It’s always a difficult and emotional day. The graduating players gave five years of their life to an organization that they had fun being apart of and now await the challenges ahead.”

Dairo is saddened that his time with Jacks’ soccer is over, but his sights are set for furthering his career.

”It’s memorable knowing that this is another start in a journey for my life,” Dairo said. “It’s not the end of the road for anybody, you can always get better and in time I hope to play professionally.”

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