Humboldt State Men’s Soccer played a full offensive and defensive effort over 90 minutes of action, but it wasn’t until a shot in the last minute of regulation by junior Dylan Tovani that the Lumberjacks were able to pull away, outlasting visiting San Francisco State 1-0 at College Creek Field on Senior Day this past Sunday.
Head coach Fred Jungemann said he was proud of the effort his team put into the match today, and that he was glad the effort paid off with a victory.
“The boys put it in start to finish today,” Jungemann said. “We had a lot of chances. The boys played really really well, but it was just one of those games where we’re just a half step late or the ball was a little early. It was one of those games where it just wasn’t clicking in the attacking third.”
Despite missed opportunities offensively, the Lumberjacks still outshot their opponents 26-12. Goalkeeper Adrian Gallardo anchored another solid defensive effort, earning his 7th shutout match. This puts him second on the all-time school single season shutout list.
“We had another amazing performance from our defense and Adrian,” Jungemann said.
With less than a minute before extra time, Tovani got a touch about 18 yards from the goal. This time though, the junior business major captured the opportunity, sailing a beautiful ball into the back right corner of the net to clinch the win.
“Dylan stepped up in the last minute,” Jungemann said. “He took on the responsibility and scored an amazing goal.”
For Tovani, the last thing he wanted was for the game to go to extra time.
“When I took the touch I heard ‘one minute left,’” Tovani said. “All I thought was to shoot it, because we need a goal with 50 seconds left or we’re going to overtime, so we have to score.”
Tovani felt the score reaffirmed the dominant effort his team had shown all game.
“I think we dominated the whole game,” Tovani said. “We got a little sloppy at times at the end of the second half, but we dominated pretty much the whole game, the first half especially.”
Sunday’s victory marked the 4th consecutive win for the Lumberjacks, as the team also won a nailbiter on Friday with an overtime golden goal victory over Northern California rival Sonoma State.
The hot streak comes at a crucial time for the Lumberjacks, as the squad sits in fifth place in the CCAA regular season standings with only 3 games remaining in the regular season. Only the top six teams will advance to the conference playoffs beginning in November.
Senior Marco Silveira, who currently sits in first place in the conference in assists and game-winning goals, noted that it was the perfect way to close out the final regular season homestand of the season.
“That’s exactly what we wanted: the battle to the end,” Silveira said, “We had been pushing the whole game, so it was the perfect way to end our career here at College Creek Field.”
Depending on how the next two weekends play out, Silveira may still yet be able to play at home one more time, as the jacks sit only two points behind fourth seeded Cal State San Bernardino. If the ‘Jacks can overtake the Coyotes in the standings with three matches remaining to jump into the top four seeds, they would host a first round home match on Nov. 7 for the opening round of the CCAA playoffs.
With that being said, the team closes out their regular season with potentially the hardest road trip of the year. The squad begins its road trip on Friday Oct. 29 against Cal Poly Pomona, currently seeded second in the conference. On Oct. 31, the team faces off against #8 Cal State LA, who currently sits at the top of the conference standings. After that, the team will return to NorCal where they close out the regular season against their traditional foes, the Wildcats of Chico State on Nov. 4. The ‘Cats will be fighting for their playoff lives as well over the last two weekends, as they currently sit in the final tournament spot.