LACEY, Wash. - The Cal State East Bay men's soccer team ended its trip to The Evergreen State with a 4-0 loss to St. Martin's on Thursday afternoon. The Pioneers held the Saints scoreless through the initial 45 minutes, but allowed four second-half goals to drop to 1-2-0 on the year.
"We just weren't as sharp today," Head Coach Andy Cumbo said. "We didn't play a full 90 minutes. We had some good moments but we just weren't as sharp overall. The guys kept their cool and did their best to work hard though."
The two squads played to a scoreless tie through the first half, with the Saints out-shooting the Pioneers 8-1 in the initial 45 minutes. East Bay freshman keeper Billy Morales made six saves in the opening period while Zac Lubin needed just one stop to preserve the first half shutout.
Despite the Pioneers' best efforts to open up the game in the second half, St. Martin's scored the eventual game winner just 11 minutes into the final frame. Conner Biggs found the back of the net after connecting with a cross from Xan Nixon in the 57th minute to open scoring.
"We came out in the second half and tried to play a little more aggressively," Cumbo said. "We stretched out the game but St. Martin's used that to their advantage and scored."
Nixon and Biggs weren't done yet, however, as they hooked up again 10 minutes later to increase the Saints' advantage to two goals after Biggs scored on a deflection off Morales. St. Martin's continued to pour it on, as Chase Franklin added a third goal in the 73rd minute and Ruben Orozco put away a penalty kick in the 78th minute to give the Saints their final 4-0 advantage.
SMU finished the game with an 18-3 advantage in shots, as Morales and fellow freshman keeper Cesar Villa made seven combined saves. An accurate shooting St. Martin's team that put 13 of its 18 shots on frame also forced the backline to make two saves, giving the Pioneers nine total stops in the match.
Freshman defender Jeffery Nolan led the team with two shots, both of which were on goal. Lubin and TJ Young combined to post the shutout for SMU.
"What's important now is how we adjust to this and move forward," Cumbo said.
Cal State East Bay returns from The Evergreen State to round out its three-match roadtrip on Sept. 7. The Pioneers will travel across the Bay to San Rafael to take on Dominican at 4 p.m. on Monday.