CARSON, Calif. - Despite holding defending national champion Cal State Dominguez Hills to two goals in the first half and trailing by a single goal through most of the second frame, the Cal State East Bay men's soccer team dropped a 4-1 decision to the Toros in Carson on Sunday. The Pioneers snapped a two-match scoreless streak in the loss that capped their road schedule for the 2009 season.
"Cal State Dominguez Hills is a solid team that likes to go forward," Head Coach Andy Cumbo said. "We had a strong start to the second half and scored a really nice goal."
Dominguez Hills opened scoring in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute after a goal from Brian Alvarez. Andrew Marinez collected a loose ball deep in the Pioneer end before feeding it to Alvarez who beat CSUEB freshman keeper Cesar Villa for his third goal of the season.
With less than three minutes remaining in the half, the Toros struck again, getting a goal from Scott Locken at the 42:52 point. Greg Piechota played a cross into the box, connecting with Locken who put it away inside the right post to give Cal State Dominguez Hills a two-goal advantage heading into the break.
The East Bay defense had its hands full in the first half, as the Toros controlled offensive possession, taking 19 shots and putting seven on target. Villa needed six saves to hold Dominguez Hills to the two-goal lead. Villa also got help from his backline and the woodwork, as the Toros had three shots blocked and another hit the post in the opening frame.
The Pioneers came out of the half looking to reel the Toros back in, and did just that, cutting the lead to one goal in the 53rd minute. After linking up with senior midfielder Alex Reyes, sophomore forward Arnoldo Mendoza played a cross in for sophomore midfielder Manny Cardenas, who beat Dominguez Hills keeper Mitch Weeks to break a 235-minute Pioneer scoring drought.
Looking to draw even, the Pioneers continued to pressure the Cal State Dominguez Hills defense and had the ball deep in the Toros' end in the 74th minute. The Dominguez Hills defense, however, won the ball on the endline and initiated a counter-attack that ended with Scott Mariano and Alvarez combining for a give-and-go at the top of the box to beat East Bay freshman keeper Billy Morales. The goal was Alvarez' second of the day and gave the Toros a 3-1 advantage in the 76th minute.
"We kept pressing and had the ball in their box a few times," Cumbo said. "We left ourselves exposed and they countered."
Cal State Dominguez Hills added another in the 88th minute, as Alex Munoz played a ball from the central midfield for Andre Turoldo who scored from the top of the box. Turoldo notched his second score of the year and gave the Toros their final 4-1 lead.
Weeks and first-half keeper Markus Dickerson needed no saves to combine for the shutout, facing just two Cal State East Bay shots. On the other end Morales and Villa made eight total saves in the loss and saw the Toros put 16 of their 27 total shots on frame.
With the road schedule now complete, the Pioneers return home for their four remaining games this season. Cal State East Bay will host rematches with Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino this weekend before closing out the slate against the Toros and Cal State LA on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, respectively.
"We're looking forward to playing these teams again at home," Cumbo said.