HAYWARD, Calif. - Despite holding Cal State Dominguez Hills scoreless for the final 75 minutes on Friday afternoon, the Cal State East Bay men's soccer team could not overcome three early goals for the Toros, falling 3-0 at Pioneer Field. Defending national champion Dominguez Hills got a hat trick from Greg Piechota in the first 15 minutes of the match and took 31 shots in its second win of the season over the Pioneers.
"We were loose defensively early on and Dominguez Hills responded with three goals," Head Coach Andy Cumbo said. "Our organization improved as we progressed."
The Toros needed just six minutes to get on the board in the first half. Piechota scored the eventual game winner in the 7th minute after Andrew Marinez played a ball to him in the left corner. Piechota then curled his shot from 25 yards just inside of the far post to beat East Bay freshman keeper Cesar Villa, who had already faced five Dominguez shots.
The barrage of shots continued as the Toros dominated possession, rarely leaving the Pioneer end in the opening frame. Piechota notched his second goal less than four minutes later. Finding himself free in the box and drawing Villa out, Piechota ripped a shot from 10 yards into the open net to give Dominguez Hills a 2-0 lead.
Piechota completed the hat trick four minutes later, after receiving a near-perfect long cross from Marco Pulido on the right flank. The cross from nearly 40 yards out found Pulido on the far post where he headed it home for his third goal of the match and fifth of the season, giving the Toros a 3-0 lead with almost 30 minutes remaining in the opening frame.
The Pioneers struggled to maintain possession, but had one quality chance in the opening half. After winning a ball in the CSUDH end, freshman midfielder Chris Prado blasted a shot but sent it straight to Toro keeper Markus Dickerson, who made the save to keep East Bay scoreless.
All told, Dominguez Hills notched 21 shots in the first half, keeping Villa and his backline busy. The Hayward native made seven saves on the Toros' 10 shots on goal in the first frame and got help from the defense who blocked another five strikes.
Though Cal State Dominguez Hills continued to control the pace of play after the break, the Pioneer defense rose to the task of holding the Toros off. CSUEB held the Toros to just 10 shots, with Villa making five stops including a diving save that sent him flying parallel to the crossbar midway through the half.
The Pioneers created several chances late in the half, getting help from junior Sean Lynum-Young and senior Alex Reyes to win possession in the midfield. One of East Bay's best opportunities came in the 80th minute, when Lynum-Young's shot required Dickerson to send it over the crossbar. Lynum-Young got another chance on the ensuing corner kick but sent his shot wide.
"Sean [Lynum-Young] worked really hard and Reyes had a great game," Cumbo said. "He is playing his best right now."
The second half saw the Pioneers notch three shots, tripling their first-half output. Dickerson needed three saves in the match to maintain the blanking, while Villa finished the match with a career-high 12 stops on the Toros' 31 shots. Piechota paced all players with 10 shots, followed closely by Alex Munoz' nine. On the other side, Lynum-Young led East Bay with two strikes.
Cal State East Bay will close out the season this Sunday against No. 7 Cal State LA. The Pioneers will be looking for redemption against the Golden Eagles, who notched a 4-0 win over CSUEB on Oct. 16. East Bay will honor its lone senior in Reyes prior to the match which is set to kick off at 2 p.m. at Pioneer Field.