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Pioneers to Cap Season with Pair of Tough Tests

  • October 29, 2009

HAYWARD, Calif. - The Cal State East Bay men's and women's soccer teams will close out their first season in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with a pair of matches against the two of the top teams in the league this weekend at Pioneer Field. The Pioneers will play host to Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday before celebrating Senior Day on Sunday against Cal State LA. The games mark the second time in three weeks that the teams will meet, with East Bay looking for redemption after falling to the Toros and Golden Eagles in the first round of the South Division matchups.

The Pioneer men will meet the Toros at 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon before honoring lone senior Alex Reyes before Sunday's matchup with No. 7 Cal State LA at 2 p.m. Cal State East Bay is looking to continue its improved play of late after holding opponents to just two goals last weekend and holding the 30th-ranked scoring offense in Division II to just one goal in Sunday's 1-0 overtime loss to Cal State San Bernardino. Despite losing several starters to injury, the Pioneers have battled through and are looking to end their first season under Head Coach Andy Cumbo on a high note.

Freshman midfielder Michael Rossi leads the squad with three goals and six points on the year, but is out for the season after suffering a foot injury. Sophomore midfielders Manny Cardenas and Arnoldo Mendoza are tied for second the squad with five points apiece. Freshmen keepers Billy Morales and Cesar Villa have shared time in goal, with Villa making each of the last five starts between the posts. East Bay is still searching for its first CCAA victory, but face a tough task against the Toros and Golden Eagles this weekend.

On the men's side for Dominguez Hills, the Toros carry a 12-5-1 mark overall and a 9-4-1 conference record into the final week of the season. CSUDH is ranked fourth in the West Region and is led by Andrew Marinez' six goals and 16 points on the season. Keeper Markus Dickerson has posted seven shutouts and an 0.84 goals against average this year.

Sunday's meeting with Cal State LA will see the Pioneers looking to contain the 52nd ranked scoring offense in Division II. The Golden Eagles boast the best record in the CCAA with a 15-2-1 mark overall and an 11-2-1 record in league play. Frederico Cino leads LA with 26 points on nine goals and eight assists in 2009, while keeper Tobias Hummel has notched all 15 wins for the Golden Eagles and has compiled an 0.84 goals against average so far.

The women's team is set to host Dominguez Hills on Friday at 12:30 p.m., before facing No. 16 Cal State LA at 11:30 a.m. on Senior Day for Carissa Martin and Britanie Strei this Sunday. East Bay is looking to improve upon its 2-0 loss to the Toros and its 4-0 loss to the Golden Eagles earlier this month. The Pioneers are coming off back-to-back losses last weekend, but snapped a five-match scoring drought on Oct. 25, as junior winger Carly Genzoli put away her first score of the season in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Cal State San Bernardino.

The Pioneers are led by sophomore midfielder Zuly Diaz' four goals on the year, while she and freshman forward Shianna Falk are pacing the team withe 10 points apiece. East Bay brings a 3-12-3 overall record and a 2-10-2 mark into the final weekend of play. Freshman keeper Nina Cefalo has played every minute in goal for the Pioneers, notching 87 saves and four shutouts on the year while compiling a 1.70 goals against average.

The Cal State Dominguez Hills women enter the week with an 11-7-0 overall record and a 9-5-0 mark in the CCAA. Jessica Murphy's eight goals and 20 points on the season pace the Toros who are coming off a big win over defending national champion No. 4 Seattle Pacific last week. Dominguez Hills keeper Alyssa Congdon is the reigning CCAA Player of the Week and boasts a 0.97 goals against average and nine shutouts on the year.

The 16th-ranked Golden Eagle women sit in second place in the South Division behind Friday night opponent No. 18 UC San Diego with a 13-2-2 overall record and a 10-2-2 mark in league play. Cal State LA's Liz Franco is pacing the team with 34 points on nine goals and 16 assists, and leads all Division II players with her 0.94 assists per game average. In goal, Heather Emswiler has started each of the last two matches and boasts a 0.38 goals against average and one blank sheet in 235 minutes of play.

Sunday will mark the final day in the Red and Black for Cal State East Bay seniors Carissa Martin, Britanie Strei and Alex Reyes. Martin and Strei are four-year letterwinners for Head Coach Amy Gerace. Strei has been a key cog in the Pioneer defense during her career, while Martin has been an important reserve for East Bay over the past four years. Reyes joined the Pioneer men after two seasons at San Joaquin Delta College and has notched two assists in his first year at East Bay.

The final weekend of play for Cal State East Bay soccer gets underway on Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. as the women take on the Toros, while the men kick off the second game of the doubleheader at 3 p.m. Sunday's Senior Day festivities open with the women's match with Cal State LA at 11:30 a.m., followed by the men at 2 p.m.

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