Cougars start off their 2019 season with a bang


Photo courtesy of CSUSM Athletics

Midfielder Kevin Reyes runs to join his teammates in celebration.

The CSUSM men’s soccer team set the tone for the start of the fall 2019 season after winning their home opener 3-0 against No. 25 Fresno Pacific University.

The Cougars started off hot as Parker Hodges scored in the 10th minute after a pass from Corbin Thaete down midfield which allowed Hodges to score from just inside the box.

The scoring continued for the Cougars in the 33rd minute as John Williamson scored on an assist from Mauro Rafael in the middle box.

This would be the last goal of the first half, with Cougars leading 2-0 over the Sunbirds.

The second half started off slow without a single shot until the 55th minute after an attempt from Hodges.

The game picked up from there as both teams promptly attempted multiple shots on goal.

However, neither team was able to find the back of the net until Williamson scored his second goal of the match in the 87th minute after an assist by Jacob Johnston in nearly the exact place as Williamson’s first goal.

This ended the game as the Cougars won 3-0.

The match concluded with the Cougars attempting 17 shots to the Sunbirds 10. Nine of the 17 shots were on goal for the Cougars.

Goalie, Justin Tesar, would ended the game with five saves against the Sunbirds.

The Sunbirds committed 15 fouls to the Cougars nine, with the Sunbirds receiving three yellow cards throughout the game.

This was the first win for the Cougars against a ranked opponent after three years with a 1-0 victory over No. 12 Cal State LA in 2016.

The match was the first time a CSUSM player scored at least two goals since Josh Mendez scored twice in a game against Saint Martin’s last season.

The Cougars played No. 11 Azusa Pacific two days after their win against Fresno Pacific and lost 1-2. John Williamson netted the Cougars’ only goal of the game in the 67th minute. Defense played a significant factor in the game as Azusa Pacific man- aged to pull off ten shots to the Cougars one shot.

The Cougars, now 1-1, will face off against Biola in La Mirada Wednesday Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. The chain of road games will continue for the Cougars when the play against Concordia Irvine on Saturday Sept. 14 at 3 p.m.