The fate of the Sonoma State University men’s soccer team came down to a single match played on Saturday against San Francisco State. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, they fell short in an intense match that left them scoreless against the San Francisco State Gators (1-0).
This loss means the Seawolves will not advance to the first round of the CCAA playoffs. However, the Seawolves put up a fight, going back and forth with the Gators. Both teams had the same number of shots on goal, but Sonoma State was unable to capitalize, which cost them the win.
As Sonoma State traveled to San Francisco to play their final away match of the season, it was inevitable the tension would be at an all-time high. This game was the ticket to playing in the CCAA playoffs and the Seawolves wanted to finish out the season out strong. The match came down to one deciding factor — who wanted it more? Each team had the talent to come away from the match with a win; however, only one team would leave with a shot at a playoff run.
The match had as much pressure as a postseason match would, as a large crowd came out to watch as both teams battled in this all-or-nothing match before heading to the CCAA Championships. For San Fransisco State’s Senior Day, the Gators honored seniors Andy Altamirano, KJ Ahlo, Sam Gebremiche, Nigus Solomon, Ranier Plantinos, Jesse Rodriguez, and Jonny Villeda.
Each team had three shots on goal in the first half and were unsuccessful. After a scoreless half, it was only a matter of time before one team knocked one into the net. In the 47th minute of the match, Aydan Bowers, the Gators’ junior midfielder/defender, gave SF State the lead. The goal came after a free kick from the left side entered the front of the goal box, where Bowers snuck past the defense to knock it home.
Seawolves’ senior Eric Alvarado stepped up to the box to block what would’ve been the Gators’ second goal as he turned his back and took one for the team. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, they were unable to answer with a goal of their own, which left the Gators victorious.
This left Sonoma State with the record of 7-7-2 overall and 4-5-1 CCAA to end the season. For the first time since 1978, the San Fransisco Gators will enter the postseason and play in the first round of the CCAA playoffs.
It was an extremely emotional game for both the Seawolves and their fans, especially the seniors, because a loss meant it would be the last time they would step on the field in their college careers.
“I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions since the game on Saturday, but to sum them up, I feel heartbroken,” Josh Sanchez said. “Just like that it was over. I still feel like it was yesterday I tossed on the Sonoma Jersey for the first time.”
Alvarado, Mitch North, Andrew Ogilvy, TJ Perez, Marcus Salvador, and Sanchez were the seniors who left everything they had on the field against San Fransisco State.
With many of the players planning to return next season, the Seawolves look forward to a great offseason and a promising future.