This season for the Sonoma State club soccer team is proving to be an exciting one. They have shown the rest of the collegiate club soccer teams that they are a force to be reckoned with. The team's trip to San Diego for the Aztec Cup was successful for the Seawolves as they ended up taking the championship back home after beating San Diego State, Northern Arizona University and Cal Poly Pomona in the finals.
The President of the club soccer team, Garrett Kustin, found himself extremely proud of this years group.
Kustin spoke out about the team, "I had high expectations for this group going into this tournament but I didn't know just how well we would play together!"
As the president, Garrett Kustin has a major role in deciding who makes it on the roster, running the practices and has also prioritized the chemistry of the group, this year it has proven to be successful. The team's ability to take home the championship encompasses all the team's hard work.
Kustin comments about the team's work ethic, "All of our hard work we put in the offseason showed and we really came together not only as a team but as a unit."
The men's club team would meet San Diego State in the first round winning comfortably, 2-0. Moving into the next round they would face Northern Arizona University and would also improve in the tournament standings with an impressive win against the Lumberjacks, 3-1.
For the championship game, they were matched up against Cal Poly Pomona.
In order to win, the Seawolves would have to play defense because they could take home the championship if the game ended in a tie. With having six goals in total for the tournament compared to Cal Poly Pomona's four goals of the tournament, the Seawolves were in the best standing coming into the championship game.
The championship game would bring drama to the Seawolves as Kustin would dislocate his shoulder right before the championship game. This comes after losing another member from a shoulder injury, Gabe Russo, three-weeks ago against Chico state. This injury would be a scare for the club soccer team.
Fortunately, another player would fill in for Kustin's place and would provide major contributions to the Seawolves championship win. Taylor Barstow stepped up in place for Kustin and proved himself as an asset for the Seawolves.
Kustin would speak about Barstow, a third-year biology major, "He stepped up and locked down the goal and helped us win the tournament.” Barstow's efforts were recognized by the club president as he was a crucial aspect for the Seawolves championship win.
Barstow would comment about Kustin, "Having Garrett say that I had major contributions to the championship game feels great. It’s always nice to get recognition and see that your efforts aren’t going unnoticed but we all had major contributions to the win".
Barstow would add, "Every single player played a crucial role to all of our victories from the returners that always give their best and leave it all on the field to the new guys who came out hard and played with everything they had and without any one of those guys we might have had a different outcome".
The team's work on improving their chemistry is proving to be worth it as the team is seeing success, winning comfortably against the teams they're playing. Barstow has been on the club soccer team for three years and he thinks that this year feels different than years past.
Barstow comments about this years team, "This squad is something different. This team is going to do big things just wait and see.” The Sonoma State club soccer will have a doubleheader this weekend as they will face UC Davis and their rival Chico State.