PHOENIX, Ariz. – In the 75th minute of Friday’s season-opening match, Dixie State College’s soccer team held a one-goal lead over Cal Poly Pomona. A misplayed crossing shot and one well executed corner kick later, the Red Storm ended the day on the wrong side of a 3-2 final score.
Head coach Danny Ortiz said the team had their chances after surviving an early barrage of shots in the first 20 minutes.
Cal Poly Pomona (1-0) scored just before the first intermission when Ricardo Reyes found the net from just inside 20 yards.
Pacific West Conference preseason selection Clayton Alexander lit the scoreboard in the 51st minute. He headed in a corner kick from Tyler Albretsen to even the score.
Chances came at a premium for Dixie State (0-1) and Ortiz applauded his club’s effort.
“We had two goals called back,” he said. “But we continued to put pressure on them in the second half.”
Zac Hales initiated the Storm’s go-ahead goal sending a cross toward Jorge Lopez. A nice pass found the foot of Nyle Ortiz for a 2-1 DSC advantage.
Coach Ortiz said goalkeeper Tyler Walters was “outstanding”, but an error near the net was tapped in by All-American Luis Gonzalez to erase the Dixie State lead.
The match was decided in the 82nd minute. Off Juan Mejia’s corner kick, Daniel Gomez boosted CPP to the victory cashing in the loose ball rebound.
Despite the loss, Ortiz offered praise for his two goal scorers and Albretsen, who played solidly for the opening whistle. Freshmen Alex Lawhun from the middle of the field and Erik Shallenberger also received high praise from the coach.
“We are looking forward to our next match,” said Coach Ortiz. “We gained confidence that we will take to our next match.”
Dixie State matches up with Colorado State – Pueblo on Sunday in Phoenix at 7 p.m. MST