San Diego State men’s soccer lost 2-0 against Cal Berkeley on Nov. 4 at the SDSU Sports Deck.
It was the last home game of the season for SDSU (6-10, 1-8 MW).
It was also the final match for senior defenders Alex Berkholds and Ilai Shvika, forward Damian German and goalkeeper Cameron Hogg.
In the first half, SDSU struggled to keep any grip on possession. The opposing side maintained more control of the ball and came out aggressive.
Berkeley (6-9-2, 2-7 MW) continued to press against SDSU’s end of the field in search of the opening score.
At the 19-minute mark, a cross from sophomore defender Christopher Grey came flying into the box to meet with the feet of freshmen midfielder Taylor Davila for a tap in score.
This was the first time all season that SDSU had conceded a goal in the first half.
Although the visitors opened the scoring, it did not stop them from wanting another goal.
Six minutes later, a ball and a pocket of space opened up for Cal senior midfielder Shinya Kadono to run straight towards Hogg.
As Kadono busted with speed past defenders, he took a shot that went directly at Hogg for a save to prevent the home side going down twice in less than 10 minutes.
Things became worse for SDSU in the 39th minute.
A shot from Cal freshman midfielder Taylor Davila off a free kick took a deflection and led to freshmen midfielder Lucas Churchill chipping a shot over Hogg to make it a 2-0 advantage.
At halftime, SDSU led in both categories of shots (7-4) and corner kicks (4-0) but had no goals to show for it.
Berkolds said he was disappointed with the outcome of the first half.
“I think we gave up two pretty bad goals in the first half,” he said. I don’t think it was anything to do with the effort but it was more of the mental component.”
Heading into the second half, SDSU continued to struggle and find any flow of offense. Tension started to build up for head coach Lev Kirshner’s side.
Signs of frustration could be seen across the field with every player for SDSU.
The team had to fight for every ball and lots of physicality came into play. Whenever SDSU would spark signs of attack they were met with Cal defenders.
The minutes passed by and the match was over. SDSU had lost its sixth straight game in conference play.
Kirshner said the result was unfortunate and did not turn out the way he had hoped.
“I think our guys fought very hard for our seniors tonight,” Kirshner said. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the result we wanted to send them off on their last game here at home.”
Hogg said the trend of the team playing different styles of soccer each half has continued all season.
“It’s a consistent theme that needs to change with mentality,” Hogg said.
SDSU will finish up its season on the road against UCLA on Nov. 8.