For the Gators, Sunday’s men’s soccer game was a day of many firsts, including their first win of the season. The Gators shutout the Cal Maritime Keelhauers 6-0.
Of the six SF State scorers, five Gators earned their first goal of the season within the first 45 minutes of play. Among them are freshman midfielder Sam Merritt, sophomore midfielder Robert Gilbert, senior defender Jose Vitela, freshman midfielder and forward Jared Magaoay and junior midfielder Jairo Magana.
According to senior midfielder Jose Monje, who finished with two assists and four attempted shots, the team’s main strategy for the game was to keep possession of the ball, play at feet, get players open and ultimately try to get the goal.
“(The Keelhauers) gave us a lot of time on the ball,” Monje said. “They weren’t really pressuring us.”
The Gators held control over most of the game, wrapping it up with a total of 42 shots, while Cal Maritime only had three shots.
“Once we scored, we kinda just dominated the whole game,” Magana said. “We released pressure a lot so we managed to do that well and that’s why we had a lot of time on the ball.”
Although the Gators maintained the pressure on the Keelhauers throughout the game, head coach Joe Hunter said he “was not pleased with the last 20-25 minutes.”
“I thought, you know, when you get your second, your reserve guys playing, the level’s going to be higher,” Hunter said. “Yeah, we won six-nothing but in a way I got a little bit of anxiety when I look at some of the play of some of the guys that are coming off the bench so that’s gotta get tightened up.”
“They’re gonna X-ray (Chalak’s ankle) tomorrow to see if there’s any breaks or anything in there,” Hunter said. “Right now it’s just really swollen and painful, but that’s a really unfortunate injury for us.”
The Gators are gearing up for their conference game home opener Sept. 21 against Cal State San Bernardino at 12:30 p.m.