Defensive battle against Holy Names University ends in a 1-1 draw for men’s soccer


Mira Laing

SF State defender Miles Burditt (25) jumps up to head the ball away from an opposing player during the men’s soccer game against Holy Names University at Cox Stadium in San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Mira Laing/Golden Gate Xpress)

SF State men’s soccer battled Holy Names University to a standstill on Thursday, Sept. 6, finishing the game with a 1-1 tie at Cox Stadium.

Peter Swinkels (0), the SF State starting goalie, was playing for his third straight shutout until Holy Names tied the game in the 84 minute.

The Gators won their first two games of the season, making this defensive match their first draw.

“We wanted to attack, we wanted to keep control of the game,” said SF State head coach Javier Ayala-Hil regarding the team’s game plan.  

The Gators quickly jumped to a 1-0 lead, scoring in the first minute of the match. Midfielder Crinan Dunbar (4) got SF State on the scoreboard.

“It bounced off my roommate Clayton (26). It [the ball] came to me and I just passed in the goal,” Dunbar said when asked about his goal.     

After the quick score, the Gators struggled to mount their offense at times and missed a few chances to score in what ultimately became a game about the defensive efforts of both teams.

“They did a pretty good job of putting us in certain moments under pressure, and we dealt with it for the most part,” Ayala-Hil said about the grinding and aggressive nature of the game after the first goal.

Holy Names’ midfielder Lucas Felice (10) scored with less than six minutes left in regulation, scoring the first goal that the stingy Gators defense has allowed in their entire season. The goal would prove to be the final goal of the contest, but both SF State and Holy Names had chances late in regulation and throughout overtime to score a game winner.

“It’s an area that we are gonna keep trying to improve on,” Ayala-Hil said about the Gators’ missed opportunities to score. “We scored three goals last game [against Notre Dame de Namur University], two goals the first game [against Academy of Art University] and I think today could have gone that way as well.”

The physical nature of the game led to another night filled with penalties and fouls for the Gators, who piled on a total of 11 fouls, six offsides and four yellow cards, according to the Official Website of San Francisco State Athletics box score. But SF State was not alone in penalty trouble tonight, as Holy Names added another 11 fouls, one offside and one yellow card.

“Part of playing good defensively is playing physically, part of the game is to give away fouls,” said Tariq Pulskamp (19), defender and one of the two SF State captains this season. “We’ll look to eliminate giving away fouls in dangerous areas.”

Although the Gators did not pull off another victory in this contest, they remain undefeated in their young season.

“I think we weren’t as sharp as we’d like to [be], but [we] got plenty more games to go,” Ayala-Hil said.

SF State will look to get back in the win column in an away game against the Dominican University of California on Sunday, Sept. 9, while Holy Names will continue to search for their first victory as they face UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday, Sept. 12.