The San Francisco State University men’s soccer team had its best start to the season in school history, and made the playoffs on the last day of the season. It was the Gators’ first postseason berth since 1978.
They maintained that momentum in the first game of the playoffs but couldn’t sustain it on Friday, when SFSU fell to Cal Poly Pomona — 3-0 — in the CCAA Championships semifinals.
“Every game is a battle, every team is very good, so to get to the point to where we got to this season is an accomplishment in itself,” head coach Javier Ayala-Hil said, according to a news release. “I think now we’re just looking to build and just being able to consistently make the tournament. That’s going to be our goal every year.”
CPP got on the board first, scoring in the 19th minute — ending goalkeeper Peter Swinkels’ streak of shutouts at two.
The Gators’ 1-0 deficit maintained into the halftime break. CPP added another goal in the 71st minute and put the game away with another strike 10 minutes later.
“At the end of the day, they just capitalized on certain moments and we didn’t,” Ayala-Hil said.
Players, coaches honored
Ayala-Hil was named CCAA Coach of the Year on Friday.
The 13 coaches in the conference voted to give him the honor.
Ranier Plantinos and Aydan Bowers made first-team All-CCAA. Tariq Pulskamp was a second team selection. Andy Altamirano and Richard Leon were both honorable mentions.
Ayala-Hil led the team to a 12-4-2 record in his second year at the helm.
Plantinos, of San Mateo, scored 12 goals this season, a team high.
Bowers played 1,462 minutes this season and netted a pair of game winners.