Chapman men’s soccer kept their undefeated home streak alive in their game against Occidental College Sept. 15. Chapman won 2-1, bringing the overall season record to 4-2.
Men’s soccer head coach Eddie Carillo credits the team’s win to home field advantage.
“We like our field, our field’s a big field, so we like to play to our strengths. We always think it’s an advantage for us,” Carillo said.
The game started off slow, but the pace quickened in the 17th minute, when Justo Garcia, junior midfielder, passed a sharp cross to the middle of Occidental’s penalty box. The cross, however, was not received and no shot was taken.
Kai Howe, senior forward and Chapman’s team captain, said the team’s nerves quickly fizzled as players got more comfortable.
“We were nervous—we knew this was a big game,” Howe said. “We knew we had to perform well so we were getting into the groove of things and then after 10 minutes, we did pick it up.”
Chapman took the lead in the 30th minute when Ryan Onart, Chapman junior midfielder, scored from inside the penalty box.
With 31 seconds left in the half, Chapman senior midfielder James Tribbey sunk a teardrop goal into the back of the net, slightly over Occidental sophomore goalkeeper Scott Drazan.
“What was running through my head (before I scored) was that I missed the first (shot). I was really hoping that one went in, because that would’ve been pretty upsetting,” Tribbey said.
The end of the first half was tense, with seven fouls by Occidental and six by Chapman. In these situations, Tribbey said the team tries to focus on working cohesively.
“Things get really hectic,” Tribbey said. “There’s a lot of emotions going around which is really easy to see. Best thing that we can do is stay calm and work together and count on each other and we’ll get through it.”
Going into the second half with a 2-0 lead, Carillo said the team attempted to come out strong, but was unable to keep its momentum.
“We wanted to keep our rhythm, we wanted to limit our mistakes and still play our style. And I’m not sure if we did that, but we got the win,” Carillo said.
Occidental put itself on the board in the 79th minute when senior midfielder Liam Walsh scored a penalty kick goal that resulted from a foul in the box on Chapman junior defender Jarod Matteoni.
In the last minute of the game, Occidental had the opportunity to tie up the score with a free kick, but the shot was defended by Chapman.
“It’s a huge win,” Howe said. “We definitely needed it. It’s a really good sign for the rest of the season and we’re all happy.”
Chapman plays at 4 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the California Institute of Technology.