By Megan Acuna | Staff Writer |
Coyote men’s soccer team ended their 2012 season on Oct. 27 with a 3-0 win against CSU East Bay.
In spite of missing out on playoff competition, the Coyotes had a productive season which ended with an overall record of 5-5-7 and 5-5-5 in CCAA.
This was Head Coach Lance Thompson’s first season with the Coyotes.
“I was hired in June. The student athletes were just ending their quarter upon my arrival. August 13 was our first time meeting ever as a team,” said Thompson.
They finished with a .500 average and a sense of achievement despite the team coming together for the first time two weeks before their first game.
“We couldn’t have done anything differently this season. We got to know each other as the games went on,” Thompson said.
The Coyotes banded together and worked hard to make this a winning season. The final 3-0 shutout against the East Bay Pioneers gave them the most goals they’ve scored in one game for the entire season.
All three goals were scored with less than 20 minutes to go in the game. Sophomore midfielder Dylan Faggioni, freshman midfielders Ricardo Velasco and Leo Mendoza each scored a goal and senior goal keeper Tanner Olinger had seven saves against the East Bay Pioneers.
This win was particularly great for the Coyotes as they suffered a tough loss to CSU Monterey Bay just the day before in a heartbreaking 109th minute loss.
“Collectively our defense was very good. We had numerous shut outs and the team worked very hard and we maximized all of our efforts. I’m proud of the team’s ability to adapt to a new style of soccer. It must have been difficult for them but I heard no complaints,” Thompson said.
The men had a total of eight shutouts this season which just goes to show how effective their defense was.
This season was a vast improvement from the team of last season. In 2011 the Coyotes finished 6-9-2 in the conference giving them a .412 average for the season.
“I’m definitely glad to see the season end. I’m very pleased with the student athletes adapting to a new coach. We had many accolades and accomplished a lot. It was a good first year,” Thompson said.
One of the many accolades accomplished by the team is three of their players earned first-team All-CCAA honors for this season.
Olinger, Velasco and junior Lee Nishanian shared these honors. Additionally, Velasco was honored with Freshman of the Year.
This season, Olinger only allowed nine goals and had an .845 saves percentage with 49 saves out of 58 shots on goal. He added six shut outs to his repertoire and ended this season with a 4-4-6 record.
Nishanian had one assist for the season and had a shot on goal percentage of .312 with five shots on goal out of 16 shots.
Velasco ended the season with six goals, three of them being game winning shots. He is the second Coyote in the last four years to earn the title of Freshman of the Year. Senior Martin Esqueda earned the honor in 2009.