Goalkeeper Jake Wright, of Rancho Palos Verdes, will blog for 100 Percent Soccer this season providing an inside look at the Cal State Northridge men’s soccer program. Wright was a two-year starter at Peninsula High and is entering his sophomore year at Cal State Northridge. This summer Wright played for Orange County Blue Star of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.
This is his his first post.
After a rigorous preseason camp of intense fitness conditioning and two weeks of grueling double days in the searing valley heat, our boys were really excited to see what all our hard work was going to show for in our exhibition match last Saturday up at Cal.
Following our morning practice Friday, we headed up I-5 on our seven hour bus trip up to San Francisco. After a few movies on the bus, we finally got to the hotel. It was awesome, right on the water at the Berkeley marina. Later that night after a quick meeting, it was off to, what I think, was the best meal I’ve had on a road trip since I’ve been playing for Northridge: pasta, bread, chicken, salad – just awesome.
Soon after dinner was over, a couple of us went for a quick dip in the jacuzzi and then went up to our rooms to check out the gold medal soccer game from Beijing, between Argentina and Nigeria, then dozed off and got some rest before game day.
The first ten or fifteen minutes were very back and forth, with both teams trying to find a rhythm. A few close attempts, including a great save from the Cal goalkeeper, as well as a great save off the line from our goalkeeper Kevin Guppy, were the highlight of the beginning of the match. Our closest chance of the first half came off of a great ball from senior forward Devin Deldo, right in stride to Cameron Sims, who missed by just inches in his first touch of the game after coming on only seconds earlier.
After the half time break, we definitely came out hungry. With a tighter back line and better possession play, we were really moving the ball around well, but just couldn’t put one in the back of the net.
At the end of full time, and the conclusion of the first overtime, we knew it was coming. Just three minutes into the second extra time period, after a great buildup from the back line, a quick turn and shot from Moy Gomez secured our first victory of the season.
We were all ecstatic, knowing that all of our hard work the weeks prior had paid off, but still knowing that there lots of areas of our game that still needed work if we wanted to achieve our ultimate goal of bringing a National Championship back to the Ridge.
It was good to see Chad Borak back after his season ending injury last year, as well as great play from the rest of our back line, midfielders, and forwards as well. Hopefully we can keep our momentum going into this weekend for our Friday night game against Georgetown, and Sunday afternoon match against Alabama A&M.
One thing is for sure, come Friday night, we’ll be ready to go, in our first step in achieving that goal of a Big West and National Championship.