Cal State soccer programs fall short in championship run

SAN MARCOS — Just two weeks ago the men’s and women’s soccer teams were sweeping their way through the A.I.I. national tournament in Thomasville, Ga. Last week, both teams were dispatched from the N.A.I.A. championships.
On Nov. 19 the women hosted Westmont College for the opening round of championships.
The loss came in dramatic fashion with Westmont scoring the golden goal in double-overtime for the 1-0 win.
The men fell to No. 8 ranked Azusa Pacific 4-1 the same day.
“It is always disappointing to end something that is a lot of fun and something you have invested so much into,” said head coach Ron Pulvers. “Only one team ends the season totally satisfied, from a performance objective. So, yes, certainly, disappointed would be a good starting point.
“That said both teams had record breaking seasons. Moreover, we continue to grow and develop young men and women into fine educated individuals who we are confident will make great contributions to our community.”
As for the women’s loss in such a fashion, there is plenty of emotion.
“It is the ABC Wide World of Sports classic cliché,” Pulvers said. “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat…I think it is a little surreal in the moment, and certainly stings, but once reality sets in we can look at this season as a great success.”
Apart from the two losses, the teams came away with record breaking and award-winning seasons. Pulvers received coach of the year from the A.I.I. Conference, his third honor in four years, and soccer players of the year sophomore midfielder Jake Kaiser for the men and senior goal keeper Kaycee Guinon for the women.
It was Guinon’s experience and leadership that helped to keep the team focused throughout the playoffs.
“There’s definitely some pressure, but I know I usually thrive under pressure. I don’t get too nervous,” Guinon said. “We had them focused. “I know from previous teams we’ve come out and struggled, this is a good fought effort. This is a good club,” she added.
This was Guinon’s last run at a championship with the Cougars. But it was a run that she won’t forget, she said.
“The run, we had a good tough run, the memories in Georgia were awesome, winning like that, and the boys winning, that was big.”
As for the future of the women’s team, the goal remains to get back to the championships next year, like Guinon helped the team to do when she was just starting out with the team.
“I hope they can finally make it to the final destination again. We made it our freshman year; I think it’s definitely possible. We’ve got a lot of good young talent.”
Next summer, Guinon will be playing for the San Diego SeaLions in the WPSL and will also be coming back to Cal State in the spring to assist the team in coaching goal keepers.
The women’s program finished their best season yet with a record of 15-4-1.
The men finished their season with a record of 10-7-1.

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