Men’s Soccer NCAA Third Round Preview


Photo courtesy of Robert Huskey

Carlos Zarate (2) goes in for the ball at the Cal State LA men’s soccer game against Midwestern State.

Adrian Bennett de Avila, Sports Editor

The Cal State LA men’s soccer team will face its third-round foe St. Mary’s University of Texas this Thursday on its home turf.

In an attempt to pack the University Stadium, the first 200 Cal State LA students will receive free admission. There will also be free giveaways during the game, which include limited edition Golden Eagles t-shirts and tickets to Disneyland. 

General admission is $10. There are also $5 tickets for children under 12, students and seniors with an ID. 

Cal State LA is coming off a 3-0 win over ten-seeded Midwestern State in the second round of the tourney. This was its 13th shutout of the season. In that game, the Golden Eagles got two goals from midfielder Daniel Simonis and one goal from forward Robin Lindahl. 

However, the three-seeded St. Mary Rattlers will present a different challenge for the Golden Eagles. They are coming off a 5-0 defeat of Western Washington University in their first-ever appearance at the NCAA tournament. Rattler forward Nenad Markovic had a hat trick in the match. 

Despite Markovic’s impressive performance, the player likely to be on the top of the Golden Eagles’ scouting report is midfielder Ollie Wright. Wright had two assists in the game against Western Washington University, and was the 2019 South Central Region Player of the Year. The Rattlers also had two other all-region players: Defender Martin Ibarreche and forward Edu Toiny-Pendred. 

This match presents an opportunity for Cal State LA to advance to the quarterfinals as it continues its run towards a national championship. When the Golden Eagles play in the third round on Thursday, they will have already advanced farther than they did last season, when they lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Golden Eagles men’s soccer program has never won the NCAA championship final, but got as far as the runner-up in 1981.

Golden Eagles’s third round game of the NCAA tournament kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday.