The weather had cleared after a few days of rain and the Pilots took to the field for their last home game of the season. For some, it may have been their last home game as a Pilot.
On Nov. 6 the men’s soccer team took on the Santa Clara Broncos where they won 4-0 in a dominant second-half performance.
The Pilots honored their seven seniors — Jake Arteaga, George Tasouris, Delentz Pierre, Brandon Limes, German Sangha, Greg Tracey and CJ Tibbling — before kickoff.
“They've all sacrificed so much,” head coach Nick Carlin-Voigt said. “Going through different experiences, coming back from COVID and to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1995 … they mean a lot to me and my family and I'm forever grateful for all that they've given the program.”
Of the seven players honored, only two seniors are for sure leaving the program — Tasouris and Arteaga. The rest of the senior group has not made set plans on whether or not they’ll stay in Portland.
“It feels good to see that what you put into a team comes off and I’m not talking just about saves,” Tasouris said. “I’m talking about the leadership. Bringing everybody together, team meals, finding ways to talk to guys finding and ways to deal with new personalities. I feel like I’ve grown a lot in the past four years. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys, of how far they’ve come and how much they want to change individually and as a team.”
The game itself kicked off with a long ball from the Pilots. The first half was largely a back-and-forth game. Both teams were evenly matched and found a few shots on goal. The first bit of action came when sophomore Brandon Cambridge got onto the end of a through ball but his shot went wide of the post.
A few more scrambles in the box almost gave UP the lead but in the end the half finished scoreless.
The second half started with a bang as Cambridge put away the first goal of the game in the 50th minute. Cambridge didn’t wait long to net his second goal of the evening, in fact, it came not even a minute after his first.
The game started to get choppy as both teams were beginning to commit fouls on one another. Cambridge was pulled down by a Broncos player earning UP a free kick. On the other end of the pitch Tasouris put in the work to ensure a Pilot shutout.
After a UP handball gave Santa Clara a free kick outside of the box Tasouris was forced to make a diving save to ensure the ball didn’t go into the back of the net.
Cambridge put away his third goal in the form of a penalty kick. A Santa Clara player committed a foul in the box giving UP their chance. Cambridge’s third goal marked his 11th overall and he became the first Pilot since Benji Michel in 2018 to score double-digit goals.
“Obviously it’s good to score three goals,” Cambridge said. “I think more importantly it was good for us to bounce back with a big win after taking such a heavy loss. I think the boys and I were really fired up and it’s great to see that work this week, putting in that training paid off.”
The fourth goal came from Bubo Fofanah in the 87th minute. This goal marked Fofanah’s first of the season and closed the scoring for the Pilots.
The final whistle blew and the pilots were victorious. This win marked not only their 7th shutout of the year but meant that they ended the season undefeated at home for the first time since 1995.
“I'm talking about making history,” Carlin-Voight said. “We've been one of the best teams in the country all year and it's just a credit to these players and the character that they have and the belief that they have the cohesion that they have.”
The men’s team hits the road for their last game of the regular season. They play Pacific University on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Wilder Isom is the Sports Editor at The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com