2003 season

05/18/04
Portland freshman signs NLI for 2004 season
CHICO - Chico State men's soccer coach Mike O'Malley announced the signing of A.J. Carboneau to a National Letter of Intent to play for the Wildcats in 2004.

The 6-foot-2 Carboneau is a First Team All-State forward out of Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon. He also received All-Conference and Conference Player of the Year for the Mt. Hood Conference.

We are very fortunate to attract the soccer talents of A.J. He has good size, solid skills and runs a sub-50 second 400 meters, said O'Malley. He has a great team attitude and his character should fit in well with our returning players.

Carboneau will join 14 returners from last year's 21-5-1 team that competed in the final match of the NCAA D-II National Championship in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Wildcats open the 2004 season at home against Humboldt State University, August 26.

02/28/04
Chico State's Jakubek taken in first round of MISL draft by Milwaukee Wave
ST. CHARLES, MO – Chico State goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek was taken by the Milwaukee Wave as the third pick of the first round in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) amatuer draft Friday. Jakubek, a First Team NCAA Division II All-American, led Chico State to the National Championship match this season.

I'm extremely excited about this opportunity, said Jakubek, a two-time All-CCAA and All-Western Region selection. It's always been my goal to play professional soccer and I'm looking forward to testing my abilities at the next level.

Jakubek compiled 11 shutouts, a 0.99 goals against average, and a .811 save percentage this season while leading the Wildcats to a record of 21-5-1. He also converted on five-of-five penalty kick opportunities.

The MISL is the latest evolution of indoor soccer in the U.S.. It currently consists of eight teams from across the nation. Chico State Head Coach Mike O'Malley, who was an assistant coach for the MISL's Cleveland Force in 1980 and the head coach of the Sacramento Knights of of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1994, believes Jakubek can have a bright future in the indoor game.

I think it opens an exciting door for Dominik, said O'Malley. I feel very confident he will be quite a force in the indoor soccer game.

Jakubek's athleticism and ability to use his feet as well as his hands are what make him attractive to those in the indoor game.

The reason he will be so good at indoor is that foot skills are used more by a keeper indoor than outdoor, explained O'Malley. He has enough foot skill that he would have started for us on the field if he wasn't our goalie.

01/19/04
Mike O'Malley named D-II Coach of the Year
CHARLOTTE, NC - Chico State men's soccer coach Mike O'Malley has been named the NSCAA/adidas Division II National Coach of the Year. The award was announced by the NSCAA at its annual Awards Banquet, being held as part of the 57th Annual NSCAA Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

With a 21-5-1 record in 2003, Mike O’Malley’s team achieved its potential and delivered O’Malley his first NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year award. After completing the regular season with a 17-4-1 mark and an NSCAA/adidas National Ranking of No. 10, the Wildcats stormed through the NCAA tournament to the championship game. There they met Lynn University and surrendered a hard-fought 2-1 decision, with the deciding goal coming in the 80th minute. O’Malley’s team bounced back from a 6-13-1 record in 2002 to finish as the national runner-up and No. 2 in the final NSCAA/adidas National Ranking.

“I’m extremely honored and totally blown away at the same time,” said O’Malley. “To me this award represents 24 athletes who were willing to set aside their own egos and personal agendas.

“I couldn’t have done it without my assistant coach Larry Nees. He's the best in the business. The players were the ones who made the boat move. We were just told them how to put the oars in the water. What a ride!”

Division I Indiana University's men's coach Jerry Yeagley closed out his distinguished career with a record sixth NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year award, while Westmont College's women's coach Mike Giuiliano continues to carve his niche at the NAIA level with a record third consecutive national honor.

Photos from Chico's run at a National Title..

12/15/03
Jakubek, Wondolowski Division II All-Americans
For the first time in Chico State men's soccer history, two Wildcats have earned All-American status in the same season. Wildcats goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek was named First Team National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas All-American and forward Chris Wondolowski earned a spot on the Second Team.

Jakubek and Wondolowski are just the seventh and eighth players in the school's history to earn All-American honors.

It was a tremendous season for us and the value of both Dominik and Chris to our team is undeniable, said Chico State head coach Mike O'Malley. Dominik, in my opinion, is one of the best collegiate goalkeepers in the country at any level. And Chris was outstanding as he has been all three years he's been here. It's just nice to finally see him get some credit for his skills.

Jakubek, a senior, was a huge key to the Wildcats' success. He played every minute of every match this season, smashing the single-season victory record in the process. Jakubek registered 11 shutouts, an .811 saves percentage, and a 0.99 goals against average.

Wondolowski is a junior who was Second Team All-Far West as a freshman and has twice earned First Team All-CCAA honors. He led Chico State with 12 goals, eight assists, and 32 points. Wondolowski was also responsible for four game-winning goals.

12/12/03
Wildcats well represented on All-Region Teams
Chico State soccer is well represented on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Far West Division II All-Region teams. Wildcats men's head coach Mike O'Malley was named the Far West Region Coach of the Year, while goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek and forward Chris Wondolowski earned First Team honors. Amy Swanson and freshman Jennifer Hogans earned First and Second Team selections, respectively, for the women's team.

O'Malley guided his team to a 21-5-1 record and into the national championship match to complete the most successful season in Chico State history. In eight years at Chico State, he's compiled an 89-70-4 record.

This award just proves that if you surround yourself with an outstanding assistant coach and a group of players who score very high in the character column good things are bound to happen to you, said O'Malley.

Jakubek, a senior who was also a First Team All Region selection as a junior at Sonoma State two seasons ago, was a huge key to the Wildcats' success. He played every minute of every match this season, smashing the single-season victory record in the process. Jakubek registered 11 shutouts, an .811 saves percentage, and a 0.99 goals against average.

Wondolowski is a junior who was Second Team All Far West as a freshman. He led Chico State with 12 goals, eight assists, and 32 points. Wondolowski was also responsible for four game-winning goals.

I'm happy for Chris and Dominik because they were very deserving of these honors, said O'Malley. But at the same time, I'm disappointed with the selection process because Dustin Tong and Jesse Grigg are two of the best players in the nation and they should be represented on this team, too.

12/07/03
Wildcats lose championship match to Lynn
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -- The most successful season in Chico State men's soccer history came to a disappointing end as the Wildcats lost to Lynn University 2-1 in the NCAA Division II National Championship Sunday afternoon at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Leon Jackson's goal in the 79th minute broke a 1-1 deadlock to give Lynn its first national title.

Chico State finished the season 21-5-1, 11.5 games better than it did in 2002, to shatter the NCAA Division II record for improvement from one season to the next. The Wildcats also became the first team in the program's history to advance to the NCAA Championship match. Lynn, ranked No. 1 in the nation entering the postseason, finished the season 22-0-1 thanks to its 29th straight match without a loss.

As disappointed as I am right now, I'm still excited about the season we've had, said Jesse Grigg. We did something no Chico State soccer team has ever done before and I'm happy and proud to say that I'm part of this team.

After the first half the Wildcats seemed poised to win Chico State's first title. Grigg knotted the scored 1-1 with a goal in the 37th minute. After Brett Williams' throw in was deflected high in the air and toward the mouth of the goal, Grigg outleaped Lynn goaltender Kevin Street and headed it high into the net. Chico State had the momentum going into the second half, but that's when the Fighting Knights took control.

I was really happy with the way we finished out the first half and I honestly felt we'd be able to capitalize in the second half, said Chico State head coach Mike O'Malley. But I have to credit Lynn. They did a better job of controlling the tempo and their championship was well deserved. They were bigger, stronger and more experienced than us.

Still, O'Malley refused to let Sunday's disappointment take away from his team's unbelievable season.

I'm extremely proud of these guys. They've done more for this program than I can put into words, said O'Malley. I wish I could bottle this team up and keep it forever.

The match started poorly for Chico State, which seemed somewhat rattled by the magnitude of the match. Lynn, which rallied to beat a very strong Dowling College team Friday night with two second-half goals, took full advantage with a strong start. The Fighting Knights scored just 3:55 into the match when Fernando Villalobos buried a point-blank shot after Andrew Hirst and Mark Melling created a one-on-one opportunity with two great passes

Chico State recovered well, however, and slowly swung the momentum back in its favor. Grigg's goal only strengthened the Wildcats' efforts and they had some dangerous opportunities to score before intermission. Lynn's defense played well enough to keep the score tied, however, and then took over in the second half.

The Fighting Knights outshot Chico State 3-2 in the second half and had five corner kicks while holding Chico State without one. Lynn outshot Chico 6-4 on the match and allowed only two shots on goal from the Wildcats.

I don't think we played to our potential today and that's frustrating, said Grigg. But we made a run at it and we gave it our all and I guess that's all you can really ask on a day like this.

Grigg, Dustin Tong, Dominik Jakubek and Kevin Kuiper --- four of the team's eight graduating seniors --- each earned All-Tournament Team honors for their efforts over the weekend. They earned much more than that for their efforts over the course of the season.

These guys have earned the respect of every man who has ever put on a Chico State soccer jersey, said O'Malley. Everyone, from family and friends to alumni, can be just as proud of this team right now as they would have been if they had won the national championship. This team has shown more character, heart, and determination than I could have imagined a team could show and I appreciate them for who they are as individuals and what they've done to get Chico State soccer back to where we want it to be.

12/06/03
...and one to go!
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – All season long the Chico State
men’s soccer team has been defying the odds. Sunday, the Wildcats will have to do that one more time in order to earn the national title they’ve dreamed of since the season’s inception. Chico State takes on top-ranked and unbeaten Lynn University of Florida in the Division II National Championship match Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Lynn enters the match 21-0-1 and riding a 27-match unbeaten streak. Over the last two seasons, the Fighting Knights are 37-1-1. Their roster is chalked full of seasoned European players, including 12 from England, and they’ve outscored their opponents 84-20 this season. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the Fighting Knights is that, until they fell behind a strong Dowling College team in Friday’s semifinal match, they had trailed for just 32 minutes all season. Lynn rallied with a pair of goals in the second half to defeat Dowling 3-2 and advance to the title match.

They’re going to be a handful, admitted Chico State head coach Mike O’Malley. They do a fine job representing England. They have more players from England than we have players from California. It’s pretty clear that they have a fully funded program with the maximum amount of scholarships allowed for an NCAA soccer program. We offer one-third of that.

That being said, it creates a classic matchup of styles and cultures for the final. They are big-time bruisers with a knockout punch and we are jabbers who bob and weave. It’s going to be interesting to see which style will succeed.

Conventional wisdom would seem to point toward Lynn, but Chico State has proven that conventional wisdom should be thrown at the window in any match it’s involved in.

The Wildcats, coming off a 6-13 season, weren’t supposed to contend for a CCAA title. They won the title.

They weren’t supposed to beat heavily-favored host Cal State Dominguez Hills in the Far West Regional Championship. They scored two goals in the final six minutes to pull it out.

They weren’t supposed to overcome a hellacious road trip and a hostile 1,400-fan environment against Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas. But they hammered the Indians 3-1.

This is a team of solid character and they’re willing to put their own egos aside in order to achieve the common goal, explained O’Malley. We don’t have very many superstars, and the ones who get credit for being superstars are very humble individuals. Our leading scorer (Chris Wondolowski) doesn’t care who scores a goal as long as we win the game. In fact, he hasn’t scored in several of our most important matches but has played great. Our All-American goalkeeper (Dominik Jakubek) is the first to give credit to the players in front of him. All of that allows us to play our game and our style, which has led to a lot of success in tough situations.

Lynn definitely creates a tough situation. The Fighting Knights are led by Sunshine State Conference MVP Andy Hirst, who scored two goals Friday to bring his season total to 19. Garthfield White and Mark Melling are also dangerous with 13 and 12 goals, respectively. Melling has also dished out a team-high 11 assists. In all, seven different Fighting Knights have notched five or more goals.

Defensively, Lynn is also very formidable. Physical play – 47 yellow cards in 22 matches – keys a unit that has surrendered only 20 goals. Friday night marked just the fourth time all season the Fighting Knights have surrendered more than one goal. Chico State will respond by attempting to play the same way it has all season en route to school records in wins and goals.

The key for us is to play our style because I don’t think they’ve played against it, said O’Malley. It’s a unique style that allows the ball to be shared among all the players and the goal can come from any direction from any players from any position.

Midfielder Brett Williams, who scored Chico State’s second goal in the semifinal victory believes the challenges Chico State has faced this season is what will give them the edge.

Sure they have a great record, but until the last round, and maybe even the last game, they haven’t really played anyone of any significance, said Williams. The toughness of our conference gives us the big-game experience edge. Our conference is the best in the nation and we have to go to battle every game. That’s not to say they’re not a great team. You have to respect what they’ve done. You have to be very good to win 27 straight games. But it only takes one game to stop that streak.

Chico State has also been outstanding when playing away from home, something Lynn hasn’t had to do very much this season. Chico State is 15-2 outside of Chico, while Lynn is10-0 when not playing on its home pitch.

One danger that seemed to be looming for the Wildcats was the thought that winning Friday’s semifinal would be enough to make this weekend a successful one. To a man, the players have made it clear that isn’t the case.

Friday hasn’t sunk in because I’m not interested in Friday any more, said defender Ryan Grange. We’ve had a goal to win the national championship all year and we’re not going to let our foot off the accelerator until we accomplish that goal.

To follow the Final Four action live from Virginia Beach...
Click on the soccer ball
Chico State plays in the Championship game on Sunday at 10 a.m. (PST)

12/05/03
Wildcats advance to NCAA Championship match on Sunday!!
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Chico State scored two second-half goals as the 8th-ranked Wildcats defeated 25th-ranked Findlay (Ohio) 2-0 in a 2003 NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Championship Semifinal Friday night in Virginia Beach at the SportsPlex.

Chico improved to 21-4-1 and will play in Sunday’s National Championship against either No. 1 Lynn (Fla.) or No. 8 Dowling (N.Y.) who meet in the late semifinal. Findlay finished its surprising run to the Final Four at 10-6-5.

Wildcat senior Kevin Kuiper took a pass from Enrique Tadeo early in the second half and lifted the ball to the roof of the net for the game-winner at 61:17. Senior Brett Williams added an insurance goal at 85:40, unassisted from 18 yards out.

The two teams battled to a scoreless opening half. The Wildcats outshot UF 8-4 for the game, and had a 3-2 edge in corner-kicks.

Chico senior keeper Dominik Jakubek made one save to record his 11th shutout of the season, while Oiler sophomore keeper Chris Stewart had three saves.

“At this level, when you have a chance, you have to put it away and finish,” said Kuiper. “After the goal, it allowed us to be looser and released some stress and gave us hope.”

Chico State will play for its first national championship, though the Wildcats are in the national tournament for the ninth time with their highest finish being third.

“The key going into the game was to score early,” said Chico head coach Mike O’Malley. “At halftime, we made a few adjustments to hit Findlay’s gaps in its defense. We play a unique style and we will maintain it in the championship match.”

Findlay was making its first Final Four appearance, and first national tournament appearance after advancing through three previous rounds – two on penalty-kicks.

“We felt we deserved to be here,” said Findlay head coach Andy Smyth. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get into the playoffs – being here was a lot more than we expected.”

12/04/03
Family Futbol...
the past celebrates the future
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Mike O’Malley’s hair was a little longer. His muscles were a little bigger. His feet were a lot quicker. It was more than 20 years ago, but the Chico State men’s soccer coach remembers it like yesterday.

We slipped all over the place and got our butts kicked, laughed O’Malley. It was 10-degress below zero in Edwardsville, Illinois, and the other three teams were all used to the cold. We had our regular soccer shoes on and we slipped all over the field like we were on ice skates. The other teams played in tennis shoes.

That was 1972 and O’Malley was a strong defender and gifted leader on Chico State soccer’s first NCAA Final Four team. Chico State earned trips the Final Four again in 1976 and 1980. Now the Wildcats are back for the first time since that historic period. But it isn’t hard to find links to those past teams and the 2003 Wildcats.

O’Malley, who has led his team to a 20-4-1 record this season, is the most obvious link, but anyone who witnessed those standout Final Four teams and sees the current squad will likely pick up on some obvious family resemblances. The fathers of current players Jordan Bryant and Keegan Fraschieri played on Final Four teams. Mark Bryant was part of the 1972 team, and Al Fraschieri was on the 1974 team.

Friday, those sons will try to accomplish something their fathers and their coach could not – advance to the National Championship match – when they face University of Findlay of Ohio at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

We’re not just doing this for ourselves, said Jordan Bryant. We always talk about playing family futbol, and that’s exactly what we do. When we go out on that field Friday we’ll be playing for everyone who has ever put on a Chico State men’s soccer uniform.

There would be nothing better than celebrating a national championship with all the alumni who will be here. Obviously, it would be extra special for Keegan and I to celebrate with the alumni because that includes our dads and my uncle (Eddie Bryant) too.

Also on hand to celebrate should the Wildcats accomplish their goal will be retired Chico State head coach and Athletic Director Don Batie. Batie, who won 326 matches at Chico State between 1967 and 1995 and is the fourth-winningest Division II men’s coach all time, coached the three Final Four teams and hired O’Malley as his predecessor in 1989.

I wouldn’t miss this for the world, said Batie, who has spent the early part of the week reminiscing with many of his former players. I’m so proud of Mike and all of these players. What they’ve already accomplished this season is truly remarkable. Whatever they do here in Virginia is icing on the cake.

Unquestionably, the world of collegiate soccer has changed drastically since those early years of success. There are 152 teams playing Division II men’s soccer throughout the United States today. Plus, Chico State plays in arguably the toughest conference in the nation. The CCAA is the home of four of the last seven national champions and this season marks the sixth in the last eight that a CCAA team is in the Final Four.

It’s a very difficult process but I think both (assistant coach) Larry (Nees) and myself have accepted the challenge to bring back the good old days to Chico State soccer, said O’Malley.

It’s much more difficult now because there are more teams and we play in a much tougher conference. But that makes getting here that much more rewarding.

Perhaps that is what makes Chico State’s Final Four alumni so proud of this team. They not only overcame long odds in the competition they faced, but they also overcame a school-record 13 losses last season. Fourteen players returned because they believed they could achieve their goal of winning a national championship. It’s doubtful many others joined them in that belief, at least until they purchased plane tickets for Virginia.

We believed in ourselves and each other and we knew that (coaches) Mike and Larry and everyone closely associated with the program believed in us to, said midfielder Dustin Tong. That’s all we needed.

It’s been that faith and an outstanding effort and commitment that has made this team so special to O’Malley, Nees and others in the program.

I think I share this feeling with all the alumni of the program – we’re so excited for the kids to be here and to know what it’s like because it’s awesome. It’s an awesome feeling.

Now the Wildcats will attempt to go where no other Chico State team has gone before and give themselves, O’Malley, and every alumnus something none of them have ever had – a national title.

That would be so special, said O’Malley. It would be special for so many people.

11/25/03
Wildcats prepared for semifinal battle
One match, approximately 90 minutes, will decide whether Chico State University or The University of Findlay will play in the Division II Men’s Soccer Championship. The past has little to do with it, and it’s safe to say that both teams are glad about that.

Chico State and Findlay will face off Friday, Dec. 5, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time for a spot in the National Championship match Sunday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. Few, if any, would have predicted such a matchup. Chico State finished last season 6-13 and they’ve been forced to win five straight postseason road matches this season to advance to the semifinals and compile a 20-4-1 record. Findlay, based in Ohio, won just four of its first 11 matches this season, finished 2-3 in league play, and is just 10-5-5 overall.

Both coaches will tell you, however, that none of that matters now.

“A match like this is what college athletics is all about,” said Chico State head coach Mike O’Malley. “Both of these teams have won when it’s mattered most this season. You can throw the past out the window. Whichever team plays with the most heart and determination Friday will be playing for a national title.

The team that wins Friday will also remain red-hot. Findlay has lost just once in its last nine outings and surrendered more than one goal just twice during that span. Chico State, meanwhile, has won eight of its last nine matches and outscored its opponents 24-6 during that run.

Goalkeeping has keyed both teams’ postseason runs. Findlay’s Chris Stewart, who platooned with Sean Williams throughout the season, has taken over the starting job with a spectacular postseason effort. Stewart has allowed just three goals in four postseason matches thanks to 26 saves and an .868 saves percentage. For the season, Stewart has a 1.32 goals against average and an .814 saves percentage.

Chico State’s Dominik Jakubek, meanwhile, has put together one of the best seasons in Chico State history. He’s recorded 10 shutouts, a 0.99 goals against average, and an .818 saves percentage. He’s been especially tough in the postseason, compiling a 5-0 record and .880 saves percentage. Jakubek has also been stingy when his team gives him a lead to work with. Chico State is 18-0 when scoring first this season.

“Our whole defense has been outstanding,” said O’Malley. “Dominik’s talent takes so much pressure off the rest of the guys. We know he will make the big save when we need him to.”

When it comes to offense, the biggest difference between the teams becomes apparent. Luis Cortell, who leads the team with 16 goals and five assists, sparks Findlay. Only Tony McCormick and Clay Oley, who have six goals apiece, and Kevin McCoy, who has four, have also scored more than three goals. McCormick is the only other Findlay player with at least four assists.

Chico State, on the other hand, boasts a very balanced attack. Seven different Wildcats have scored at least four goals, led by Chris Wondolowski’s 12. And seven different Wildcats have dished out at least four assists, paced by Wondolowski and Brett Williams’ eight.

“We have a lot of guys who can get the job done,” said O’Malley. “But that only helps when they come focused and ready to play. That will be crucial for us.”

Finishing opportunities will also be crucial for the Wildcats. Findlay has been outshot 67-48 in its last three matches, but has managed to win all three. If the match goes to penalty kicks, Findlay will also have the advantage of experience. The Oilers won their first two playoff matches via penalty kicks.

A Chico State victory would mark the first NCAA semifinal win in school history. The Wildcats finished third in 1972, 1976, and 1980 – their only three trips to the semis. However, the third-place match no longer exists, meaning only a victory Dec. 5 would allow the team’s season to continue.

11/22/03
Wildcats advance to Final Four
Will play Dec. 5 in Virginia Beach
WICHITA FALLS, Tex. – They say everything’s bigger in Texas. The Chico State men’s soccer team’s 3-1 victory over Midwestern State Saturday night in Wichita Falls, Texas, was no exception.

Jaime Rodriguez and Chris Wondolowski scored goals and Kevin Kuiper’s corner late in the match went in off a defender as the Wildcats handled the host Indians in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament quarterfinals Saturday night in front of 1,334 fans for their biggest win in decades. The win earned the Wildcats the team’s fourth-ever trip to the Final Four and first since 1980.

“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys,” said Chico State head coach Mike O’Malley. “They deserve this success because they’ve worked so hard for it.” The Wildcats will travel to Virginia Beach, Virginia, for the Final Four Dec. 5-7.

Rodriguez helped make sure of that when he scored in the 11th minute to give Chico State a 1-0 lead. Enrique Tadeo started the play with a perfect pass to the corner of the box where Rusty Phillips got his head on it and centered it to Rodriguez. The freshman buried the chance from 15 yards.

Behind the goalkeeping of Dominik Jakubek, Chico State held on to improve to 18-0 in games when they score first. Jakubek helped snap MSU’s nine-match winning streak with five saves.

Chico State went up 2-0 in the 63rd minute when Kuiper chipped a pass ahead to Wondolowski, who buried a beautiful shot from 25 yards out. Midwestern State avoided the shutout with Ricardo Box’s goal in the 79th minute, but the Wildcats put the game away when Kuiper’s corner deflected off a defender and skipped into the net for a 3-1 lead in the 88th minute.

The Wildcats’ scoring output was impressive. Midwestern State University hadn’t allowed a goal in its last four matches and hadn’t allowed more than two goals all season.

The Indians’ loss at home was just their third in four seasons. Meanwhile, Chico State improved to 20-4-1 overall and 14-2 on the road with the victory. Midwestern State finished its season 17-5-0.

Chico State’s record-setting season continues. The Wildcats have already set the NCAA Division II record for biggest improvement from one season to the next and the school record for victories. The Wildcats, who have now scored 60 goals, are just two shy of that school record.

In the national semifinals, Chico State will take on The University of Findlay from Findlay, Ohio, Friday, Dec. 5 with a trip to the national championship on the line. The national championship match is scheduled for Dec. 7.

“Winning the national title has been our mission from day one,” said Kuiper. “This was a big step toward getting there.”

Chico State has never won a national semifinal match. The team has finished third in its three previous Final Four appearances.

11/17/03
Wildcats hoping to avoid the boot in Texas
The NCAA announced Monday that the Far West Region Champion Chico State men's soccer team will take on Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament quarterfinals Saturday at 7 p.m..

The winner will advance to the Final Four to be played December 5-7 at the Virgina Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, VA.

Midwestern State upset top-seeded Incarnate Word 1-0 in the Midwest Regional championship match 1-0 on junior forward Myron Davis' goal in the 77th minute. The Indians are making their second straight appearance in the national quarterfinals. Last season, they lost to eventual National Champion Sonoma State 3-0 in Rohnert Park. The 2003 Midwestern State squad features 12 players, including six starters, from that team.

This season, the Indians claimed the Lone Star Conference title and bring 17-4 record into the match with Chico State. They're 10-1 at home. They rely on a stifling defense that has surrendered only 17 goals all season and has registered four straight shutouts. Meanwhile, Midwestern State gets its offense from a number of players. Jimmy Krueger leads the team with 10 goals, while Ricardo Box, Leighal Dellis, and Garnet Chisholm have seven goals apiece.

Chico State, 19-4-1, upset top-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills 2-1 in the Far West Regional championship match Sunday. The Wildcats have won 13 of 15 matches on the road.

11/16/03
Wildcats win Far West Regional!
Advance to quarterfinals with win over Dominguez Hills
CARSON, CA – The Chico State men’s soccer team is the best in the West. Now they get to find out if they’re the best in the nation.

Chris Wondolowski scored the game-winning goal with 24 seconds to play as the Wildcats came from behind to shock Cal State Dominguez Hills 2-1 Sunday in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament Far West Regional championship match to advance to the national quarterfinals. The Wildcats will likely travel to Texas next Saturday or Sunday to take on Midwestern State with a berth in the Final Four on the line.

“Right now it’s so emotional it’s hard to describe how big this is,” said Wildcats head coach Mike O’Malley, who watched his team score twice in the final six minutes. “This is part of a dream come true. It’s something we all believed in from the get go and
it’s quite a tribute to the players.”

The Wildcats’ dream season looked like it would come to a disappointing end when Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Eddie Gonzales-Pinto scored in the 74th minute to break a scoreless tie. But the Wildcats were not to be denied. Dustin Tong tied the match in the 85th minute when he collected a loose ball on top of the box and blasted it past Dominguez goalkeeper Javier Barragan. It was Tong’s first goal of the season.

The Wildcats’ game-winner started with Ryan Grange’s serve into the box. Jesse Grigg got his head on it and sent it to Wondolowski, who stuck it in the net to set off a wild celebration.

“The soccer gods were on our side today,” said O’Malley.

Sunday’s victory avenged a 4-0 loss to the host Toros earlier this season and broke a four-game losing skid against Dominguez Hills. It also marked the first time since 1976 that the Wildcats have won back-to-back playoff matches. Chico State improved to 19-4-1 with the victory. Cal State Dominguez Hills, ranked No. 5 in the nation entering the weekend, finished the season 17-3-2.

11/15/03
Wildcats prepare for championship bout CARSON, CA – It’s already been an expectation-defying season for the Chico State men’s soccer team – unless you count the players’ expectations. Entering the season, the Wildcats made it their goal to be the best Division II soccer team in the nation. Apparently, nothing less than a national title will satisfy them. The Wildcats will attempt to take a step closer to that goal when they face Cal State Dominguez Hills in the Far West Region title match in Carson, CA, Sunday at 2 p.m.

We won’t be happy with anything less than the championship, said Wildcats goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek.

Chico State has already set the school record for wins in a season, the NCAA Division II record for greatest improvement from one season to the next, and spent much of the year hovering around the nation’s top 10. They did this by relying on 12 returnees from last year’s 6-13 team.

We never doubted ourselves, said Chico State leading scorer Chris Wondolowski. In fact, we’ve had a good time proving all of our doubters wrong.

There is perhaps one doubter remaining, however. Cal State Dominguez Hills has won four straight against Chico State, including a 4-0 drubbing earlier this season. In that match, the Wildcats were outshot 28-6.

We have to start strong and take the action to them, said head coach Mike O’Malley. I think the key for us is scoring first.

That’s been the key for the Wildcats all season. They’re 17-0 in matches in which they score first and only 1-4 when their opponents score first.

Cal State Dominguez Hills, the No. 5 team in the nation, is no stranger to big postseason matches. The Toros are in their fourth consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament. They won the national title in 2000 and were the runner-ups in 2001. CCAA Player of the Year Victor Guerrero leads the Toros. The midfielder has seven goals, including four game winners, and 14 assists on the season. Fellow CCAA first-team selections Francisco Corona and Eduardo Serrano led the team with 13 and 11 goals, respectively.

A quick start is also important for Dominguez Hills. The Toros have outscored their opponents 24-4 in the first half this season. They’re also 13-1 at home.

The winner of this weekend's Far West Regional Championship will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals against the winner of the Midwest Regional Championship featuring No. 1 seed Incarnate Word (TX) and No. 2 Midwestern State (TX) on November 22 or 23 at a site yet to be determined.

11/14/03
Wildcats advance to Far West Regional championship game with win over UC San Diego
CARSON, CA – The third time was a charm for the Chico State men’s soccer team, just like the first time and the second time.

The Wildcats beat UC San Diego 2-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament Far West Regional Friday night at Cal State Dominguez Hills University in Carson for their third win against the Tritons this season.

Brothers Jason and Brian Phillips scored goals for the Wildcats, who will take on host Cal State Dominguez Hills in the Far West
Region Championship match Sunday at 2 p.m.

The victory, the first for Chico State in the NCAA Tournament since 1980, lifted the Wildcats to 18-4-1. UC San Diego finished its season 11-7-1.

Despite a strong start by UC San Diego, the teams went to intermission scoreless thanks to Chico State goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek’s brilliant save of Sean Summers’ point-blank shot. The shutout was the 10th of the season for Jakubek, the second highest total all-time for a Chico State keeper.

The second half belonged to the Wildcats, who outshot UC San Diego 11-7 after intermission. However, after Chico State failed to capitalize on a number of great scoring chances, the match remained scoreless late into regulation. Jason Phillips broke the deadlock with 6:33 to play after Chris Wondolowski outran UC
San Diego goalkeeper Jeremy Cookson to a ball at the edge of the box and touched it over to Brett Williams, who send it to Phillips at the far post.

The Wildcats put the match away with Brian Phillips’ goal with 2:29 remaining. This time, Williams got the assist on his own, taking the ball up the right side before delivering it to Phillips, who hammered it home from 17 yards.

We’ve been telling the guys all week that the toughest thing to do in sports is to beat a team three times in the same season, said Wildcats head coach Mike O’Malley. And it was obviously a very tough match. I’m very proud of the way our guys stayed with the plan and came up big when they had to.

The victory solidified a spot in the record book for the Wildcats, who completed the greatest turnaround from one season to the next in NCAA Division II men’s soccer history. After finishing 6-13 last season, the Wildcats have made a 10.5-game improvement.

Chico State defeated UC San Diego 3-1 Oct. 3, and then defeated the Tritons 5-1 in the CCAA Tournament Championship match Nov. 9.

11/10/03
Wildcats place 7 on All-CCAA men's soccer team; O'Malley named Coach of the Year
WALNUT CREEK, CA – Chico State goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek and forward Chris Wondolowski earned First Team All-Conference honors, and head coach Mike O'Malley was named the conference's Coach of the Year, as selected by the conference's head coaches.

Midfielder Dustin Tong and defenders Jesse Grigg and Robby Busick were all named Second Team All-CCAA, while Rusty Phillips and Spencer Stanton earned Honorable Mention honors.

O'Malley, in his seventh year at Chico State, led the Wildcats to the best single-season turnaround in NCAA Division II history and into the NCAA Championship Tournament. Chico State is currently 17-4-1, 10 games better than last season's 6-13-0 team. The Wildcats, who already have the most wins in school history, will face UC San Diego Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.

I guess the formula for winning this award is to get a top-notch assistant coach and recruit young men who rank high in he character department, said O'Malley. This award is about all of them as much as it is about me.

Jakubek, a first-team selection two years ago at Sonoma State, also earned a spot in the record books this season by collecting 17 victories thus far, the most in Chico State history. He's also compiled a 1.03 goals against average, an .813 saves percentage and nine shutouts. Jakubek has even taken over penalty kick duties for Chico State and converted 5-of-5. Wondolowski's first-team selection was his third straight. The junior forward leads the team with 10 goals and seven assists.

The honors for Grigg, a senior, and Busick, a junior, were their first. Tong was also a second-team selection last season.

11/10/03
Wildcats earn berth in NCAA Division II Soccer Championship Tournament
'Cats to face UC San Diego Friday at 7 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Committee announced today that the Chico State Wildcats have earned a berth in the field of 24 teams for the 2003 Division II Men's Soccer Championship. Chico State will take on UC San Diego, the team the Wildcats beat 5-1 Sunday to claim the CCAA title, Friday at 7 p.m.. Top-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills will host the Far West Region portion of the tournament in Carson, CA.

The Wildcats, 17-4-1 on the season, earned the Far West Region's No. 2 seed. UC San Diego, 11-6-1, is the No. 3 seed. The winner of Friday's match will take on Cal State Dominguez Hills (17-2-2) Sunday. The winner of the Far West Regional will travel to face the winner of the Midwest Regional Nov. 22 or 23 with a spot in the Final Four up for grabs.

Three teams were selected from each of the eight regions. Quarterfinals will be held on campus sites and completed by November 23. The semifinals and final will be played December 5 and 7 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. Hosts for the competition will be the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Longwood University. For ticket information call 800/955-5566. No automatic berths are awarded for Division II men's soccer.

In the 2002 championship, Sonoma State University claimed its first championship with a 4-3 victory over Southern New Hampshire University. A CCAA team has won the national title four of the last seven years.

This is Chico State's 13th berth in the NCAA Tournament and its first since 1992. The Wildcats have made it to the Final Four four times and earned a trio of third-place finishes.

11/09/03
Wildcats win CCAA Championship!
Chico State Captures First Title With 5-1 victory Over UC San Diego
CARSON, Calif. – Jaime Rodriguez and Chris Wondolowski tallied a goal and assist apiece to power Chico State to its first California Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Championship with a 5-1 win over UC San Diego.

For the Wildcats, now 17-4-1, the win is doubly sweet, as it sets a new Chico State record for victories in a season. Don Batie's 1976, 1978, and 1981 squads each won 16 matches. The victory also further solidifies the Wildcats a spot in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament which begins next weekend. Tournament selections will take place Monday. A bid would mark the Wildcats' first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 1980.

The Wildcats jumped on top early when Rodriguez took a cross from Jesse Grigg and beat UCSD goalie Jeremy Cookson four and a half minutes into the contest. Michael Esser scored off a deflection in the 32nd minute to give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage. Wondolowski broke the game open with 1:30 remaining in the first half when he hammered home a cross from Grigg to give the 'Cats a 3-0 lead at halftime.

Chico picked up where it left off in the second half, as Rusty Phillips scored off assists from Enrique Tadeo and Rodriguez to make it 4-0. UCSD got on the scoreboard when Matthew Davey scored on a header to the near post. Brett Williams capped Chico’s championship run when he blasted home the final goal off a pass from Wondolowski.

“Our effort was excellent,” Chico coach Mike O’Malley said. “Everything worked in our favor because we made good decisions on and off the ball.

UC San Diego coach Derek Armstrong conceded to a superior team.

“(Chico) is a team on a mission,” he said. “It’s going to take a gutsy team to beat them (in the playoffs). Chico has an unquenchable spirit that is very difficult to beat.

Scoring
4:32: CSUC – Jaime Rodriguez (Jesse Grigg).
31:34: CSUC – Michael Esser.
43:30: CSUC – Chris Wondolowski (Grigg, Dustin Tong).
56:49: CSUC – Rusty Phillips (Enrique Tadeo, Rodriguez).
65:30: UCSD – Matthew Davey (Tiago Venturi).
72:15: CSUC – Brett Williams (Wondolowski).

11/07/03
Grigg's overtime heroics put Wildcats in CCAA Championship Tournament finale
'Cats will face UC San Diego in final
CARSON, CA – Jesse Grigg scored three minutes into overtime to lift Chico State to a 1-0 victory over Cal State San Bernardino in the first semifinal of the 2003 California Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Championship Friday night.

Grigg, a senior defender, controlled a rebound following teammate Jaime Rodriguez’ shot on goal and blasted the game winner past Cal State San Bernardino goalkeeper Joe Kulm 3:18 into overtime. It was the Wildcats' first-ever CCAA Championship Tournament match.

Dominik Jakubek collected his ninth shutout of the season for the Wildcats, who will take on UC San Diego, a 2-1 winner over 3rd-ranked Cal State Dominguez Hills in Friday night's other semifinal, Sunday at 2 p.m. for the CCAA title. Chico State defeated UC San Diego in their only meeting this season on Oct. 3.

Friday's win improved Chico State to a record-tying 16-4-1 on the season. The 16-win total matches the most recorded by a Wildcat team in a single season. Don Batie's 1976, 1978, and 1981 squads each won 16 matches. The victory also further solidified the Wildcats a spot in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament which begins next weekend. Tournament selections will take place Monday. A bid would mark the Wildcats' first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 1980.

Cal State San Bernardino fell to 12-8-1 with the loss.

Following a scoreless but fast-paced first half, both teams had several scoring chances in the second half, but could not convert. That set the stage for Grigg’s heroics.

11/04/03
Wildcats preparing for CCAA Championship Tournament
CARSON, CA – The Chico State men's soccer team will open the 2003 CCAA Championship Tournament, hosted by Cal State Dominguez Hills, Friday at 4:30 p.m. against Cal State San Bernardino. The winner of that match will take on the winner of Friday's nightcap featuring UC San Diego and Cal State Dominguez Hills. The winner of Sunday's 2 p.m. championship match will be crowned CCAA Champion for 2003. It will be Chico State's first appearance in the tournament since joining the CCAA in 1998.

Defending champion Cal State Dominguez Hills enters as the tournament favorite thanks to a 17-1-2 record No. 3 ranking in the nation, and No. 1 ranking in the Far West. Chico State enters ranked No. 12 in the nation and No. 2 in the Far West thanks to a 15-4-1 record. UC San Diego is 10-4-1 overall and ranked No. 4 in the Far West, while Cal State San Bernardino is 11-5-2 and ranked No. 6 in the Far West.

The tournament could go a long way in deciding what four Far Western Region teams earn berths into the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament to be announced Nov. 10.

Chico State will attempt to beat San Bernardino for the second time this season. The Wildcats defeated the Coyotes 2-0 in Chico on Oct. 12 as Dominik Jakubek made five saves and registered the shutout. The Wildcats got goals from Chris Wondolowski and Jesse Grigg.

The Wildcats' main challenge will be containing Johnny Richardson, who has 11 goals and nine assists for the Coyotes and leads the CCAA in points.

The CCAA women's tournament, featuring UC San Diego, Sonoma State, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and a either Cal Poly Pomona or Cal State San Bernardino, will also be hosted by Dominguez Hills over the weekend.

11/01/03
Wildcats wrap up regular season with big win
DAVIS, Calif. - Jason Phillips goal with 41 seconds remaining in the first half proved to be the game-winner as Chico State defeated UC Davis 4-1 in a California Collegiate Athletic Association men's soccer match.

With the win the Wildcats improve to 15-4-1, 10-3-1 in CCAA action. Chico, ranked No. 9 in this week's NSCAA/adidas National Soccer Poll, will represent the North Division at next week's CCAA Championship in Carson, Calif.

With the loss the Aggies fall to 9-4-4 on the season, 8-4-2 in conference play.

Both teams had chances early in the contest and it was Chico that broke through first in the 20th minute. Dustin Tong controlled the ball just outside the 18-yard box and sent a chip shot over the Aggie defense to a streaking Rusty Phillips. Phillips headed the ball past Aggie goalkeeper Nic Platter to put the Wildcats up 1-0.

UC Davis would outshoot Chico 10-4 in the half and it looked as though the score would remain 1-0 entering halftime before the Wildcats struck again. With Chico possessing the ball on the Aggie side of the field, Brett Williams sent a low pass through the goal crease to the far post, where Jason Phillips controlled it and sent a low drive past Platter at the 44:19 mark.

In the second half the Aggies cut the lead to one as Steven Ernst's corner kick found Benjamin Swatez on the far side of the box. Swatez headed the balll to the top right corner of the net for the goal.

Jaime Rodriguez added an additional insurance goal in the 65th minute when he took a ball from Kevin Kuiper, got past the Aggie defense and flicked it over the charging goalkeeper and into the open net for the 3-1 lead.

Chris Wondolowski closed out the scoring at the 82:00 mark when he headed in a goal off a cross from Williams. It marked Wondolowski's team-leading ninth goal of the season.

10/28/03
Defending NCAA Division II Champs beat 9th-ranked Wildcats 1-0
CHICO, CA – The Defending National Champion Sonoma State University men's soccer team will not win its fourth consecutive CCAA North Division title this year. The Seawolves made sure whoever takes their place on top won't be decided until the final day of the regular season, however, by beating division-leading Chico State 1-0 Tuesday night at University Soccer Stadium.

The Wildcats, who have already clinched a playoff spot because UC Davis is ineligible for the postseason, lead the Aggies by one point in the race for the North Division crown heading into their regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at UC Davis. The Aggies beat San Francisco State 1-0 in overtime Tuesday afternoon. Match time is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday night, in front of 565 fans, Sonoma State's Chad Smith volleyed home Michael Nathan's cross in the 30th minute for the only score of the night. It was Smith's 11th goal of the season. The final score marked the ninth straight match between these two teams decided by one goal.

Chico State, winners of five straight at home entering the match, struggled to find a rhythm all night and only seriously threatened to score three times despite outshooting the Seawolves 13-11. Dominik Jakubek, a former All-Conference performer at Sonoma State, kept the Wildcats in the match with four saves.

After finishing the regular season in Davis, Chico State will take part in the CCAA Championship Tournament hosted by Cal State Dominguez Hills Nov. 7-9.

Sonoma State wraps up its 2003 campaign at San Francisco State Saturday at 12:30.

10/27/03
Men's soccer team moves up to No. 9 in nation
On the heels of a 3-0 victory against San Francisco State this weekend, the Chico State men's soccer team moved up two spots to No. 9 in this week's NSCAA/adidas National Soccer Poll. The Wildcats remained steady at No. 2 in the Far West Region.

Chico State wraps up the regular season this week with a home match against defending NCAA Division II National Champion Sonoma State Tuesday at 7 p.m. and a match at No. 19 UC Davis Saturday at 12:30. The Wildcats have already earned a spot in the CCAA Championship Tournament hosted by Cal State Dominguez Hills Nov. 7-9. It will be Chico State's first postseason appearance since 1999.

10/25/03
'Cats shut out SF State for 3rd straight time
LOS ANGELES – The Chico State men's soccer team beat San Francisco State for the sixth straight time and shut out the Gators the third time in a row with a 3-0 victory Saturday night at University Soccer Stadium. The victory gave the Wildcats 14 on the season, their most since 1989.

Dominik Jakubek scored on a penalty kick and registered his eighth shutout of the season to help move the Wildcats one step closer to their first North Division title since they joined the CCAA. Chico State is now 14-3-1 overall and 9-2-1 in the CCAA. With one victory in their last two games, the Wildcats are guaranteed the North Division title.

The Wildcats got on the board quickly when Jakubek converted on the penalty kick after Rusty Phillips was thrown down in the box in the sixth minute. Chico State made it 2-0 in the 16th minute when Rusty Phillips and Brian Phillips teamed up with Chris Wondolowski on a series of passes, leaving Wondolowski a point-blank shot and his eighth goal of the season.

Chico State capped the scoring on freshman Jaime Rodriguez's sixth goal after Dustin Tong's shot off a set piece ricocheted of San Francisco State goalkeeper Gabriel Hall in the 56th minute.

The Wildcats wrap up their regular-season home slate Tuesday night at 7 p.m. versus Sonoma State.

10/20/03
Men's soccer moves up to No. 11 in Nation
Despite a weekend split in the Los Angeles area, the Chico State men's soccer team moved up one spot to 11th in this week's NSCAA/adidas National Soccer Poll. The Wildcats remained steady at No. 2 in the Far West Region.

10/19/03
Men's soccer team clinches playoff spot
LOS ANGELES – The Chico State men's soccer team is going to the postseason for the first time since 1999.

The Wildcats clinched a playoff spot with a 4-1 victory over host Cal State L.A. Sunday afternoon. Rusty Phillips, Dominik Jakubek, Jaime Rodriguez, and Spencer Stanton all scored goals for the Wildcats, who will represent the North Division in the CCAA Championship Tournament Nov. 7-9. Chico State, 13-3-1 overall and 8-2-1 in CCAA action, holds a commanding lead over second-place UC Davis (6-3-2 CCAA) with three matches to play. However, because UC Davis is ineligible for postseason play due to its impending move to Division I, Sonoma State (4-5-2 CCAA) was the biggest threat to Chico State's postseason hopes before Sunday's clincher.

In that clinching match, the Wildcats took early control and rolled to their sixth win in seven matches. Phillips got the Wildcats on the board first when he got loose on the right side and drove a ball over a diving goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Jakubek made it 2-0 by intermission when he scored on a penalty kick in the 27th minute.

After the Golden Eagles cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second half, Chico State pulled away. Freshman Jaime Rodriguez found the net with help from Phillips' assist in the 58th minute to make it 3-1. Stanton then salted the match away in the 85th minute when he found the back of the net on Brett Williams' corner kick.

The Wildcats are back in action at home Saturday when they host San Francisco State at 7 p.m. Chico State then wraps up its home slate Oct. 28 against Sonoma State at 7 p.m.

10/17/03
Wildcats don't show up in big showdown
CARSON, CA – In their biggest test of the season thus far, the 12th-ranked Chico State men's soccer team struggled from the start and fell to 4th-ranked Cal State Dominguez Hills 4-0 Friday in Carson.

The Wildcats were outshot 28-6, including 13-1 in the first half, as the Toros, particpants in two of the last four National Championship matches, proved that they're still the team to beat in the Far West Region.

It was a rude awaking for the Wildcats, who had won five straight matches and outscored their opponents 16-1 over that span.

Chico State, ranked No. 2 in the Far West Region entering the weekend, dropped to 13-1-2 overall and 7-1-2 in the CCAA. Dominguez Hills, the top-ranked team in the Far West, improved to 13-1-2 overall and 7-1-2 in the CCAA.

The Wildcats are back in action Sunday at Cal State L.A. The match is set to begin at 3 p.m.

10/14/03
Wildcats No. 12 in Nation, No. 2 in Far West
CHICO – The Chico State men's soccer team moved up one spot to No. 12 in the latest NSCAA/adidas National Rankings. The Wildcats also remained at No. 2 in the Far West Regional Rankings thanks to a pair of home wins over the weekend.

The 'Cats have a chance to further solidify their reputations as one of the best in the West when they travel south to face Cal State Dominguez Hills Friday. The Dominguez Hills men are currently ranked No. 4 in the Nation and No. 1 in the Far West.

10/12/03
Jakubek records seventh shutout in 2-0 win
CHICO – Goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek collected his third shutout in the last five matches and seventh of the season as the Chico State men's soccer team defeated Cal State San Bernardino 2-0 Sunday afternoon at University Soccer Stadium.

Jakubek made five saves for the Wildcats, now 12-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 in the CCAA. Meanwhile, Chris Wondolowski and Jesse Grigg each notched first-half goals as Chico State won its fifth straight match. Over that span, the Wildcats, ranked No. 13 in the Nation and No. 2 in the Far West Region entering the weekend, have outscored their opponents 16-2.

Cal State San Bernardino dipped to 8-6-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the CCAA.

Wondolowski got the Wildcats started in the 25th minute when he took Rusty Phillips' pass, maneuvered into position, and chipped it in from 18 yards out. Grigg made it 2-0 in the 36th minute when he hammered a shot off San Bernardino goalkeeper Joe Kulm's chest, collected the rebound, and knocked it home.

The Wildcats next visit Cal State Dominguez Hills, ranked No. 5 in the Nation and No. 1 in the Far West, Friday at 7 p.m. After taking on Cal State L.A. Sunday, the Wildcats return home October 25 to face San Francisco State at 7 p.m.

10/10/03
Wildcats smash Pomona 6-1
CHICO – Freshman Jaime Rodriguez scored two goals to lead an offensive onslaught as the Chico State men's soccer team crushed Cal Poly Pomona 6-1 Friday night at University Soccer Stadium. The six goals were the most scored by a Chico State team since a 7-3 victory over Cal State L.A. in 2001.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 13 in the country entering the weekend, got off to a quick start when Spencer Stanton headed home Michael Esser's cross in the 4th minute. Rodriguez made it 2-0 in the 26th minute on an assist by Chris Wondolowski.

Cal Poly Pomona (6-6-2, 5-4-1 CCAA) got within striking distance on Andrew Pierce's goal following Jonathan Bornstein's corner to make it 2-1 at intermission.

However, it didn't stay close for long. Chico State (11-2-1, 6-1-1 CCAA) began to pull away on Dominik Jakubek's penalty kick in the 56th minute after Rusty Phillips was pulled down in the box. Brett Williams made it 4-1 by taking Bobby Busick's pass, beating three defenders, and sending it in near post with his left. Rodriguez scored on Williams' assist in the 64th minute and Enrique Tadeo scored a goal in the 89th minute set up by Jordan Bryant and Jason Phillips to wrap up the match.

Chico State hosts Far West No. 7 Cal State San Bernardino Sunday afternoon at 1:30.

10/06/03
Wildcats move up to No. 13 in Nation;
No. 2 in Far West
Thanks to a pair of impressive road wins this weekend, the Chico State men's soccer team moved up 12 spots to No. 13 in the latest NSCAA/adidas National Rankings released Monday. It's the second highest ranking this season for Chico State, which was ranked as high as No. 11 in the Sept. 22 poll.

Chico State, which also moved up two spots to No. 2 in the Far West Region, defeated UC San Diego 3-1 and Grand Canyon 2-0 over the weekend.

This weekend, the Wildcats host Far West No. 8 Cal Poly Pomona Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Far West No. 7 Cal State San Bernardino Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

10/05/03
Stanton kick starts men's soccer victory
PHOENIX, AZ – Spencer Stanton scored off a rebound in the 66th minute to break a scoreless deadlock and the Chico State University men's soccer team completed a weekend sweep with a 2-0 victory at Grand Canyon Sunday afternoon.

Sunday's victory, combined with the Wildcats' 3-1 win at UC San Diego and UC Davis' tie at UC San Diego on Sunday, leaves Chico State alone in first place in the CCAA North Division standings.

The Wildcats struggled to create scoring chances early against Grand Canyon, mustering only five shots in the first half. However, the Chico State defense surrendered just six shots in the match, only one of which was on goal, to allow the offense time to click. Less than 15 minutes after Stanton broke the deadlock, Enrique Tadeo added an insurance goal off a cross by Dustin Tong.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 25 in the Nation entering the match, improved to 10-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the CCAA, while Grand Canyon dipped ot 2-7-1 overall and 2-7-0 in the CCAA.

The Wildcats are back in action Friday night when they host Cal Poly Pomona at 4:30 p.m.

10/03/03
No. 25 Chico State tops UC San Diego
SAN DIEGO - The Chico State men's soccer team kept rolling with a 3-1 win over UC San Diego in California Collegiate Athletic Association men’s soccer action on Friday.

With the victory, Chico State improves to 9-2-1 overall, 4-1-1 in CCAA play. UCSD drops to 6-3 overall, 5-3 in league play.

It was a big win for the Wildcats, as UCSD was coming off a come-from-behind, 3-2 upset over four-time defending CCAA champion and then-No. 2 Cal State Dominguez Hills at home last Sunday night.

Rusty Phillips opened the scoring at the 16:15 mark when teammate Chris Wondolowski made a slick move to free himself down the right wing, dribbling toward the endline before crossing to Phillips, who easily found the left corner of the goal.

Defender Jesse Grigg added to the Wildcat lead at 23:13, heading in a corner kick into the upper left corner from Brett Williams..

Phillips increased the advantage to 3-0 in the 77th minute, netting his fifth goal of the 2003 campaign, with Jason Phillips and Michael Esser setting him up with a nice combination play down the left side.

UCSD finally pulled one back less than three minutes later when Grant Nishio converted a penalty kick. The Tritons could not, however, get any closer over the final 10 minutes of the contest.

Chico State travels to Phoenix on Sunday for a 3:00 match against Grand Canyon.

09/29/03
Wildcats fall to No. 25 in the nation
The Chico State men's soccer team dropped 14 spots to No. 25 in the NSCAA/adidas National Rankings for Sept. 29. The Wildcats absorbed their second loss of the season against Fresno Pacific University last Friday, but rebounded with a 3-0 victory over Humboldt State on Sunday.

Chico State also fell in the Far West Region rankings two spots to No. 4.

The Wildcats, who visit UC San Diego and Grand Canyon this weekend, are 8-2-1 overall.

09/28/03
Wildcats' three second-half goals top Humboldt
ARCATA - The No. 11 Chico State men's soccer team rallied for three second half goals to shutout Humboldt State, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon in Arcata.

The shutout was the Wildcats' fifth of the season and improves their record to 8-2-1. Humboldt State dropped to 2-11-0.

Eight minutes into the second half the Wildcats got on the board when they were awarded a penalty kick after Humboldt State was called for a handball in the box. Chico goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek made good on the kick, putting it in the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

In the 60th minute Chris Wondolowski received a pass from the center of the box and shot it past the Humboldt goalkeeper to pad the Wildcats' lead.

Chico's final goal came in the 73rd minute when forward Rusty Phillips dribbled around the keeper and put it away.

The Wildcats travel to UC San Diego on Friday and Grand Canyon on Sunday.

09/26/03
Chico State men lose to NAIA Fresno Pacific
ARCATA - The Chico State men's soccer team gave up two goals in each period to lose to NAIA Fresno Pacific in a neutral-site match played in Arcata. The Wildcats take on Humboldt State on Sunday at 1:00.

9/24/03
Chico State men beat future CCAA foe CSMB
CHICO – The 11th-ranked Chico State University men's soccer team improved to 4-0 against non-conference foes with a 3-1 victory over visiting Cal State Monterey Bay Wednesday afternoon at University Soccer Stadium. The match was a measuring stick for both teams as Cal State Monterey Bay will be joining the CCAA next season.

It was all Wildcats. Rusty Phillips gave the Wildcats a 1-0 early lead and Jaime Rodriguez and Brett Williams came off the bench to score and put the match away.

Monterey Bay's Nathan Northup scored in the match's 89th minute to prevent Wildcats goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek from getting his fourth shutout in five matches.

Chico State improved to 7-1-1 overall with the victory, while Monterey Bay dipped to 3-8.

Phillips opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when he knocked home Kevin Kuiper's pass. Rodriguez made it 2-0 in the 35th minute by chipping a header over the Otters' charging keeper. Jesse Grigg set up the play with a touch pass from midfield. The Wildcats made it 3-0 in the 80th minute when Williams stole a pass, collected it, and found the top of the net from 35 yards out.

The Wildcats will take to the road for their next four matches before returning home for a showdown with Cal Poly Pomona Oct. 10.

09/22/03
'Cats move up to No. 11 in the country
Despite a mediocre week in which the Wildcats suffered their first loss and tie of the season, Chico State moved up five spots to No. 11 in this week's NSCAA/adidas national poll. The team holds steady at No. 2 in the Far West behind Cal State Dominguez Hills

09/21/03
Tadeo's late goal gives Chico State 1-0 victory
CHICO – Enrique Tadeo hammered home Michael Esser's deflected shot off the crossbar in the 79th minute as the Chico State men's soccer team rebounded from its first loss of the season to defeat visiting Cal State Stanislaus 1-0 Sunday afternoon at University Soccer Stadium.

The match was scoreless until Esser, a true freshman from Spain, set up what proved to be the only goal. Esser dribbled into the box past two defenders and rocketed a shot towards the near upper corner. Stanislaus goalkeeper Brian King got just enough of to send it careening off the crossbar, but Tadeo collected the loose ball and slammed it into the back of the exposed net for his first goal of the season.

Chico State goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek made a pair of saves for his third shutout in the last four matches as the Wildcats improved to 6-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the CCAA. King made three saves for the Warriors, who dipped to 2-6-1 overall and 0-5-0 in the CCAA.

The Wildcats controlled the tempo for much of the match, but misfired on their first 16 shots before Tadeo's goal. Chico State outshot Stanislaus 18-9 and managed seven corner kicks to the Warriors' one.

09/19/03
Wildcats suffer first loss of the season
CHICO - Entering the second half the Chico State men's soccer team needed two goals. Instead, the Wildcats picked up two red cards and Bakersfield's Kyle Gookins took advantage with a pair of goals for his first collegiate hat trick as the Roadrunners won 3-1 in front of 611 fans at University Soccer Stadium. The loss was Chico State's first of the season.

Bakersfield, ranked No. 10 in the nation, improved to 5-1-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the CCAA. Chico State, ranked No. 16, fell to 5-1-1 and 2-1-1.

Bakersfield took a 1-0 advantage just 13:11 in when Gookins headed in Alfredo Chavez's corner kick at the near post. However, just three minutes into the second half, Chico State freshman Michael Esser scored a beautiful goal to knot the match 1-1. Dustin Tong earned the assist.

Things fell apart for the Wildcats after that. First Brett Williams picked up a red card during a scuffle in the 55th minute. Just 19 seconds later, Gookins knocked home a Chico State turnover in the box to make it 2-1.

All hopes for a Chico State comeback ended in the 64th minute when Dustin Tong collected a red card for his second yellow card and the Wildcats were forced to play two men down.

Gookins completed his hat trick with five seconds to play when he scored into an empty net from 40 yards out after Wildcats goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek left his box to help on a corner kick.

Chico State is back in action this Sunday against visiting Cal State Stanislaus at 3 p.m.

09/16/03
Wildcats remain unbeaten, tie UC Davis
CHICO - For the first time this season, the Chico State men's soccer team didn't come away with a victory. However, they still haven't lost a match either.

The Wildcats and rival UC Davis played to a stirring 0-0 deadlock thanks to outstanding goalkeeping by Chico State's Dominik Jakubek and UC Davis' Nic Platter. Jakubek has now registered three consecutive shutouts and hasn't been scored upon in over 325 minutes of action. He made five saves and Platter answered with four.

UC Davis (1-1-3, 1-1-1 CCAA) outshot the Wildcats (5-0-1, 2-0-1 CCAA) 15-12, but Chico State held a 4-2 advantage in overtime.

Chico State, ranked No. 16 in the nation, plays host to No. 10 Cal State Bakersfield Friday night at 7 p.m. The Wildcats then host Cal State Stanislaus Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.

09/15/03
Jakubek named Brine CCAA Player of the Week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- CHICO STATE goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek has been named the Brine California Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Player of the Week for the week of September 9-14.

Jakubek, a senior from Lodi, led the undefeated and 18th-ranked Wildcats to shutout victories at San Francisco State and Sonoma State to open the 2003 CCAA campaign. He made 8 saves in a 3-0 win at SF State, then tallied 6 saves in a 1-0 win at defending national champion Sonoma to earn his second shutout in as many games. For the week, Jakubek allowed no goals over 180 minutes.

The wins improved Chico’s record to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the CCAA.

09/13/03
Wildcats keep rolling, beat Sonoma State 1-0
ROHNERT PARK - The red-hot Chico State men’s soccer team remained unbeaten Saturday, defeating defending NCAA Division II National Champion Sonoma State 1-0 on Rusty Phillips' first-half goal Saturday in Rohnert Park.

Phillips found the back of the net after Chris Wondolowski's cross to give the Wildcats (5-0, 2-0 CCAA), ranked No. 18 in the nation, the victory.

Wildcats goalkeeper Dominik Jakubeck registered his second consecutive shutout, turning away six shots in the process.

Sonoma State dropped to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the CCAA.

Chico State is back in action Tuesday when it hosts bitter rival UC Davis at 7 p.m.

09/09/03
Wildcats blank Gators in CCAA Opener
SAN FRANCISCO - The Chico State men’s soccer team continues to roll. The Wildcats scored three second-half goals to open California Collegiate Athletic Association play with a 3-0 victory over San Francisco State.

Chico State, ranked No. 18 in nation and No. 3 in the Far West, improves to 4-0 overall. San Francisco stands at 2-3.

Goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek had eight saves as he recorded his first shutout of the year. Each team took 15 shots in the game. The Wildcats blasted 10 shots in the first half, of which just one was on goal and saved by the Gators’ keeper. Chico averaged better in the second period, netting three of the five shots it took.

Brian Phillips scored his second goal of the season in the 55th minute and it proved to be the game-winner. The shot came off a Brett Williams’ corner kick, just one of the nine corner kicks the Wildcats earned in the match.

Michael Esser added an insurance goal, his third goal of the season, on an unassisted play in the 82nd minute. Then, just two and a half minutes later Esser assisted on the final goal of the game, netted by Spencer Stanton, his first of the season.

Chico State continues CCAA play on Saturday when they travel to Sonoma State for a 12:30 match. The women follow at 3:00.

09/08/03
Chico State men break into National Rankings
Thanks to three impressive wins to start the season, the Chico State men's soccer team is ranked No. 18 in the nation in the latest NSCAA/adidas National Rankings. The Wildcats, who haven't been ranked this high since a No. 12 ranking on Sept. 3, 2001, defeated Seattle University 3-2 last week.

The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 3 in the Far West rankings behind CCAA rivals Cal State Dominguez Hills (4-0) and Cal State Bakersfield (2-0). Three more CCAA squads —Sonoma State (2-1), UC Davis (0-2), and San Francisco State (2-2) — follow Chico State. Seattle University (2-2), Cal State, San Bernardino (2-1), Cal State L.A. (2-1), and Cal State Stanislaus (2-1-1) round out the Top 10.

This week, the Wildcats open CCAA action with matches at San Francisco State Tuesday and at Sonoma State Saturday. Chico State opens up its CCAA home schedule September 16 against rival UC Davis at 7 p.m.

09/06/03
Wildcats improve record to 3-0
CHICO – The Chico State men's soccer coach team received the game-winning goal from Chris Wondolowski in the 75th minute of the game to win its home opener, 3-2, over Seattle University tonight in University Soccer Stadium.

The Wildcats remain perfect on the season at 3-0-0, while Seattle University drops to 2-2-0 overall.

Enrique Tadeo set up the game-winner, working the ball toward the goal and then pushing it out to Wondolowski who was waiting at the top of the arch about 18-yards out. Wondolowski threaded a shot through several defenders and just out of the reach of the Redhawks goalie to break the 2-2 tie. Wondolowski, who was last week's CCAA Player of the Week, now has five goals and three assists.

Chico State looked to have the game easily in hand, scoring two goals in the first 18 minutes. Goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek was called on to take a penalty kick just 8:28 into the game after Wondolowski was fouled in the box.

The Wildcats second goal came 10 minutes later when Wondolowski gave Michael Esser the ball at midfield and Esser put a move on the defender to open himself up for the shot and goal.

But Seattle stormed back. Nick McCluskey blasted off a rocket of a shot on the ground that just got past the Chico keeper at the 28:21 mark. The Redhawks tied the score nine minutes into the second half when Anthony Sardon fed Ian Chursky a ball for a breakaway that forced Chico's goalie to come out of the box.

Chico State travels to San Francisco State on Wednesday, Sept. 10. The men kick off at 1:30 followed by the women at 4:00.

09/02/03
Wondolowski named Brine CCAA Player of the Week
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Chico State forward Chris Wondolowski has been named the Brine California Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Player of the Week for the week of August 26- Sept. 1.

Wondolowski, a junior from Danville, led the Wildcats to wins over Barry University and Seattle Pacific University at the Far West Classic hosted by Cal State Dominguez Hills

He scored two goals and added an assist as Chico hammered nationally ranked Barry, 5-1. Wondlowski then replicated the performance against SPU, again tallying two goals and an assist in the Wildcats’ 3-2 victory. His goal in the 84th minute broke a 2-2 deadlock.

For the week, Wondolowski scored four goals and added two assists in two games.

09/01/03
Wildcats knock off Seattle Pacific
CARSON - Chris Wondolowski headed a Kevin Kuiper cross into the net in the 84th minute to beat Seattle Pacific, 3-2, in the Wildcats second game of the Far West Classic hosted by Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Wondolowski got the Wildcats on the board first in the ninth minute of play when he beat SPU goalie James Ward to the near post from 10 yards out.

However, Jeremy Yerkes equalized for the Falcons taking a Sean Sandin pass and sending his shot to the far post from 25 yards away.

SPU took the lead at 45:03 when Nick Letts beat Wildcat goalie Dominik Jakubek to the far post off a Ross Villancourt feed. But Chico's Jaime Rodriguez knotted the game, 2-2, in the 64th minute taking a crossing pass from Wodolowski and sent his shot to the far post.

Kuiper then found Wondolowski for the game winning goal.

Wondolowski was named Co-MVP of the tournament and teammates Michael Esser and Rusty Phillips were also named to the All-Torunament team.

08/30/03
Chico State men smash No. 8 Barry
CARSON – Chris Wondolowski notched two goals and an assist as the Chico State men's soccer team roared back from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat preseason National No. 8 Barry 5-1 Saturday in the Far West Classic at the Home Depot Center on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. It was the season opener for both squads.

Barry, 15-2-1 and ranked among the nation's top teams for much of the 2002 season, jumped out in front 1-0 in the fourth minute when Mike Lupton found the back of the net. It was all Chico State the rest of the way, however.

Chico State took the lead for good when Brian Phillips scored off a Wondolowski assist in the 42nd minute.

Dominik Jakubek picked up the win in net in his first game for the Wildcats, making five saves.

Chico State takes on Seattle Pacific Monday at 2:30. The Wildcats' home opener is Sept. 6 against Seattle University at 7 p.m.