By: Matthew Berson, Cal State San Marcos Sports Information Director
SAN MARCOS, Calif. – Sullivan Tobin’s left-footed firecracker in the 41st minute provided the game-winning goal in the Cal State San Marcos men’s soccer team’s 2-1 victory over Westminster College (Utah) on Saturday afternoon at Mangrum Soccer Field, handing head coach Ron Pulvers his 200th career victory.
The Cougars improved to 9-4-2 on the season and picked up their third win in their last four matches. The Griffins dropped to 6-10 overall.
Pulvers now has a career men’s collegiate coaching record of 200-119-27 and becomes the 20th active head coach in the NAIA with 200 career wins. He is 74-47-13 in eight years at CSUSM.Pulvers went 126-71-14 over 10 seasons at Baker (Kan.) from 1996-2006.
“Most importantly it is the ninth win of our season and that is what matters most to me. 200 wins - I think that any coaches that get milestone results are going to tell you they’ve been doing it a long time and that’s the truth,” said Pulvers. “I think there are some other ingredients involved. I’m at an incredible institution here. Cal State San Marcos is in a phenomenal location and a fantastic academic institution and I’m able to get great kids that want to go to school here. At the end of the day, that’s what it is all about – if you can get good players, you’re going to win a lot of games.”
Panos Kotselas and Richie Kaiser were honored for their years of service to the team in a pre-game Senior Day ceremony. It wouldn’t take Kaiser long to make an impact on the match.
In the 31st minute, CSUSM won a free kick on the right side about 35 yards out. Louie Farfan bent a ball to the back of the six and an unmarked Kaiser snapped a header right off the keeper’s gloves. The ball bounced on the line before Evan Myers roofed a shot off the bottom of the crossbar to make it 1-0.
A late tackle by CSUSM substitute Sullivan Tobin directly in front of the WC bench raised tensions for both sides moments later. Tobin received a yellow card and earned the jeers of the Griffin bench, but he’d eventually get the last laugh.
WC got some temporary justice when it was granted a penalty kick in the 39th minute. Kaiser appeared to be shielding the ball and went down in the box along with Connor Thompson, but the call went against the Cougars. Manuel Duenas hit the spot kick straight down the middle to beat Zach Sheppard and tie it at one apiece.
Seventy-six seconds later, CSUSM came knocking again as Luka Stevanovic freed himself on the left corner of the box before firing off a shot. It was blocked by Lucas Metlich, but it rebounded to the foot of Scott Rice 20 yards out. Rice poked it to Tobin, who was posting up with his back towards goal and a defender on his back.
Tobin flicked it up to his right side, spun, and half-volleyed a frozen rope with his left foot that was still rising when it ripped the top-left corner of the net.
Leading 2-1, Tobin had another opportunity to score early in the second stanza, but Logan Butzier did well to cut off the angle and make the save in a 1-on-1 situation.
The score stood pat and the Cougars walked away with their ninth victory, three more than their 2012 total.
CSUSM outshot WC 15-3, tripled the Griffins in corner kicks (6-2), and forced Butzier to make seven saves in the contest.
The Cougars end their home slate with a perfect 4-0 record on the friendly confines of Mangrum and fittingly hand their coach a milestone victory.
“I have an awesome staff. [Associate Head Coach] Bobby [Renneisen] has been on staff for 10 years – he played for me at Baker and now he’s a part of every phase of what we do here. He deserves credit. At the end of the day you have to be at a good place, you have to attract great student-athletes, you have to have a good administration, a staff you can trust, and that is what we’ve got. I’ve been fortunate to have that for 18 years,” said Pulvers.