Before his team played at Notre Dame de Namur last week, Sonoma State men’s soccer coach Marcus Ziemer tried to ready his players for a tough match.
Ziemer had just seen Notre Dame beat Cal State Stanislaus, 2-1, and he knew the Argonauts’ little bandbox of a field was a great equalizer.
Still, the odds of SSU being seriously threatened seemed remote. The Seawolves, after all, were 5-0 and ranked second in the nation. In other words, a powerhouse.
The Argonauts were 3-2-1 and unranked. In other words, a nice little team that, oh by the way, had a 0-20-1 all-time record against SSU and had lost 5-0 in Rohnert Park last year.
So what happened? Naturally, Notre Dame beat the Seawolves 3-2 on a goal with two seconds left in overtime.
The school’s Web site hailed it as the “biggest win in school history.” Ziemer termed it a “good loss.”
“It’s good for the guys to get a wake-up call,” Ziemer said. “You don’t just show up and win. You have to show up and work.”
The Seawolves bounced back to beat Cal State Stanislaus, 3-2, in overtime Sunday in their CCAA opener. But they slipped to No. 10 in this week’s national rankings. And Ziemer isn’t complaining.
“I think we started to believe our ranking,” he said. “We didn’t play a horrible game, but we could have given a bit more … Hopefully get back on track and forget about our ranking.”
Ziemer will find out when SSU hosts San Francisco State at 4 p.m. Friday. The Gators enter with a 2-3-1 record and are winless since season-opening wins over Dominican and Briarcliffe.
In other words, they are an apparently mediocre team. Who can’t be overlooked.
Just ask the Seawolves.