CSULA
Swope

SEATTLE -- Marc Hess, Antti Arvola, Jason Swope and Nicolas Assad converted their penalty kicks on Thursday as 17th-ranked Cal State-Los Angeles rallied from a two-goal second-half deficit to advance past Chico State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Golden Eagles won the shootout 4-1 after regulation time ended in a 2-2 tie.

Cal State-Los Angeles (14-1-6) advances to the regional championship game on Saturday against Seattle Pacific.

Chico State’s season ended at 13-4-4.

It marked the second time this fall that Cal State Los Angeles wiped out a two-goal deficit against Chico State. In the regular-season game between the California Collegiate Athletic Association rivals on Sept. 18 at CSULA, Swope scored twice in the final 10 minutes as the teams settled for a 2-2 tie.

The same two teams met in last Sunday’s CCAA Tournament championship game, which the Golden Eagles won 2-0.

Cal State-L.A. took command in the shootout when Hess drilled his shot to the back left corner in the first round, and Golden Eagles goalkeeper Waleed Cassis saved Ferid Celosmanovic’s first-round try. Then, Arvola scored to the same spot in the second round. and Chico's Octavio Guzman then sent his try just wide of the left post, leaving CSULA with a 2-0 lead.

Swope scored to the back left corner in round 3, and Nick Tedrow finally got Chico onto the board by converting to the low right corner, and Cal State was on top 3-1. That left Assad an opportunity to clinch it for the Golden Eagles on the next kick, and he did by sending the ball to the low right corner.

Chris Akwaja gave Chico State the initial lead of the game at 35:03. Guzman sent a cross from deep in the right corner across the goalmouth. Akwaja went up three yards in front of the left post and headed a shot into the upper left corner for his fifth goal of the season.

Chico doubled its lead to 2-0 at 65:15. On a quick counterattack, Celosmanovic sent a long through ball up the left side. It went to Tyson Crim, and Crim sent it across the top of the penalty area where Guzman ran into it. From just inside the top right corner of the box, Guzman launched a shot into the upper left corner, notching his sixth goal of the year.

But the two-goal advantage didn’t last long. Just 1:41 later, Swope was taken down in the box, and a penalty kick was called immediately. Swope took it, burying the ball into the back left corner with Chico State goalkeeper Sam Evans going the opposite direction, giving him 11 goals for the season.

Cal State-Los Angeles tied it with just 7:26 left in regulation. Hess lofted a long target ball from just beyond midfield on the right side. It floated toward the far post, and Rosario Bras headed it into left corner.