Despite pushing and pulling for 110 minutes, the grueling tug-of-war that made up Wednesday’s Sixth Street men’s soccer rivalry ended in a 1-1 draw.
Hosted at Pomona College, the hard-fought match included multiple injury timeouts and yellow cards, with the first two bookings coming less than 15 seconds after the opening whistle. Chase Keir CM ’24 received the first one for fouling a Sagehen, prompting vulgarities and angry comments from the home bench.
A half-hour later, Jeffrey Tiglon PZ ’25 scored the game’s first goal in the 30th minute. After a cross from Graeme Logan PZ ‘23 deflected off of a CMS defender, Tiglon was in perfect position to low-volley the ball into the opposite side of the net.
“It felt pretty wonderful,” Tiglon said after the game. “I know they’re a very good team, undefeated in the league, so to score against that type of opponent is very good for me.”
Justin Blachman CM ’23 scored the second and final goal 12 minutes later, when Rafael Otero CM ’23 sent in a cross that he lightly volleyed over the goalkeeper’s head.
The goal was Blachman’s fourth in the past three games, but he felt especially excited about this one.
“Whenever you’re in an environment where it’s competitive, those goals mean just a little extra,” he said.
More P-P fans arrived for the second half, but they weren’t greeted with goals. Neither team could capitalize on late opportunities to take the lead. Two minutes before the end of regulation, the Stags’ Otero headed a cross a foot wide of the post that likely would have gone in had it been on net.
“[Otero’s shot was] such a great attempt to win the game,” CMS vice-captain Nate Huntington CM ’21 said.
Some 15 minutes later, as the sun continued to set and as wispy clouds and shades of blue, purple, orange and pink filled the sky, the Sagehens had a prime scoring opportunity of their own late in the first overtime.
Matthew Carlson PZ ’23 took a free kick from just outside the left corner of the penalty box but never gave the attempt a chance, sailing it well over the crossbar.
The second overtime saw few, if any, true scoring opportunities. When the final whistle blew, the Hens had officially snapped the Stags’ eight game winning streak dating back to Sept. 10.
Statistically, the Sagehens outplayed the Stags, recording 14 shots to the Stags’ seven. Although only one shot from the Sagehens found the back of the net, P-P head coach Bill Swartz was not concerned about his team’s relative inability to score.
“I thought we had chances today that maybe as we mature those will go in, but I thought we did everything we wanted to do as a team,” he said.
CMS head coach Ryan Fahey CM ’08 was also satisfied with his team’s performance, even though P-P snapped its win streak.
“It would’ve been a little naive in soccer to be really, really confident that we were going to go in and win every single game,” he said. “I think we’re still rolling. I feel really good about us.”
Fahey also praised his team’s effort, its circulation of the ball, and its ability to dictate the flow of the game.
The Stags and the Sagehens will face off again at CMS’ Pritzlaff Field later this month for what could be another intense battle. Fahey mentioned that rivalry games are “going to be tight,” and the Hens’ Tiglon expects the matchup to “also be a good game.”
On Oct. 20, the teams will attempt to settle unfinished business and compete for recognition as the superior soccer team. But not everyone is concerned with settling the score.
“They were trying to make it a rivalry game,” CMS’ Blachman said. “To us, we’re just better than them.”