It didn’t take long for Danny Nasry PO ’13 to make his mark.
After being out for four weeks with a foot injury, Nasry took just 67 seconds to score his first goal of the 2010 season against Cal Lutheran last Wednesday. That goal was all the Pomona-Pitzer men’s soccer team needed to hold on for a 1-0 win, bringing its record to 1-3 in SCIAC play.
Nasry’s goal was made possible by heavy pressure from Erik “The Bulldog” Munzer PI ’13, whose very presence scared a Cal Lu defender into making an errant pass in his own half. Munzer picked off the pass and lobbed a ball over the stunned Kingsmen defense to the onrushing Nasry, who poked it over the keeper at the last second.
With Nasry resuming his traditional role as a playmaking, attacking midfielder, the Sagehen offense looked particularly fearsome. During the first half, P-P peppered the Cal Lu goalie with eight shots, including several that only just missed the goal. The Sagehen defense allowed only one shot that half and went on to dominate the shot differential by a final count of 16-2. Goalkeeper Rollie Thayer PO ’13 was only really tested once, and he proved up to the task.
“Getting the first victory was important,” Eben Perkins PO ‘11 said, “but we still have a long way to go in terms of stringing together consistent performances. We’re still trying to figure out how to win as a team.”
The victory was slightly tarnished when Nasry went down clutching his ankle after a questionable tackle from a frustrated Cal Lu midfielder. The tackle occurred in the thirty-first minute, and Nasry did not return to the match. After the game, P-P trainer Cara Hall PO ‘11 indicated that Nasry was receiving treatment for a high ankle sprain.
Nasry’s unfortunate injury meant that the Sagehens were without one of their key players for Saturday’s matchup against #3 Occidental. Nevertheless, the team came out strong and created several scoring opportunities within the first 15 minutes. However, disaster struck in the sixteenth minute when a miscommunication in the Sagehen back line allowed a free kick to drop in the six-yard box. The ball fell right at the feet of an Oxy forward, who calmly slotted the ball past Thayer. Despite dominating play, P-P was suddenly down 1-0.
Just before halftime, the Saghens allowed another soft goal when an Oxy counterattack resulted in a one-on-one breakaway between an Oxy forward and the Sagehen keeper. The striker opportunistically dribbled around Thayer and tapped the ball into the empty net, hockey-style, to make the score 2-0 Oxy.
After halftime, P-P continued to dominate possession and create quality opportunities. It wasn’t until the seventy-fifth minute that their efforts were finally rewarded. Franco Simbana PI ’12 was dragged down in the Oxy penalty area, and the referee awarded a penalty kick, which co-captain Alec Larson PO ‘11 buried in the back of the net.
“That was my first collegiate goal,” Larson said later of the PK. “I’m just sorry it had to come in such an unfortunate loss. Now I kind of want to forget it.”
Indeed, the loss was especially disappointing for the Sagehens. Not only did they lose to an inferior opponent, but they suffered several critical injuries in the process. Senior defender and reigning All-SCIAC Player of the Year Perkins left the field during the second half and did not return. Co-captain Zach Mirman PO ’11 also ended the game on the sidelines with a back injury. These players’ statuses for Saturday’s game against CMS are uncertain as of press time.
The team’s next game is at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at CMS.
Special thanks to Phil Halpern and sagehensoccer.shuttlefly.com for contributing to this article