Late McDonald Goal Downs Leopards for Men’s Soccer

The Pomona-Pitzer Men’s Soccer team had a successful week with wins over conference foes Caltech and La Verne. The victories improved their SCIAC record to 5-2-1, putting them in strong position as they begin the second half of their conference schedule.

On Wednesday, the Sagehens traveled to La Verne to complete their first run through the conference with a 1-0 win. Midway through a scoreless first half, goalie Rollie Thayer PO ’13 had to leave with an injury. Regular backup Nigel Brady PO ’15 was inactive with a pulled groin, so freshman Guy Thyer PO ’16 was forced to step up and finish the half in goal. 

“I was excited,” said Thyer. “It had been a while but I knew I still had a little bit of magic in my hands.” He made two saves, one of which was standing up a Leopard forward on a break away, before Thayer returned to start the second half. With four shots on the offensive end, Thyer performed the impressive and rarely-done feat of leading the team in shots and saves.

The Sagehens picked up their offense in the second period and came tantalizingly close to converting several chances. Danny Nasry PO ’13 and Robbie Hull PO ’13 both hit the crossbar, Nasry on a free kick and Hull with a header off a throw-in from defender Eric Munzer PZ ’13. The Sagehens finally connected with seven minutes left when Lawrence McDonald PZ ’13 sent a cross into the box that was touched by Nasry and deflected off a La Verne defender before slipping inside the post for the only goal of the game.

Nate Shekita’s PO ’15 two-goal, two-assist first half led the Sagehens to a 4-0 win over Caltech last Saturday. Shekita started the scoring by catching the Beaver defense out of position and putting a free kick into the top right corner of the net while Caltech’s goalie was setting up his wall. Shekita then assisted on the next two goals with a cross that Mark Raftrey PO ’15 put away and a corner kick that senior captain Erik Munzer PZ ’13 headed for a goal. Finally, Shekita finished the scoring with 5 minutes left in the first half by finishing a cross from Avery Raimondo PO ’15.

The Sagehens took 30 shots to Caltech’s 4 and controlled the flow of play throughout. Rollie Thayer PO ’13 only had to make 4 saves, but one of them was an impressively difficult diving stop of a midrange shot. 

The week’s results leave the Sagehens at second place in the conference, a half-game behind first-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Sagehens have a big week coming up, with a trip across Sixth Street to play archrival CMS on Saturday night at 7 PM followed by games against Cal Lutheran and Chapman on Monday and Wednesday.  All three of those teams are playoff contenders, so a strong week will put the Sagehens in great position to make the SCIAC playoffs.  The Sagehens are also looking for a measure of revenge against CMS after a 6-1 defeat in their last meeting. 

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