Pomona-Pitzer men’s soccer team pulled out a vital 2-1 victory in their home
match against the Whittier College Poets on Saturday, a result that kept the
Sagehens in contention for a spot in postseason play. The win came about
in a fairly dramatic fashion, as P-P earned two goals in the space of a few
minutes late in the second half from Paul Picciano PO ’16 to overcome a 1-0
deficit from the first half. The Sagehens improved to 5-8-1
overall and 4-5-1 in SCIAC after the match.
entered the match as one of the best teams in the league and threatened the Sagehen goal early in the game. A tenth-minute Poets freekick in the middle of the
field, some 35 yards away from the P-P goal, saw senior midfielder Jon Elvins
step up and deliver a stunning, unstoppable strike that nestled into the top
corner of keeper’s Nigel Brady PO ’15 net. It was a fine way of opening up the
scoring for the afternoon, and it underlined a period of early dominance by
Whittier, which was much more incisive and effective going forward in the early
stages than the home side.
Several minutes after the opener,
however, the Poets were put on the back foot as a bit of dangerous play
from forward Pedro Gomez saw the striker receive a red card. Faced
with the prospect of having to play the next 70 minutes with only ten men,
Whittier seemed visibly shaken in the minutes following the ejection, allowing
P-P to slowly make their way back into the game. Still, it was Brady who, on the
whole, was the busier keeper in the first period, coming up with a couple of
good saves to keep the deficit at only one goal, with the Poets out-shooting the
Sagehens 6-3 to keep up the pressure following the sending-off of Gomez.
in the second half, it was the visitors who continued to have the better
opportunities. Forward Lucas Depinna and midfielder Gary
Kelman were the most persistent offensive threats for Whittier; both of
them had chances to test the reflexes of Brady, who finished the match with six
saves. The manner in which the Poets were able to keep themselves competitive
despite being a man down clearly continued to frustrate the Sagehens, who
became increasingly rushed in their play through midfield. Although they
managed to craft a few promising opportunities, the Hens largely snatched at their chances
and failed to keep Whittier keeper Jorge Rivas on his toes.
gave P-P hope of making a late-season run to secure a top-four finish in SCIAC, a requisite to enter postseason play. Securing a win over a good
Whittier team occupying one of the current postseason berths may have given
the Sagehens the confidence to truly stake their claim. Unfortunately, they
could not capitalize on the state of affairs in their midweek game at University of La Verne.
P-P fell into a 0-2 hole thanks to the good work of Leopards striker Boyce
Christiansen, who struck in quick succession in the 15th and 17th
minutes to put the home team firmly in the driver’s seat. The Sagehens got one
back quickly, with Lawrence McDonald PZ ’15 finding the net in the 19th.
Shekita grabbed a second in the 52nd to give P-P hope of yet another
comeback victory as the game eventually moved into overtime. However, six minutes into the period,
Christiansen once again popped up, this time turning provider to allow first-year Saul Uribe to score and secure a La Verne win.
P-P can take plenty of heart
from their never-say-die performances, but, unfortunately, the result makes a Sagehen postseason berth unlikely as they gear up
for the home stretch of the league season. The Sagehens’ record now sits at 4-6-1 in SCIAC as they look forward to their next match, a Sixth Street rivalry duel on
Saturday, Oct. 19 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.