Season Ends on Low Note, Sagehens Fall to Bulldogs

Pomona-Pitzer men’s soccer team’s season came to a disappointing close on
Saturday, Nov. 2, as they fell at home to Redlands University, 3-1, and bid farewell to their seniors. P-P entered
the match already out of playoff
contention, fighting for nothing more than pride against a team
which had already secured a spot in the SCIAC postseason tournament and was looking to potentially finish in first place in the regular season standings.

The goal seemed to spur P-P towards
securing the upset result, and Maric and Arash Mahboubi PO ’15 both stung the
fingers of Redlands keeper Andreas Silva with some strong efforts in the
minutes following the score. However, any momentum the Sagehens had built
evaporated in the 57th minute, as defender Paul Picciano PO ’16
fouled the visitors’ Richie Marquez in the box. Bulldogs forward Paul Iyzdorek
stepped up and powered a strong penalty past the sprawling Nigel Brady PO ’15.
Redlands began to sniff blood, and they drove home the advantage just two
minutes later. Midfielder Grahame Fitz received the ball in the left channel,
holding off a defender and finding space to put a dangerous ball into the
18-yard box. Bulldogs midfielder Matej Kustura, standing in the middle of the area, showed
good technique to hit a first-time shot to his left that found the back of the net.

Despite the quick double punch, the Sagehens refused to wilt. They stayed
competitive, but quality scoring opportunities remained difficult to come
by. The lack of an attacking edge to P-P’s play once again came back to bite
them as the result was put beyond most doubt in the 81st minute. A
long, high clearance by Bulldog defender Tom Elsea was poorly dealt with by the
Sagehens’ defensive line, which failed to latch onto the wayward ball. Kustura
showed good alertness to pounce upon the momentary uncertainty in the P-P
ranks, and the home team’s high defensive line meant the midfielder had half a
field of open space to dribble into as he stared down Brady. Despite a brave
recovery attempt by the P-P defenders, Kustura beat
Brady to give Redlands a 3-1 lead. Bulldogs keeper Silva had
to stay on his toes in the final 10 minutes as the Sagehens tried to cut into
the deficit, but it was too little, too late for P-P. Their season ended in
defeat as the visitors clinched the second spot in the SCIAC regular season
standings, below first-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.  CMS also won its final game of the year.

It was a disappointing way for P-P
to bid farewell to their seniors, Michael Ceragioli PO ’14, Devin Gilliam PO ’14, Harris Levin PO ’14, Ian Maier PO ’14, Drew Lind PZ ’14
and Ryan Miller PO ’14. The loss sent the Sagehens to 8-11-1 overall, with a 7-8-1
record in conference—which translates to third-from-bottom in SCIAC, a final placing
that the team will feel didn’t reflect the depth of their talent. However, there
were also plenty of highlights, including standout individual seasons from the likes of Maric, Brady, and Nathan
Shekita PO ’15, among others. With such a talent base to build on, the Sagehens now
begin the process of preparing to become SCIAC contenders in the 2014 season.

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