Mens Soccer Falls to CMS, Crushes Caltech

On Wednesday night the Sagehens won 8-0 against perennial conference bottom-dweller Caltech. In a game where Pomona-Pitzer easily could have played their usual game, sitting back and possessing the ball back and forth across the field, the Sagehens showed a different side of themselves by going straight for the throat, racking up a whopping 29 shots and eight goals from eight different players. Caltech struggled to break into P-P’s half—totalling only four shots—and allowed the Sagehens to keep the ball for most of the game.

Arash Mahboubi PO ’15 opened the scoring in the 19th minute after he beat his defender at the top of the box, cleanly sliding the ball past the keeper. In the 25th minute, Avery Raimondo PO ’15 crossed the ball into the penalty area, where Nate Shekita PO ’15 flicked the ball to Michael Ceragioli PO ’14, who slammed the ball in off the crossbar. Shekita racked up another assist in the 37th minute when his corner kick was flicked by Robbie Hull PO ’13, before Danny Nasry PO ’13 headed it in the back of the net. Pomona-Pitzer went into halftime up 3-0 over the visiting Beavers.

In the second half, the Beavers came out stronger, maintaining better control over the ball, but still struggled to seriously threaten P-P’s back line and to protect their own goal. In the 56th minute, Mahboubi found the endline before cutting a ball back across goal that Lawrence McDonald PZ ’15 easily finished. The Sagehens found their fifth goal when Raimondo got on the end of Mark Raftrey’s PO ’15 cross in the 62nd minute. For the next 25 minutes, P-P was unable to score as Caltech battled hard to keep the Sagehens out of their net. But at the very end of the game Caltech rolled over, resigning themselves to defeat, and allowed the Sagehens to score three goals in the last three minutes as Ian Maier PO ’14, Gator Halpern PO ’12, and Raftrey all added their names to the list of goal-scorers.

Although Pomona-Pitzer managed to rack up eight goals, the Sagehens also worked hard to win their sixth shutout of the season. Owen Hawkins PO ’12 had a strong debut at outside back that, along with Mark Raftrey’s play as a defensive midfielder, contributed to the success of the P-P defense.

Last Saturday, the CMS Stags took the short walk down Mills Avenue to visit the Pomona Soccer field and hope to avenge the 2-0 game the Sagehens took earlier this year. The overall winner of the matchup not only has a leg up in SCIAC standings but wins The Boot, a trophy passed back and forth yearly. Unfortunately for P-P, the Stags not only won the game, but kept The Boot in a 5-1 win.

With Nasry out of the game due to an injury, Harris Levin PO ’14 got the nod at right midfielder, with Ceragioli running down the opposite flank. The two threatened CMS’s back line early, attacking the outside backs and whipping in crosses to earn a corner kick a minute into the game. A ball from Raftrey was kept alive by McDonald so Hull could smash it into the top shelf to take the lead 1-0. Like the previous game at Pritzlaff Field, the Sagehens jumped out to an early lead and had to fight to keep it right away. Ten minutes into the game, CMS equalized after speedy forward Harrison Doyle CM ’13 slotted a ball to Jake Bishop CM ’15 who pounded it home past keeper Rollie Thayer PO ’13.

Both teams fought for the lead the rest of the first half, but the score was tied at 1-1 at halftime. The first ten minutes of the second half were more of the same until Bishop snuck through the defense to put the Stags up 2-1. The Sagehen defense completely fell apart at that point, giving up a long goal to David Taylor CM ’13 and a free kick from Sam Ullman CM ’12 that bounced off the wall into the net, all within the span of seven minutes. Ullman added to his tally later in the game with another free kick to make the final score 5-1.

The Sagehens left the game down in the standings and lacking pride but fought back Wednesday to win the vital points against Caltech. The Stags lost at Whittier 2-0 on early goals, leaving the Hens just a point behind the Stags for second place in SCIAC with Whittier hot on each team’s trail, only three points behind P-P in the rankings.

With only three regular season games remaining, P-P will hope to build off their momentum as they seek to earn a top spot in the SCIAC tournament. After travelling to Occidental on Saturday, the Sagehens return home this Wednesday to take on Cal Lutheran at 4 p.m. in their final home game of the regular season.

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