Consistent Play Keeps P-P’s Win Streak Alive

The P-P men’s soccer team secured their fourth consecutive win as they managed to
outclass Whittier College by a score of 3-2 on Sept. 24. Striker Felipe Galvis PO ’17
scored a brace, including a late penalty kick, which proved to be decisive as the
Poets set up a nervy end to the game for the hosts by pulling a goal back in
the final minute. However, the Sagehens were able to hold on for the win, improving their overall record to 6-1-1 and their SCIAC record to 4-0-1.

P-P lined up in an attacking 4-2-2-2 formation with forward Peter Rentzepis
PO ’18 rewarded with a start for his prolific goal-scoring form. The home side
began in commanding fashion with Voja Maric PO ’17 testing Whittier’s goalkeeper with a
shot from just outside the box with eleven minutes on the clock. However, it
didn’t take long for the home side to take the lead. 

Matty Marvin PO ’17, who
has been in good touch with two goals already this season, found himself with acres of space on the left wing in the 19th minute. Marvin played a
quick low cross towards the far post, which the Poets’ goalkeeper inadvertently
guided into the goal after colliding with the defender to give the home side a
somewhat fortuitous lead.

The Sagehens
continued to pile on the pressure in search for the all-important second goal.
They switched to a 4-3-3 formation to exploit the width of the field midway in
the second half. Midfielder Arash Mahboubi PO ’15 was a constant thorn in the visitor’s
defense, cutting in numerous times from the left wing, but was unable to find
the final ball. Maric also came close, taking a couple of shots from
the left side thanks to the space created by the movement of the other
forwards.

The second
goal finally arrived in the 37th minute. Paul Picciano PO ’16 found
himself in an advanced position on the right wing and sent in a precise curling
ball into the box. The ball eluded everyone apart from Galvis, who
controlled the ball with a subtle first touch before calmly slotting it into
the goal to give the home side a 2-0 lead. As half time drew closer, Whittier
had their first scoring chance of the game with Pablo Gomez bending a shot in the top corner, but Nigel Brady PO ’15 managed tip the ball away from the net. 

The visitors
came out for the second half extremely motivated and eager to peg the Sagehens
back. They nearly succeeded with James Suri passing over a golden chance by
shooting wide from fifteen yards in the 46th minute. They didn’t
need to wait long as a couple of minutes later, Moncef Bouzar displayed some
excellent hold-up play on the right wing before a precise cut back for
Fortin to get a goal for the visitors, making the score 2-1.

The Poets
almost leveled in the 58th minute as a cutback teased across the
goalmouth, but none of their forwards could connect with it. The complexion of
the match changed after the equalizer as the visitors saw more of the ball with
P-P looking to capitalize on the extra space provided by Whittier’s
attacking ambition and hitting them on the counter.

Galvis had a couple of chances on the break to kill the game, but Poet goalkeeper Jorge Rivas displayed a solid reaction by thwarting
Galvis time and time again and by making a big save on a Rentzepis shot in the 80th minute. The Hens finally looked to have killed the
game after Mahboubi, who had an excellent game, was brought
down in the box after another incisive run. Galvis made no mistake from
the spot and struck the ball in the top corner to make it 3-1.

The home
side was given a scare by the Poets in the final minute when Gomez scored
a screamer from 25 yards to make it 3-2. However, it was too little, too late as
the visitors barely had any time to attack the Hens as the referee blew the
final whistle soon after.

Earlier in
the week on Sept. 20, P-P secured an important 2-0 win on the road at California Lutheran University. Rentzepis, fresh from his impressive performance at University of La
Verne, opened the scoring in the first half with Marvin adding
another in the second half to lead the Sagehens to a comfortable victory.

P-P will look to continue their unbeaten run at University of Redlands tomorrow, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

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