Bialostozky’s Two Goals Help Stags Overcome Slugs

With
five games remaining in the season, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s soccer team (6-5-1,
5-5-1 SCIAC) is in a precarious situation.

“It’s
do-or-die at this point. If we don’t start winning
games, which is what it is going to come down to, we’re not even going
to make playoffs and fulfill our goal of going to the NCAAs and past that,” Jacques Bialostozky
CM ’17 said.

The
team had a strong 2-1 win against University of California, Santa Cruz (8-5-1) on Oct. 11, but faced a tough loss to California Lutheran University (4-7-3,
3-6-2 SCIAC) on Oct. 13.

While
the Stags are not in an ideal position for entrance into the playoffs, their
season is not yet over.

“We are at a point
where we didn’t expect to be, but at the end of the
day our first goal is just to make playoffs and create an opportunity for
ourselves to go far in the SCIAC tournament and get into the NCAAs,” assistant coach
Jonathyn Lomeli said. “It’s one game at a time.”

With
a positive win against UC Santa Cruz, the team had hoped for a turning point in
the season.

“We were at a down
point, losing some games, and it brought our spirits up,” Bialostozky said. “It let us know that we
are capable of coming back from any game, which is important for the future if
we are down. It let us know that we can beat good teams.” 

Although
UC Santa Cruz scored the first goal of the game in the 12th minute, Bialostozky
clenched a win for the Stags with two unanswered goals in the second half of
the game. The team was able to capitalize upon its opportunities in front of
the goal and come out with a win.

“It was a good win,” Lomeli said. “The boys came out to play and it felt good to get that victory and get a little
bit of a tough game since it was so close and it was really physical.”

After
the strength the team showed in the game against UC Santa Cruz, the team had hopes
that the winning streak would continue, but Cal Lutheran proved to be a tough opponent.
While the Stags managed a good showing in the game with three goals, they were
unable to come out on top, and the Kingsmen eventually won 4-3.

Despite the loss, head coach Sam Ullman CM ’12 thought that the offense played strongly by putting pressure their opponents and scoring three goals on a tough team. 

“We must have had 15 corner kicks to their four, and we
had the ball on their end more than they had the ball on our end,” Ullman said. “However, our
defense seemed like they were playing a little nervous. We made a few long
touches that they had a player there to capitalize on.” 

Taylor
Lemmon CM ’16 scored the first
goal of the game in the 18th minute, and both teams then continued to penetrate
the goal for the remainder of the time. While Mehron Abdi CM ’17 scored a goal in
the 78th minute to tie the game up, Cal Lutheran was able to score the final
goal of the game in the 86th minute.

“It ended up that
they scored the last goal, which has kind of been defining our season with bad
luck and surprise moments,” Bialostozky
said.

The
tough loss against Cal Lutheran has placed the Stags in an unfavorable position
for the final matches of the season.

“I think the guys
know the position they are in, and they now know that it is do-or-die for us,” Ullman said. “Their backs are against the wall a little bit.” 

However,
the team remains confident in its abilities, and the Stags have been working to learn from their mistakes they made in the last game.

“We have to keep
them motivated, let them know that the season is not over,” Lomeli said. “We can still reach
our goals that we have planned [for the season].” 

Both
players and coaches recognize the precarious situation of the team, but are
accepting the challenge and attempting to fulfill their goals.

“If we want it and
we want to get it then we will have to go and do it ourselves, because at this
point that is all it has come down to,” Bialostozky said.

The
Stags next play against Pomona-Pitzer (10-2-1, 8-1-1 SCIAC) Saturday, Oct.
18, at Pritzlaff Field at 7 p.m.

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