Sagehens Clinch Playoff Spot, Big Win on Senior Day

The Sagehens could not have written a game play script any better for Senior Day. Three seniors scored in
P-P’s 6-0 rout of the California Institute of Technology on Saturday, Oct. 25.
In addition, to make the day even more memorable, the Sagehens (11-5-2, 9-4-2
SCIAC) clinched a spot in the playoffs with the win.

Although the day
began with honoring the seniors, it was the underclassmen who sparked the
Sagehen offense, thanks to some timely assists from their senior teammates. Just
five minutes into the game, midfielder Arash Mahboubi PO ’15 delivered an excellent ball
to fellow midfielder Felipe Galvis PO ’17, who finished with a shot inside the far post. The
Sagehens kept the pressure on as they bombarded the Caltech goal with multiple
shot attempts. The aggressive attack paid off again in the 20th
minute as forward Nathan Shekita PO ’15 found midfielder Matty Marvin PO ’17, who buried a
shot just inside the post to put the Hens up 2-0.

In the second
half, it was time for the seniors to shine on their special day. Just six
minutes after halftime, it was now Marvin who found Shekita in front of the
goal. Shekita described his goal that put the Saghens up 3-0.

“For most of our
goals, we were moving around the ball quite well and being patient in the
attack,” Shekita said. “I remember we got several passes on the right side,
then the ball went back to the middle, and Matty played me into wide open space
on the left. I just had to steer the ball by the goalkeeper at that
point.”

The goal made Senior Day an even better experience for Shekita, who saw the match as a rewarding one in his final season. 

“Living far away from home, your parents hardly ever see you play,” Shekita said. “It’s nice being able to show them what you’ve accomplished in a sport that you love.”

In the 69th
minute, midfielder Drew Lind PZ ’15 scored a goal of his own after Mahboubi played a
ball to Paul Picciano PO ’16, who found Lind on a cross. Four minutes later, the
first-years wanted in on the action as forward Peter Rentzepis PO ’18 headed a Shekita
corner kick into the upper left corner of the goal.

However, in the
end, it was fittingly a senior who scored the final goal of the match for P-P. Forward Avery Raimondo PO ’15 recovered a loose ball 12 yards out and struck a shot
that deflected off a Caltech defender and into the goal to put the Hens up by
what would come to be the final score of 6-0.

The P-P defense
was also strong as they were led by goalkeeper Nigel Brady PO ’15, who recorded
two saves and earned the shutout victory.

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the Sagehens faced off against SCIAC No. 1 University of Redlands in a
battle for the top seed going into playoffs. P-P’s destiny was in its
hands, but they failed to defeat the Bulldogs, who clinched the No. 1 seed for the
SCIAC playoffs. Brady had six saves in the effort, and Lind added another goal
in the 3-1 loss.

The Sagehens
have one more regular-season game at Whittier College (7-8-2, 5-8-2) Saturday, Nov. 1,
until they play in the SCIAC semifinal game Thursday, Nov. 6. If the
Sagehens take down the Poets, they will clinch the second seed in the SCIAC
playoffs.

Although the
team has already clinched a playoff spot, it is focused on aspirations beyond the SCIAC playoffs and the regular season.

“It feels good,
but not good enough,” said Shekita. “Pomona-Pitzer has never won the playoffs
and qualified for the NCAA tournament … this year we have the team to do it.”

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