On Saturday, Sept. 17, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (3-3, 2-2 SCIAC) faced off against the University of La Verne Leos (5-0, 2-0-1 SCIAC). The game began at 11 a.m. at Pomona’s own soccer field with clear skies and 90°F weather. The game was very evenly matched with Pomona having 11 shots (five on goal) and La Verne having 16 shots (eight on goal). After 90 minutes, neither team was able to squeeze a goal in and the game moved into overtime. Seven minutes passed until a debatable call by the referee gave the Leo’s a penalty kick opportunity which they converted. Due to the sudden death golden goal in overtime rule of college soccer, the Sagehens ended up with a loss.
Possession was equal in the first half, with both teams having useful passing with both offense and defense.
“The Sagehens have been really focusing on keeping possession and making use of passes instead of just booming the ball or clearing,” Connor Ford PO ‘20 said. “Coach has been really preaching about passing more and connecting when we have the chance.” True to coach’s words, P-P took those chances. Three excellent plays in the sixth, 27th, and 41st minutes called for blocks from La Verne’s keeper Josh Ramirez.
Pomona jumped into action with a shot in the 46th minute by Peter Rentzepis PO '18 but it was saved by Ramirez. In the 53rd minute, Spencer Burget PZ '20 committed a foul bad enough to receive a yellow card, his first of the season. La Verne continued to show their stability and resilience by pressing the defense when on offense. A shot by Justin Funes in the 53rd minute tested the sagehen keeper Ben Mitchell PO '18, but Mitchell easily saved it. This trend continued throughout the 2nd half by both the Sagehens and the Leopards. A shot from Shanti Dubey PO '20 and two from Bjorn Sigurdsson PO '19 proved to be Pomona’s last attempt to cause La Verne to concede, but it was unsuccessful and the game ended 0-0 in regulation.
At the start of overtime, the Sagehens applied pressure on the opposition and a shot in the 91st minute required a save from the Leopard’s keeper. In the 97th minute, however, a controversial fall from a La Verne striker in the box caused the referee to point to the spot for a penalty kick. After stepping up to the spot, forward Nathan Gonzalez successfully scored the PK which marked the end of the game.
While P-P was able to effectively keep possession and make use of opportunities, the day proved to be unlucky for the sagehens. They are now 3-4 overall and 2-3 within the conference going into the next fixture. Their next game will be on Monday, Sept. 19, at Chapman University as they face off against the Panthers.