History repeated itself on Saturday morning when the Pomona-Pitzer men’s soccer team (5-3-2, 4-2-2 SCIAC) defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2-8-1, 2-6-1 SCIAC) 2-1 in their second Sixth Street Rivalry match, just a week after P-P won the first. The win was P-P head coach Bill Swartz’s 400th career victory with the Sagehens.
P-P jumped right into the game with an offensive mentality, achieving an early 1-0 lead at 3:20 after Ethan Flor PZ ’18 used his head to finish a cross.
CMS continued to struggle, allowing Taylor Reifert PZ ‘19 to effectively draw out CMS keeper Connor Gaskin CM ‘20 and lob the ball out of his reach at 15:42. The Sagehens stifled the Stags the rest of the half, allowing the Stags to only have two shots.
“We gave up two cheap goals early on,” CMS head coach Matt Edwards remarked. “We created more chances in the final third to score goals, [and] we set up balls in the box, but it doesn’t matter if you give teams a two goal head start.”
Even though they faced a daunting two-goal lead at halftime, CMS did not give up so easily.
The Stags clearly wanted to make up for the first half by asserting themselves offensively. It paid off at 66:03 when Isaiah Alba CM ’20 found a way to poke the ball past P-P keeper Ben Mitchell PZ ‘18.
The Stags continued in desperation to equalize and at 88:07, they found an excellent chance to do so when Justin Gadalla HM ‘20 dove for a header just a few yards from the frame. Unfortunately, this only resulted in a bloody nose after Gadalla’s face met the boot of a P-P defender. The challenge was very physical, but no foul was called. The ball ended up bouncing off the post and was cleared out of harm’s way.
As the final whistle blew, a similar scene to the last rivalry match developed: a forlorn, defeated CMS was visibly disappointed while an ecstatic, victorious P-P celebrated the season sweep.
“Serious work ethic on and off the field and coming mentally prepared to win were what made the difference,” Max DeWitt PZ ‘19 said. “We sit in fifth right now so our team is trying to make a run for the playoffs. Our team is very capable of it so we’re going to try to build off this win.”
Swartz was ecstatic after the match that his milestone win was able to come against the Sagehens’ biggest rivals.
“It couldn’t be any better than that, to be honest with you. I’m not sure how it works out that way. I thinks it’s just a moment of fortune that it happened to be this game,” Swartz said. “Like I’ve said though, I owe it to the players I work with. I really do. The amount of work they put into their academics and then for them to come out every day to work hard and to want to win games, I can’t speak highly enough about the student athletes I’ve worked with.”