The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s soccer team (11-2, 8-2 SCIAC) snatched a decisive 2-0 win over across campus rival Pomona-Pitzer (6-9, 5-6 SCIAC) in the Sixth Street Rivalry game Oct. 13. The Stags took home the treasured golden boot trophy after securing wins in both of the regular season matchups against P-P.
For both teams, the Sixth Street Rivalry games are a special opportunity to show who rules the 5Cs in sports. On the Stags’ side, head coach Matt Edwards made it clear that any game versus P-P is one to win.
“[Edwards] tells that this is the biggest rivalry in the country, and one of the coolest ones to be a part of,” CMS goalkeeper Jacob Mays CM ’22 said. “There is something special about walking to the game you are about to play, and then seeing the rival team at dinner the next night.”
The passion and excitement approaching the game were mirrored by the P-P team. Sagehen midfielder Eamon Stein PO ’21 highlighted the special intensity of the team approaching a game versus CMS.
“The team energy is always different going into the Sixth Street game, because it means a lot to us personally,” Stein said.
Stein explained that there is an extra motivation to win because of the rich history of the rivalry between the two teams.
“We just don’t like their vibe,” Stein said of the neighboring CMS team. “We see them around campus, and we want to be better than them. It is not friendly on the field.”
As a first-year on the CMS team, Mays felt pressure from both the senior Stags and the alumni present at the game to maintain a clean sheet in goal.
“The seniors made sure we knew that we owed them a win,” Mays said. “It was also important for us to show all of the alumni that were there that CMS is still on top.”
The energy of the fans was equally as intense as that on the field. The stands were packed with a distinct side for each respective team, and there was not a quiet moment for the whole 90 minutes.
“The fans were going crazy, but it was important to use that as fuel, and to remain calm, cool, and collected,” Mays said.
While the players tried to remain calm, the game was a scrappy and dramatic battle from the very start. During the first 10 minutes of play, Stein — one of PP’s main goal scorers — took a bad fall after going up for a header and ultimately had to leave the game with a broken leg.
“It was really disappointing having to leave the game, especially so early on,” Stein said. “[I] feel like I could have made a difference.”
Without Stein, the Sagehens struggled against the rock-solid CMS defense to finish any of their 16 shots during the 90 minutes. The Stags only narrowly out-shot the Sagehens with 17 shots throughout the game, but experienced more success in finding the net, scoring one goal each half.
The first goal came in the 34th minute when Nate Huntington CM ’21 found a gap after a rebounded bicycle kick. Ethan Tyng CM ’22 extended the CMS lead to two after scoring on a short pass from teammate William Barton CM ’22 in the 62nd minute.
Even though the Sagehens were disappointed with a tough rivalry loss, they were proud of their second-half push to the goal, and are looking ahead to three winnable SCIAC matchups in hopes of making it into the SCIAC tournament, according to the injured Stein.
P-P will host their next SCIAC opponent Cal Lutheran (5-9, 5-6 SCIAC) Oct. 20.
The Stags walk away from the victory with the golden boot, and their heads held high going into a string of SCIAC matchups before the conference tournament.
“I think if we go into every game as hyped up as we were for [the Pomona-Pitzer] game, I don’t think there is a team that can beat us,” Mays said. “We are looking to send a message to the SCIAC that we are back, we are ready, and we are unbeatable.”