Early Goal Holds Up As Banana Slugs Edge Sagehens 1-0

Early Goal Holds Up As Banana Slugs Edge Sagehens 1-0

Claremont, Calif. - Alika Okamitsu scored 18 minutes into the game as the UC Santa Cruz Men's Soccer team edged Pomona-Pitzer 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon.

With the loss the Sagehens drop to 3-3 on the year after playing their final non-conference game of the season. UC Santa Cruz improves to 5-2 on the year, including 3-0 against SCIAC teams after also defeating Whittier and Chapman.

The game winning goal was set up when the Sagehens were trying to clear the ball from their defensive end after a corner kick. The Banana Slugs earned possession back 35 yards from goal and played the ball down the right sideline. Zach Hummel was able to turn the corner past a Pomona-Pitzer defender and played a low cross into the middle of the box, where Okamitsu was able to one-time it into the net past sophomore goalie Nigel Brady (Sacramento, Calif.).

Pomona-Pitzer's best chance to tie came in the closing minutes of the first half as senior forward Danny Nasry (Portland, Ore.) got in behind the defense, but goalie Nate Levinson rushed off his line and was able to smother the shot at the top of the 18-yard box. Levinson also came off his line to block a 15-yard shot from junior midfielder Michael Ceragioli (Incline Village, Nev.) in the best chance the Sagehens had in the second half.

Pomona-Pitzer finished with a 9-4 edge in shots in a game that was mostly a defensive struggle in the midfield area, as well as a 6-1 edge in corner kicks. Levinson finished with three saves to get the shutout for the Banana Slugs.

The Sagehens will be back in action on Saturday when they return to SCIAC play with a road game at Whittier.