Early Goal Holds Up As Men's Soccer Clinches SCIAC Title

Early Goal Holds Up As Men's Soccer Clinches SCIAC Title

Pasadena, Calif. - Sophomore midfielder Arash Mahboubi (La Canada, Calif. - pictured, photo by Carol Clawson) scored in the fourth minute as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team wrapped up the 2012 SCIAC championship and the top seed in the conference tournament with a 1-0 win at Caltech on Wednesday.

The win was the 10th in a row for the Sagehens, improving their record to 13-4-1 overall and 12-2-1 in the SCIAC, coming a long way since a 2-2 start in league play that included a 6-1 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and a 6-2 loss to Whittier. Caltech remains winless at 0-17 overall and 0-16 in the league with the narrow loss.

Mahboubi's goal was his second of the season and came on the first shot of the game at the 3:27 mark, after he weaved through several Beaver defenders along the left side before beating goalkeeper Wesley Swank.

Pomona-Pitzer outshot Caltech 20-5 and dominated possession for most of the contest, but were never able to get an insurance goal, as their shots mostly ended up off-target. Junior forward Harris Levin (Sacramento, Calif.) came the closest to making the score 2-0 when he hit the post early in the second half. Swank finished the day with five saves for the Beavers, including back-to-back saves in rapid succession in the 71st minute.

Senior goalie Rollie Thayer (Shorewood, Minn.) had three saves for the Sagehens to pick up his third straight shutout. He came up with his third save with 7:00 to go off a shot from Jean-A Turban, and Theo Wilkening missed wide 30 seconds later for Caltech as their bid for an equalizer came up empty.

Pomona-Pitzer has not lost since Sept. 22 at Whittier, which was followed by a 1-1 tie at Redlands on Sept. 24. Since then, the Sagehens have outscored their opponents 21-4 over the last 10 games, all victories, seven of which have been shutouts.

The regular season concludes with a home game against La Verne on Saturday for 11 a.m. The game will not affect the SCIAC standings, but the Sagehens are currently ranked seventh in the NSCAA West Region rankings (with Redlands in sixth, who Pomona-Pitzer defeated 1-0 on Monday), which keeps Pomona-Pitzer in NCAA at-large contention if it fails to win the conference tournament next week.

Pomona-Pitzer will host a SCIAC semifinal on Thursday against the fourth seed, which will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season. The posteason championship will be Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Saturday's game will also be Senior Day for the five seniors in the Men's Soccer Class of 2013. The class began their careers with a SCIAC Championship in 2009 as freshmen, and end it with a second one as seniors.