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Claremont, Calif. - Freshman forward Voja Maric had a goal and an assist in the first half (goal pictured), and the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team held on down the stretch for a 3-1 win over UC Santa Cruz on Tuesday.
With the win, the Sagehens improve to 1-2 on the young season, breaking into the win column after home losses to Carthage and Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday and Sunday. UC Santa Cruz falls to 0-3, after also falling to Occidental and Cal Lutheran on its trip to Southern California.
Maric staked the Sagehens to an early 2-0 lead, as he very nearly had both goals. His shot hit off the post just over 12 minutes into the game, and senior midfielder Michael Ceragioli was first to the loose ball at the top of the six and blasted a shot home from close range to make it 1-0 at the 12:10 mark.
Just 5:16 later, Maric added a goal of his own as he took a short pass from senior midfielder Harris Levin inside the top edge of the box, spun off a defender, and lunged forward to chip the ball into the upper-right corner for his first collegiate goal.
The Banana Slugs answered back, though, as Brock Kobayashi had a long run up the middle of the field, bouncing off a couple of Sagehen defenders on the way, before blasting a shot from just inside the top of the box into the right side of the net to make it 2-1 at the 23:02 mark.
The score remained unchanged until the final minute, as junior goalkeeper Nigel Brady came up big with a couple of saves. He deflected a long free kick from Conrad Rowling off the crossbar with 20 minutes to play, and then was able to tip a Kobayashi shot with just over five minutes left in the game to preserve the one-goal lead.
With the Banana Slugs pushing forward, Brady picked up a rare goalie assist as he sent a deep punt up the right sideline with just over a minute left. Junior midfielder Arash Mahboubi was first to the ball just over midfield, and pushed it forward behind the defense for a breakaway. He dribbled into the box, and slipped home a shot with 57 seconds left to give Pomona-Pitzer an insurance goal and a 3-1 win.
Brady had all five of his saves in the second half as he picked up the win in net. Pomona-Pitzer held a 13-11 edge in shots for the game, although the advantage was 8-3 in the first half before UC Santa Cruz had an 8-5 edge after halftime. Nate Levinson had four saves for the Banana Slugs, including a fingertip save on a breakaway from Lawrence McDonald in the first half to keep the score 2-1.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Monday when it opens SCIAC play with a home contest against La Verne at 4 p.m., which will followed by another home league game against neighborhood rival CMS next Wednesday.
Pomona-Pitzer Breaks Into Win Column, Defeats UC Santa Cruz 3-1
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