Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore defender Paul Picciano (pictured) scored his first two collegiate goals in the final 12 minutes as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team defeated Whittier 2-1 on Saturday.
With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 5-8-1 and 4-5-1 in the SCIAC, getting back in to the hunt for one of the top four spots in the league standings (which earns a postseason bid). Whittier slips to 7-5-1 overall and 6-3-1 in league play.
The Poets got on the board quickly in the 10th minute on a Jon Elvins goal, which came on a 40-yard free kick he put directly into the upper corner. Just 10 minutes later, though, Whittier was issued a red card and had to play a man down the rest of the way.
The Poets appeared to be in a position to hang on for the 1-0 win, when Picciano struck twice in rapid succession to steal the victory for the Sagehens. He scored the tying goal with 11:09 to play, knocking on a cross from junior midfielder Nathan Shekita. Just under five minutes later, he got behind the Whittier defense for a breakaway off a pass from senior midfielder Drew Lind and put in the game-winner with 6:18 left on the clock to make the score 2-1.
Whittier had one final chance in the 89th minute, but Gary Kelman's shot sailed high and the Sagehens were able to run out the clock.
Junior goalie Nigel Brady had six saves for Pomona-Pitzer to get the win in goal, while Whittier's Jorge Rivas had two saves, as the Poets finished with a narrow 10-8 edge in shots.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Monday when it travels to La Verne for a 7 p.m. contest.