Men's Soccer Back In Playoff Chase After Edging Cal Lutheran 1-0

Men's Soccer Back In Playoff Chase After Edging Cal Lutheran 1-0

Claremont, Calif. - Freshman forward Voja Maric (pictured) scored with 22:22 left in the first half and junior goalie Nigel Brady had several big saves late as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team defeated Cal Lutheran 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

With the win, the Sagehens get back level in the SCIAC at 6-6-1 with three games to play and move to 7-9-1 overall. Cal Lutheran falls to 6-5-2 in the SCIAC, as both teams are less than a game behind La Verne (7-6) for the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament.

The game-winning goal was set up by junior midfielder Nathan Shekita, who had the ball 40 yards from goal. He picked out Maric making a run, and slotted a through ball between two Cal Lutheran defenders. Maric was able to get onto the back end of it along the right side of the penalty area and hit a low shot past onrushing Cal Lutheran goalkeeper Jack Duncan and into the lower left corner at the 22:38 mark of the first half.

Pomona-Pitzer appeared to be in good shape to hold on for the 1-0 win, as Cal Lutheran struggled to create quality chances for most of the contest. However, the Kingsmen pushed extra players forward and peppered the Pomona-Pitzer net with 10 shots in the final 14 minutes. Sergio Torres looked like he had a bid for the tying goal at the near post with just over 10 minutes left, but a Sagehen defender was able to deflect it just wide for a corner kick.

Brady came up with a big save of a hard Cameron Rude strike from inside the box in the closing minutes, popping the ball into the air and catching it. Thiago Gaglianone also hit a 25-yard blast with 1:00 to play that Brady was able to cover to thwart the final chance for the Kingsmen.

Cal Lutheran held a 17-10 edge in shots on the day, getting most of that advantage late. Pomona-Pitzer did force Duncan into seven saves, including a tough deflection of a knuckling free kick from Matty Marvin early in the second half.

The Sagehens will look to take another step towards postseason contention when they travel to Chapman on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest.