Sagehens Escape Chapman With 2-2 Tie, Remain Alone In First

Sagehens Escape Chapman With 2-2 Tie, Remain Alone In First

Orange, Calif. - Senior Drew Lind (pictured) scored two goals, the second on a penalty kick in the 86th minute to tie the score, as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team earned a 2-2 tie at Chapman on Monday evening in a key SCIAC match. 

The draw moves the Sagehens to 10-4-2 overall and 8-3-2 in the SCIAC with three regular season games remaining, keeping them a game in front of third-place Chapman at 7-4-2 in the league. In addition, with second-place Occidental's 1-1 tie against Cal Lutheran on Monday, Pomona-Pitzer maintains a half-game lead over Occidental (8-4-1) and controls its own destiny for the SCIAC title. 

Twice, Chapman took leads in the game, and both times, Lind was able to answer. The Panthers struck just 3:34 into the contest for an early 1-0 as Gino Belassen tucked a shot into the lower-left corner off a quick counter. However, just six minutes later, Lind got to a loose ball in the penalty area after a Sagehen corner kick and put a quick shot in from the top of the six-yard box to level the score 1-1. 

Pomona-Pitzer almost took a 2-1 lead late in the first half on a similar play, but junior midfielder Michael Cork had his shot cleared off the line by a Chapman defender.

The score stayed tied until late in the game, when the Panthers went ahead 2-1 on a goal by Daniel Malikyar. Sagehen goalie Nigel Brady made a tough save from point blank range on the initial shot, but Malikyar was the first to the rebound and was able to tap the ball into the empty net from the goalmouth area with 13:54 left to play.

The goal appeared to be holding up as the game-winner, but senior midfielder Arash Mahboubi was fouled in the box with less than five minutes to play. Lind stepped up to take the penalty kick, and had an anxious moment as his shot grazed the crossbar, but it dropped into the net to tie the score 2-2. 

Neither team had a great chance in overtime, as senior Nathan Shekita had an attempt from outside the box in the closing seconds of the first overtime saved by a dive from Chapman goalkeeper Nick Berardi. The rebound came loose, but nobody was following the play and Berardi was able to secure the rebound.

Chapman finished with a 16-6 edge in shots on the day, as Brady had five saves in goal for the Sagehens, compared to two for Berardi.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts Caltech for an 11 a.m. contest.