Sagehens Drop 3-1 Decision To Redlands, Bulldogs Take SCIAC Title

Sagehens Drop 3-1 Decision To Redlands, Bulldogs Take SCIAC Title

Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team gave up two second half goals on free kicks from nearly the same spot as it fell 3-1 to Redlands on Wednesday afternoon in a game which turned out to be for the SCIAC title. 

Redlands improves to 12-6 overall with the win and 11-5 in the SCIAC and earned the league title by virtue of Occidental's 1-0 loss to Chapman later in the afternoon. The Bulldogs are done with their SCIAC season with 33 points, but Pomona-Pitzer and Chapman are now tied for second at 9-4-2 with 29 points and cannot catch Redlands on Saturday in their finales. 

The Sagehens, who are now 11-5-2 overall, can still secure the second seed in the SCIAC Tournament and host a semifinal game on Thursday with a win in their finale (at Whittier on Saturday).

Redlands took a 1-0 lead at the 57:42 mark of the second half on the first of its goals off free kicks, which was taken from outside the left edge of the penalty area. Matej Kustura took it and served a ball to the far post, where it was headed back across the net by Ben Thompson. Chase Boone then crashed down the middle and was able to convert from in close to put the Bulldogs ahead. 

Just three minutes later, the Sagehens had the equalizer off a corner kick, as senior midfielder Drew Lind (pictured) was able to finish from the weak side. Senior midfielder Nathan Shekita took the corner and senior defender Geordie Marriner lept to get a flick header on it. Lind was there at the far post to volley it off a bounce and send it back through across the net and into the side netting to make the score 1-0 at the 60:45 mark.

However, just 3:31 later, the Sagehens were called for a foul from almost the same spot on the field, although 3-5 yards further away from goal. Once again Kustura took it, and once again he picked out a teammate's head at the far post, as this time defender Tom Elsea came forward and headed it straight in from the top of the six.

Lind almost had an equalizer soon after as Matthew Marvin had his initial shot saved by Josh Haskill, and Lind was in alone to put home the rebound, but he was flagged for offsides on the initial shot. Senior midfielder Avery Raimondo gave Pomona-Pitzer a chance with a huge save, clearing a rebound shot off the line taken by Colin Zaccagnio (after Elsea's first effort was saved by senior goalie Nigel Brady). 

Sophomore defender Chase Abelson had a strong bid for a tying goal from outside the box in the 83rd minute, but he missed wide right by inches. Redlands finally put an end to any comeback hopes with 3:02 left as Charles Izydorek scored a goal for the eighth straight game, working a give and go on a counter with Kustura, who picked up his third assist of the day.

Redlands finished with an 18-14 edge in shots, as Haskill had six saves in goal. Brady had six saves as well for the Sagehens.

Pomona-Pitzer closes out its regular season at Whittier on Saturday night and then will find out its SCIAC semifinal opponent for next Thursday, Nov. 6. The SCIAC Postseason Tournament title game will be on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the site of the highest remaining seed.