Maric Scores Twice To Lead Sagehens Into SCIAC Finals

Maric Scores Twice To Lead Sagehens Into SCIAC Finals

Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore Voja Maric scored a goal in each half to lead the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team to a 2-1 win over Chapman in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament Semifinals on Thursday afternoon. 

With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 13-5-2 overall and will advance to Saturday's finals against the winner between Occidental and Redlands this evening. Top-seeded Redlands would host the finals with a win, while Occidental would travel to Pomona-Pitzer if they pull off the road upset. 

Maric's first goal came in the 19th minute as he played the ball back to sophomore Matthew Marvin 40 yards from goal. Maric then peeled off on his run as Marvin one-timed a ball over the top behind the defense. Maric got in behind the Chapman back four along the right edge of the box, and shot the ball across the front of the goal and inside the left post to make the score 1-0 at the 18:40 mark (pictured: the Sagehens celebrate the first half goal from Maric).

The Panthers nearly pulled even with one minute left in the half, but Zev Gollin missed wide from 15 yards out after finding a seam behind the Pomona-Pitzer defense. 

Maric then pushed the lead to 2-0 early in the second half when he once again got behind the Chapman defense. The play started off the foot of goalie Nigel Brady, and senior Drew Lind had a flick on header from midfield that sprung Maric in behind the defense. Nick Berardi came off his line to save the first effort from Maric, but after a scramble in the box, Maric was able to get to the loose ball and convert into the empty net to give the Sagehens some insurance at the 52:04 mark.

Brady had a big save in the 68th minute when Chapman's Marco Saglimbeni flicked a ball to himself inside the box and was in behind the Pomona-Pitzer defense, but Brady was able to dive to deflect the open look. 

That would prove to be an especially big save as the Panthers converted off a free kick with 8:12 to go, with Gino Belassen bending a cross to the far post that was tipped in with a quick touch by Jake Sarmiento. However, the Sagehens were able to lock down on defense and block the only shot attempt Chapman had in the last eight minutes. 

The Panthers finished with a 12-8 edge in shots, although the Sagehens spent much of the game protecting their lead. Brady had four saves to get the win in net, while Berardi had one save for the Panthers. 

Pomona-Pitzer lost both meetings with Redlands this season, 2-1 in overtime at Redlands and 3-1 at home in a game that turned out to be for the regular season title. The Sagehens split with Occidental, winning 1-0 at home and falling 3-1 on the road.