Whittier Takes 2-0 Decision From Sagehens

Whittier Takes 2-0 Decision From Sagehens

Claremont, Calif. - The Whittier Men's Soccer team scored twice in the second half as it broke open a scoreless contest and captured a 2-0 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday afternoon in a SCIAC matchup at Pomona-Pitzer Soccer Stadium. 

With the loss, the Sagehens drop to 1-3-1 overall and 1-2 in the SCIAC, while Whittier improves to 3-1-1 overall and stays unbeaten in league play at 2-0-1. 

The Sagehens, who took 13 corner kicks on the day, were a bit unlucky at times, as they grazed the outside of the post once in each half. Junior forward Voja Maric hit the outside of the right post from a tight angle in the first half, and junior forward Felipe Galvis did the same thing with a header in the second half.

Freshman Tomas Negritto also almost had a goal late in the first half when he toe-poked the ball towards net in traffic at the top of the six-yard box, but Whittier goalie Jorge Rivas was able to deflect it with his shin to keep it from crossing the line.

The Poets finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the 62nd minute, as Ryan Wood took a quick pass in the box from Pablo Gomez and hit a shot past Pomona-Pitzer goalie Ben Mitchell from 12 yards out along the right side of the box with 28:51 on the clock. With 10:03 left, the Poets stretched the lead to 2-0 when Jacob Schaniel got to a Sagehen clearance outside the box and blasted a 30-yard shot into the upper-left corner to make the score 2-0. 

"It felt just like the Occidental game (a 2-1 loss on Saturday) all over again," said Head Coach Bill Swartz. "Last year we went to the NCAA Tournament because guys were willing to put the work in to make things happen. This year, we seem to just be sitting back and expecting that things will just happen on their own. We need to find another level of commitment."

Mitchell had five saves, all in the first half, for the Sagehens to keep the game scoreless heading into the half. Rivas finished with four saves for the Poets.

Pomona-Pitzer is back in action when three home games in a four-day span, starting with a non-league game against Washington (Mo.) on Friday at 4 p.m. The Sagehens then face Cal Lutheran on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Chapman on Monday at 4 p.m.

(pictured: junior defender Chase Abelson chases a ball down in the second half)