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The Sagehen Report for October 8

Ryan Higgins '14 had five goals in a SCIAC-opening win over La Verne and added the go-ahead goal in the fourth quarter of a 10-8 win over 19th-ranked Cal Baptist.

Ryan Higgins '14 had five goals in a SCIAC-opening win over La Verne and added the go-ahead goal in the fourth quarter of a 10-8 win over 19th-ranked Cal Baptist.

This week in Sagehen Athletics saw Men’s Soccer vault into first place in the SCIAC with two one-goal wins, receiving both strong offensive production from its defensive players, and strong defensive production from its offensive players, while Women’s Soccer and Men’s Water Polo also picked up huge victories.

Men’s Soccer traveled to CMS game on Saturday in a battle between the top two teams in the SCIAC standings. The Stags came in with a half-game lead on Pomona-Pitzer and took a 1-0 lead into intermission on a free kick that deflected off a Sagehen player’s head and into the net. However, Erik Munzer PI ’13 came through with two goals in the second half to help carry Pomona-Pitzer to the come-from-behind win, scoring the game-winner from 30 yards out with just under 12 minutes to play. Munzer is a four-year starting central defender, who had four goals in his entire career (in 64 games) coming into the contest, but helped the Sagehens move to top of the SCIAC with goals No. 5 and No. 6.

On Wednesday, Pomona-Pitzer was put in a predicament when goalie Rollie Thayer ’13 went down with an injury midway through the first half. Goalie Nigel Brady ’15 was already sidelined with an injury, which meant that starting forward Guy Thyer ’16 had to put on a goalkeeper’s jersey for the first time this season. Thyer played 20 minutes in net and came through with two saves and a key punch-out of a dangerous free kick in the closing moments of the first half to keep the score 0-0. Thayer came back from his injury for the second half, allowing Thyer to move back to forward, and the two combined on a shutout win. A Lawrence McDonald PI ’15 goal with 7:00 to play provided all of the game’s offense in a 1-0 Sagehen victory. Pomona-Pitzer concludes a busy stretch when it hosts Cal Lutheran on Monday at 4 p.m. and travels to Chapman on Wednesday at 4 p.m., before getting seven days off to rest for the homestretch.

Women’s Soccer had the most dramatic win of the week, as it defeated CMS in overtime on Saturday. Allie Tao ’14 scored her second goal of the game with 4:01 left in the first extra session to give the Sagehens the 2-1 win, after CMS tied the score with just over six minutes remaining in regulation. The game-winner came when Tao crashed in from the weak side after a shot from Dana Christensen PI ’15 was saved by CMS goalie Hannah Dunham and rolled across the goalmouth. Her first goal of the game was a 25-yard blast that knuckled into the left side of the net.

Tao has been a frequent goal scorer for the Sagehens in her career, but Wednesday was a different story as three different players earned their first collegiate goals in a 3-1 win over La Verne. Charlotte Fisken ’14 broke a scoreless tie early in the second half, and Christensen added an insurance goal 10 minutes later. After La Verne pulled within 2-1 in the 82nd minute, Julia Dohner ’16 answered right back two minutes later with a goal to put the game away. The two wins enabled Pomona-Pitzer to stay in the top four in the conference, setting up two key games this week, as it hosts fifth-place Chapman on Wednesday and travels to first-place Cal Lutheran on Saturday.

Men’s Water Polo started out the year with an 0-11 September, facing 11 teams ranked in the top 20 (seven in the top 10). That daunting schedule was more than enough to get the Sagehens ready for SCIAC play, as they opened the game with a 6-0 run and cruised to a comfortable 12-7 win over La Verne, behind five goals from Ryan Higgins ’14. Pomona-Pitzer also went 3-1 at the Gary Troyer Tournament on Friday and Saturday, defeating No. 19 Cal Baptist on Friday, as Higgins broke a 7-7 tie midway through the fourth quarter, and Jason Cox PI ’13 and Cody Moore ’13 added late insurance goals in a 10-8 win.

The Sagehens also added a 14-10 win over Harvard in front of an overflow crowd at Haldeman Pool, and split their Saturday matches against Johns Hopkins (a 10-9 loss) and Fordham (a 13-5 win). Jarrod Gaut PI ’14 had a huge day on Saturday with eight goals in the two games combined (four in each contest) to give him 14 goals total on the week (after coming into the week with three). The Sagehens are on the road this week against Cal Lutheran on Wednesday and Occidental on Saturday.

Football returns home this week for its second home game of the year, and its first since Sept. 9 against Menlo College, taking on Whittier at 7 p.m. Luke Sweeney ’13 moved into second place on Pomona-Pitzer’s all-time rushing list with 169 yards in a 24-7 loss to Chapman on Saturday, giving him 2,568 in his career. The school record of 2,767 is held by Jim Regan, and Sweeney could break the mark with a 200-yard game against Whittier, which seems like a tall order, although he did have 246 yards in last year’s game at Whittier.

Volleyball will also have two home matches this weekend, as it hosts Caltech on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Occidental later the same day at 5 p.m. The Sagehens played without top hitter Michelle Schultz ’16 this week due to injury and went 0-3 with losses to CMS, La Verne and Whittier. Pomona-Pitzer showed plenty of heart playing shorthanded, as two games against La Verne went to extra points (26-24, 25-13, 26-24), while the Sagehens took the first game from Whittier 31-29 before falling 3-1.   

The Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams were off this weekend, but compete at the SCIAC Multi-Duals this Friday in La Mirada. 

To keep up to date with all the Pomona-Pitzer athletics action, follow us on the web at www.sagehens.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sagehens, or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sagehens

This Week’s Schedule

Home Events In Bold

Monday, Oct. 8
Men’s Soccer (H) vs. Cal Lutheran, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 9
Volleyball at Cal Lutheran, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 10
Women’s Soccer (H) vs. Chapman, 4 p.m.
Men’s Soccer at Chapman, 4 p.m.
Men’s Water Polo at Cal Lutheran, 4 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 12
Men’s Cross Country at SCIAC Multi-Duals, 4:30 p.m.
Women’s Cross Country at SCIAC Multi-Duals, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 13
Volleyball (H) vs. Caltech, 11 a.m.
Men’s Water Polo at Occidental, 11 a.m.
Women’s Soccer at Cal Lutheran, 1 p.m.
Volleyball (H) vs. Occidental, 5 p.m.
Football (H) vs. Whittier, 7 p.m.