Sagehens Prepare For Big Week of Home Games
Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team will put its five-game SCIAC win streak on the line with two big home games this week against Whittier on Wednesday (4 p.m.) and Redlands on Saturday (11 a.m.).
Redlands currently leads the SCIAC at 6-0, with Pomona-Pitzer one game behind at 5-1 and Whittier in third at 4-2. The Sagehens dropped their SCIAC opener on the road to Redlands back on Sept. 14, but have not lost a conference game since, as they have allowed only one goal in their last five conference games (in a 4-1 win over Caltech).
Pomona-Pitzer has had its success despite a young team that is currently starting six freshmen and no seniors. Juniors co-captains Eric Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif.) and Robbie Hull (Salt Lake City, Utah) have handled much of the leadership duties, while junior goalkeeper Rollie Thayer (Shorewood, Minn. - pictured) has four shutouts in his last five starts.
Munzer has had a huge role in shoring up a defensive back four with three freshmen, who have all played key roles in the Sagehens rapid improvement. Geordie Marriner (Bellingham, Wash.) has played center back alongside Munzer, while outside backs Mark Raftrey (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Adam Lewis (Corvallis, Ore.) have both developed into important cogs in the team's defensive unit. Hull has also had a terrific season in his defensive midfield role in support of the back four.
Offensively, freshmen connected for both goals last week in 1-0 wins over Occidental and Cal Lutheran. Freshman forward Lawrence McDonald (Oakland, Calif.) set up freshman forward Nate Shekita (San Jose, Calif.) in the Occidental win, while Shekita took a pass from freshman midfielder Avery Raimondo (Quogue, N.Y.) and set up the winning goal from freshman midfielder Arash Mahboubi (La Canada, Calif.) in the Cal Lutheran victory.
Mahboubi became the 10th different goal scorer for Pomona-Pitzer in the first 10 games this year. In fact, the team's first eight goals came from eight different players, before McDonald became the first player to get his second goal in the Caltech win. Shekita currently leads the Sagehens with three goals and one assist for seven points on the year, while Thayer has lowered his goals against average to just 0.90 on the season.
The Redlands game will start the second half of the SCIAC schedule, and it will also be a test for how far the Sagehens have come in a short time. The Bulldogs won the first meeting between the teams 6-0 back on Sept. 14, but Pomona-Pitzer has not lost since, other than a non-league game against Hendrix when it rested its entire starting line-up.
You can get live updates from both games by following us on Twitter (@Sagehens).