Poets cruise past Sagehens 4-0; Clinch No. 3 seed in SCIAC Playoffs
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – In front of a raucous crowd of almost 500 and an afternoon full of senior day festivities and beautiful weather, the Whittier College men's soccer team came away with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer.
With the win, the Purple and Gold clinch the No. 3 seed in the SCIAC post season tournament where they will travel to take on the Stags of Claremont-M-S on Wednesday, November 2 with the time to be announced.
The previous time the Poets and Sagehens met, Pomona-Pitzer came away with a 1-0 victory, but this time around the Poets were prepared and determined to achieve the No. 3 seed and their third straight season making the post season tournament.
Whittier now runs their record to 10-7 and 9-4 in SCIAC, while Pomona-Pitzer drops to 8-8 and 8-5 in SCIAC.
At the start of the game, there were fans in attendance with cowbells, horns, and words saying "Go Soccer" painted on their bodies, and it was an atmosphere set for a Poet victory.
The first half was a stalemate with both teams playing very strong defensively despite Whittier outshooting the Sagehens 6-1. The Purple and Gold defenders who were led by captains Ian Cromwell and Jamie Manning made it very difficult for the Sagehens to even get past midfield to get open looks.
You knew it would be a long day for the Sagehens after the Poets took three hard shots within the 7th minute by Adolfo Santos and Patricio Carregha. After these shots, the Poets continued to play aggressively getting three more shots on goal that led them into the half tied up at 0-0.
Coming out of the break, the Poets continued to play physical and aggressive soccer and it paid off in the 55th minute when senior Sam Russell took a shot within the box that was saved by Sagehen goalkeeper Nathaniel Anderson, but Russel then got the rebound and knocked it back in for his fourth goal in two games and his eighth goal of the season to put the Poets up 1-0.
But the Purple and Gold wouldn't stop there as freshman Devin Guthrie came down the field and got past the Sagehen defenders as Santos gave him a through ball that he put away for his fifth goal of the season to put the Poets up 2-0.
Senior Jonathan Palomino then took the ball ten minutes later and passed a ball out to Carregha on the wing that he knocked in from 20 yards out that bent into the upper right portion of the goal that put the Poets up 3-0.
Then before anyone could even blink, Santos then got into the mix and came down the field on the ensuing possession and bent in a ball from 25 yards out that went over the Sagehen defenders and into the upper right part of the goal to put the Poets up 4-0 and giving them a lead they would not relinquish.
The difference in the game though was corner kicks as the Poets had 15 compared to the Sagehens 1. Even though Whittier never scored off of any of them, it opened up more opportunities for the Poets that kept the Sagehens on their heels throughout the game.
Whittier now looks to make a run into the SCIAC post-season as they prepare to take on the Stags of Claremont-M-S on Wednesday, November 2 with the time to be announced.