Second-Half Header Pushes Stags Past Leopards

Second-Half Header Pushes Stags Past Leopards

CLAREMONT, Calif. – After a scoreless first-half, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team scored a quick goal after the break off the head of Matthew Swift (CMC) to open SCIAC play with a 1-0 victory over La Verne. This win marks the Stags first victory of the season. The Stags controlled play for a majority of the match, but had to weather a flurry of activity from the Leopards at the end of the contest to preserve the one goal lead.

The win on Pritzlaff Field extends the Stags' streak for victories in home openers to six.

Despite a scoreless opening half it was not without action. Both sides had opportunities throughout the first 45 minutes with the Stags having the better chances of the two sides. CMS earned a corner kick less than three minutes into the contest. Unfortunately for the home squad, they were unable to attempt a shot following the corner. Just five minutes later, Yusuke Kobayashi (CMC) attempted the first shot of the contest on a free kick that was saved by the La Verne keeper.

In the 16th minute the Leopards had one of their better opportunities of the half. Against the run of play Christopher Wong wound up from distance and left a shot fly high over the crossbar.

The Stags followed up the attempt by the Leopards with the four shots in an eight minute stretch from the 21st to 29th minute. The La Verne keeper was forced to make a pair of saves during this stretch for the Stags, turning away shots from Aidan Johnson (CMC) and Kobayashi in the 21st and 23rd minutes, respectively.

The Stags continued to control the pace of play throughout the first-half with possession in the midfield and picking off a number of errant passes in the midfield by the Leopards. In the final 15 minutes of the half, the Stags ripped six more shots, putting four on frame. All four shots on goal were stopped by Rameriez between the pipes for four of his seven saves in the half.

The half ended with the Stags holding a 10-2 advantage in shots, but the scoreboard still showed 0-0.

The Stags started the second-half with the ball and wasted little time pushing the ball deep into the corner. Freshman forward Nate Huntington (CMC), playing in his first game on Pritzlaff Field, sent a beautiful cross to Matthew Swift at the top of the six. Swift got a head on the cross and redirected it past the keeper to put the Stags on the board.

Swift's first goal of the season came just 37 seconds into second-half.

Following the score, the Leopards began pushing for the equalizer. La Verne tested CMS keeper Daniel Cui (CMC) with shots on goal in the 77th, 86th, and 88th minute but Cui turned all three away to preserve the clean sheet.

As time winded down, the contest turned physical. A total of six cards were handed out over the final 20 minutes including five in the final minute. When the dust settled the Stags finished on top for the 1-0 victory to open the SCIAC season in the left side of the ledger.

CMS outshot the Leopards 20-7 in the contest, playing a more poised, possession-based offense compared to the direct attacking approach from La Verne.

Box Score

The victory bumps the Stags to 1-2-0 on the season and 1-0-0 in the SCIAC. CMS will take the week off before hitting the road to Whittier on Sept. 13. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.