CLAREMONT, Calif. - Cole Smith and Henry Kraham scored goals and the defense held Pomona-Pitzer to only two shot attempts, neither on net, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team took a 2-0 road win over the Sagehens on Wednesday afternoon.
The shutout was the fifth in a row for the Stags to start the season, as they improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the SCIAC after earning a No. 24 national ranking in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll from earlier this week. It was also the sixth straight shutout for the program overall, including a 3-0 win over La Verne in last year's regular season finale.
The eventual game-winner was scored in the 16th minute, as sophomore defender William Birchard worked an overlapping run with sophomore midfielder Nate Huntington along the right sideline. Birchard was able to free himself for a cross, and Smith crashed in from the weak side, jumped in the air, and one-timed a half-volley into the net for his third goal of the season.
The 1-0 lead held until the second half, when the Stags converted off a corner kick. Junior defender Adam Singer got his head to the ball and sent it towards the Pomona-Pitzer net. The ball pinged around off of a couple of legs, before finding its way to Kraham inside the six-yard box, who calmly buried the shot into the net for his first goal of the year.
Other than the two goals, the story was largely the CMS defense, which continued to stymie its opponents. Freshman goalie Jacob Mays had his fifth straight shutout to start his career but did not have to make a save as both Pomona-Pitzer shot attempts missed the target. In fact, Mays has had to make only seven saves through his first five games to record all five shutouts. Birchard, Singer, sophomore Nate Joseph, and sophomore Kevin Proudfoot made up the back four against the Sagehens, with senior Aidan Johnson playing the holding midfielder role in front of them.
CMS will be back in action when it returns to Pritzlaff Field to take on Cal Lutheran on Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest.