CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore defender William Birchard set up the first goal and scored the second as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team, ranked No. 25 in the nation, picked up its 10th win of the season (and ninth shutout) with a 2-0 home win over Caltech on Wednesday evening at Pritzlaff Field.
With the win, the Stags now stand at 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the SCIAC, remaining alone in first in the conference standings. Caltech falls to 1-8 overall and 0-8 in league play.
Both goals were the direct result of Birchard's left foot, as he set up the first one with a perfect cross. From a tough angle near the left sideline, he bent a ball that took a right turn across the top of the six-yard box, where it found the foot of freshman forward William Barton, who one-timed a low shot under goalkeeper Joe Como and into the net to make the score 1-0 with 11:51 left in the half.
MSOC: Goal Stags! Beautiful bending cross from Birchard is finished in front by Barton - his fifth of the year. CMS up 1-0 on Caltech w 10 mins left in half. pic.twitter.com/zF0hheDamF— CMS Athletics (@AthleticsCMS) October 4, 2018
The score remained 1-0 until Birchard made his left foot heard from again, cracking a shot from long distance that hit off the right post and went into the net with 24 minutes left. Sophomore defender Nate Joseph began the play when he sent a long cross-field pass near the midfield stripe to Birchard, who settled it, and then darted into a gap between Caltech midfielders. With a head of steam behind him, Birchard let fly with a 25-yarder before the Beavers' back four could close out, and placed it perfectly off the inside of the right post for his third goal of the year.
The insurance goal gave the Stags plenty of breathing room down the stretch, as Caltech only occasionally threatened, finishing the game with seven shots, including one on net. Rohan Mirchandani had the best chance for the Beavers when he cracked a 25-yarder that sailed just over the crossbar in the 63rd minute in a bid to tie the score. Samir Johnson's shot in the 79th minute forced freshman goalie Jacob Mays to make his only save of the contest, as he picked up his ninth shutout in his first 11 collegiate contests.
CMS will be back in action on Saturday when it makes the short trip to La Verne at 11 a.m. to conclude its season series with the Leopards after winning the first meeting at home 3-0 back on Sept. 5.