CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore midfielder Nate Huntington scored in the first half and freshman forward Ethan Tyng scored in the second as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer improved to 11-2 on the year with a 2-0 home win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday evening at Pritzlaff Field.
With the win, the Stags stay tied for first in the SCIAC in the loss column at 8-2 and complete a season sweep of the Sagehens, after also defeating them in the first meeting on the road on Sept. 12 by the same 2-0 score. Pomona-Pitzer drops to 6-9 overall and 5-6 in the SCIAC with the loss.
The game was scoreless through the first 30 minutes despite a frantic sequence in which the Stags took four shots in the span of 10 seconds and were unable to convert. Adam Singer hit the crossbar off a corner kick, Daniel Rohde and Aidan Johnson each had rebound attempts with the Sagehen goalie out of net cleared off the line by Pomona-Pitzer defenders, and Rohde missed just wide of the left post on the fourth try.
The luck would change for the Stags in the 35th minute, though, as Huntington broke the scoreless deadlock. His first attempt was a bicycle kick off a cross that popped up in the air in a seemingly harmless attempt, but it came down in just the right place as it hit off the top of the crossbar and stayed in play. The rebound came right back to Huntington just outside the top of the six, and he half-volleyed a bouncing shot into the left side of the net for his second goal of the year.
The lead held at 1-0 until the second half, when Tyng doubled the lead with 27:38 remaining. After a long pass upfield, freshman William Barton played Tyng with a short pass, and Tyng settled and dribbled laterally across the top of the 18. While moving right to left, he cracked a left-footed shot that rocketed into the upper-right corner to stretch the lead to 2-0.
Singer almost made the lead 3-0 on a corner kick when he toe-poked a shot from six yards out that beat Pomona-Pitzer goalie Bryan Diangson, but Pomona-Pitzer came up with its third defensive save of the game to clear the ball out of danger. The Stags then dodged a bullet of their own in the 82nd minute, as Max Dewit blistered a shot from 25 yards out that forced freshman goalie Jacob Mays into a sprawling save. The rebound came loose to the right of the goal, where Bjord Sigurdsson looked like he might have a tap-in, but sophomore defender Kevin Proudfoot hustled back to save the shot over the end line for a corner kick.
The Stags had a week off since their last game, a 1-0 defeat at La Verne in which it held a 22-5 edge in shots and an 11-1 edge in shots on net, but came up on the short end of the score. Senior Aidan Johnson said that it was an important week to get refocused after a couple of setbacks following a 9-0 start.
"We just knew that we had to come out flying; we didn't want to have a similar result that we had at La Verne," he said. "We knew there were a lot of corrections that we had to make. Playing Pomona, everybody is super amped, and the entire week, the team was just popping in practice. Everyone was really involved and really excited, and it showed on the field tonight. I thought our guys played really well."
Mays finished with three saves to get his 10th shutout of the season in 13 starts, including the first eight games of the season, while lowering his goals against average to 0.31.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Cal Lutheran for a 7 p.m. start.