CMS Men's Soccer Maintains Sole Possession of First with 2-0 Win over Pomona-Pitzer

Center back Kevin Proudfoot and the CMS defense held Pomona-Pitzer to only six shots
Center back Kevin Proudfoot and the CMS defense held Pomona-Pitzer to only six shots

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior forward Cole Smith and first-year forward Jake Allmon had second-half goals as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team earned a 2-0 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday evening to keep its hold on first place in the SCIAC.

With the win, the Stags improve their record on the year to 9-2-1, including 6-0-1 in the SCIAC, while extending their unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1) since starting out 2-2. Pomona-Pitzer slips to 3-7-2 overall and 2-4-1 in league play with the loss. 

CMS went into the half in a scoreless tie after not generating many opportunities in the first 45 minutes. Pomona-Pitzer had a narrow 4-2 edge in shots in the first half, including a shot in the final minute of the half from Graeme Logan from 10 yards out that missed wide right.

The Stags, though, went into intermission and regrouped, with Smith able to unlock the defense in the early going of the second half to give CMS the lead.  Smith had the ball on the right side of the field where he was one-on-one with a Pomona-Pitzer defender, and after winning a 50-50 ball, he made a move back into the middle, where he was able to get a look from just inside the upper-right corner of the box. He picked out the near post, and was able to beat Pomona-Pitzer goalie Jonathan Rushton low for the first goal of the contest just 8:07 into the second half. 

"We had a little bit of a tough time getting the ball wide in the first half," said Smith. "That was something that we were trying to focus on in the second half because that's where our strength is, getting the ball wide and then getting it to our amazing forwards in the box. I was just trying to keep (the shot) on the floor; I have a tendency to hit the ball over, so I was just focusing on keeping it low and trying to make the goalie make a save."

Once the ice was broken, CMS was able to control play for most of the second half, outshooting Pomona-Pitzer 15-2 after the break, while holding a 5-0 edge in corner kicks. Five minutes after the Smith goal, sophomore forward William Barton nearly added to the Stag total with a chip shot from 12 yards out that hit off the crossbar and stayed out. In the 73rd minute, junior midfielder Henry Kraham had a 30-yard free kick that clanged off the right post, keeping the score 1-0. 

The Stags would finally get their insurance goal just a minute after Kraham hit the woodwork, as first-year forward Justin Blachman had his shot from 15 yards out saved by Rushton, but Allmon was there to slot home the rebound from the top of the six-yard box to make it a 2-0 game. 

CMS closed out the game in the final 15 seconds by hitting the frame for the third time in the second half, as Barton broke in off a turnover but hit his shot off the left post, leaving the final score 2-0. 

Sophomore goalie Eduardo De Anda made just one save in the contest to get the shutout and improve to 5-0 on the season, while Rushton had two saves for the Sagehens. CMS finished the game with a 17-6 edge in shots and an 8-1 edge in corner kicks. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Chapman for a 7 p.m. contest.