SCIAC Men's Soccer Season Update
Now several games into
the season, the men’s soccer teams of the SCIAC are really
starting to see how this 2011 schedule in going to unfold.
The Stags are already off to a phenomenal start at 4-1, and sit as one of the top SCIAC teams. After losing their season opener to Cal Baptist, the CMS Stags haven’t looked back, outscoring opponents consistently - as displayed by the David Taylor’s three-goal game to defeat Cal Lutheran in the Kingsmen’s conference opener.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Panthers of Chapman University finally had their five game winning streak broken in a match-up against the Vanguard Lions. This game also saw the end of Chapman’s shutout streak, after four consecutive games without allowing a goal. This loss to Vanguard may put a hiccup in their momentum, but these Panthers still have a lot of season ahead of them, and are going to look to maintain the pace set by their 5-0 start, the best in school history.
In the middle ranks, with this partial season already punctuated by satisfying victory and bitter defeat (sometimes in equal doses), several of the SCIAC soccer teams are sitting right in the middle, reminding fans that each of these teams are capable of big things. The Poets of Whittier College are hitting their stride with new head coach Shea Harwell, recording two conference wins, despite losing their first three games of the season. The Redlands Bulldogs are currently 3-3 after a few big wins (vs. Pomona-Pitzer 6-0) and some devastating losses (like the double-overtime nail-biter against Chapman).
The Sagehens were able to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs to come up with a late-game victory over La Verne, and improving their conference record to 1-1. The Panthers, however, have not been producing as they hoped to this season. After losing several key players at the end of last season, the team’s only 2011 win has been the season opener. After back-to-back conference losses, the Panthers will be looking to execute well, vying for victory against Occidental and Cal Lutheran in the next two games.
The Tigers of Occidental College are 1-3 overall, with one conference win over Caltech. With their postseason goals still the highest priority, the Tigers are going to have to figure out a way to capitalize on their next few conference games, and turn their win-loss numbers around in their favor.
Rounding out the SCIAC men’s soccer lineup are Caltech and Cal Lutheran, both of to less than ideal starts this year. Both teams have yet to record a win this year. Caltech had high hopes coming into this season, and will have to make major changes to come back from four straight losses, three of which ended in disappointing shut-outs (5-0, 4-0, and 6-0). The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen are in a similar boat, coming in with high expectations after last year’s tumultuous and injury-riddled season. While the Kingsmen have managed a goal in each of their games, they will need to overcome several close losses to maintain a presence in the conference.
As regular season gameplay continues to unfold, SCIAC teams will be on the lookout for the Stags of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who have made both their ability to dominate the field, as well as their intentions for the postseason, apparent to the entire conference.