Players of the week

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Julie Khil & Michaela Tsuha:

Michaela Tsuha (junior) and Julie Khil (sophomore) teamed up to score Occidental women’s soccer’s lone goal in their final match of the season Saturday. The Tigers lost 2-1 to Redlands and fell one game short of the postseason. Midfielder Tsuha found Khil, an attacker, in the 51st minute to even the score after the Bulldogs had found the back of the net in the first 10 minutes of the contest to even the score at one goal apiece. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Redlands scored in the 73rd minute and dashed Occidental’s playoff hopes.

According to Occidental head women’s soccer coach Colm McFeely, both sides put together strong defensive performances. McFeely also said that even though the team lost, the Tigers put in the high level of effort that he had expected of them.

“I think it’s natural to look back and pick out things that could have been done better, but overall the team played their hearts out, playing with energy and a commitment that was not fully rewarded,” McFeely said via email.

Though they were unable to get a second goal, Khil believes the hard work that Tsuha put in throughout Saturday’s game was a common characteristic of her time on the field.

“[Tsuha’s] drive to attack from the sidelines and take people on in the box shows how dangerous she can be on the field,” Khil said via email. “She has amazing speed and quick footwork and the goal can be a great representation of that.”

The two have worked together multiple times this season, trading back and forth for assist and goal combinations. Tsuha, like Khil, gives all of the credit to her offensive partner.

“Julie in particular had an awesome game,” Tsuha said. “She is always a really dynamic player, so it is fun to watch her play and I am glad she got a goal in. I wish we could have got a second one in, but that is the way it goes.”

John Guzman-Aguilar

John Guzman-Aguilar (senior) won the SCIAC Cross-Country Championship Meet for the second year in a row on Saturday. In the 8k race Guzman paced himself at the front of the pack to win with a time of 25:51.55.

“In my opinion, John beat the most competitive SCIAC cross country field assembled in the last decade,” head cross country coach Rob Bartlett said via email. “To win a race like that against great opponents you have to earn it and I have no doubt that John deserved to win.”

Guzman, who has been recovering from injuries throughout the spring and summer, was uncertain of how he would perform going into the race. But his goal never shifted from finishing in first place.

“I have been running pretty badly, like in the previous races, so I had a few doubts,” Guzman said. “But the coach, Rob Bartlett, he told me, ‘You are in great shape, you are ready to go.’ And I just trusted it and went out there and … I think it just kind of came together during the race.”

According to Guzman, the rain and muddy course allowed him to remain focused on winning the race, rather than on what time he recorded.

Guzman will compete again on Nov. 15 at the NCAA West Regional Competition in Salem, Ore. Should Guzman qualify at this meet, he will move on to the NCAA Division III Championships in Mason, Ohio on Nov. 22.