Author: Ryan Whalen
Women’s Soccer (3-5-1 overall, 2-4 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s soccer team played two games last week, and both competitions were decided by a single goal. The predominantly underclassmen roster has grown accustomed to tight contests this season with more than half their games going into overtime and seven of 10 being determined by one score. The black and orange faced Chapman on Wednesday. The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead in the 26th minute, but standout forward Julie Khil (first-year) answered for the Tigers with a goal of her own in the 36th minute. Chapman scored the final and deciding goal of the match just three minutes after Khil’s equalizer. Neither team was able to score a second-half goal, and the Panthers took a 2-1 victory. The Tigers then took on another conference foe, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), on Saturday. The match was a defensive stalemate throughout the first half, and neither team could find the back of the net. However, CMS came out firing in the second half, netting the first goal of the game in the 54th minute and capturing a 1-0 lead. Occidental was unable to find any offensive momentum for the first 88 minutes of the game. Yet another newcomer stepped up for the black and orange when midfielder Kylie Takafuji (first-year) was able to rope in a goal with only one minute remaining in the contest to force overtime. Although the Tigers are now experienced in overtime matches, they couldn’t capture the victory against the Athenas, who struck with the golden goal in the 92nd minute of play to win 2-1. The women travel to Whittier on Saturday for a 7 p.m. match.
Men’s Soccer (2-9 overall, 1-7 SCIAC)
The Tiger men’s soccer team continued to struggle offensively in all three of their games last week. They traveled to La Verne on Wednesday and jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a goal by forward Marcus Brandford (senior) in the 5th minute. However, the Leopards quickly answered with goals in the 12th and 15th minutes to take a 2-1 advantage. La Verne added an insurance goal in the 72nd minute and the black and orange were unable to overcome the 3-1 deficit. The squad then surrendered their next two matches to Chapman and CMS on Saturday and Monday by scores of 3-0 and 3-1 respectively. The men travel to Cal Lutheran tonight at 7 p.m.
Men’s Water Polo (1-12 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
The men’s water polo team earned its first victory of the season last week and came close to notching several more. The Tigers’ win came during the first game of Friday’s double-header. The black and orange overwhelmed Penn State-Behrend with an offensive flurry, capturing the game by a score of 18-6. Despite the team’s early success, the men couldn’t notch another victory throughout the remainder of the tournament, losing 10-8 to Fordham in the second game of the day and dropping contests against Notre Dame (Ohio) 9-8 and Cal Baptist 17-8 on Saturday. Occidental also surrendered a pair on Sunday, losing 13-11 to Washington and Jefferson before falling to Whittier 15-10 in their SCIAC opener. The Tigers will look to snap their five-game losing streak next Wednesday when they host rival Redlands at Taylor Pool at 4 p.m.
The Occidental cross country teams participated in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday, and both the men and women had breakout performances from underclassmen. First-year Harrison Luft led the men’s side, finishing in 58th place with a time of 27:02.9 minutes. Fellow newcomer Landon Hart crossed the line less than five seconds after Luft at 27:07.3 minutes, good enough for 61st place. Additionally, Hart beat his personal record by more than a minute and a half. First-year Mel Devoney paced the women’s squad, capturing a team-best 54th place at 24:37.2 minutes. The women only had two other runners compete; first-years Anna Misenti and Bolivia Iezza took 106th and 111th, respectively. The Tigers chose to sit out the majority of their runners because they were still recovering from the previous weekend’s Roy Griak Invitational. Occidental will be out in full force for the SCIAC Multi-Dual Meet on Friday, Oct. 18.
Michaela Tsuha (Women’s Soccer #8)
The Tiger women’s soccer team is full of young talent. Its roster boasts five underclassmen who have started more than half of Occidental’s games so far this year. Sophomore midfielder Micaela Tsuha is one such underclassman that continues to step up for the black and orange, forcing opponents into close-game situations in the early going of the year. Tsuha, a second-team All-SCIAC selection as a first-year, has been a steady figure within the Occidental offensive and defensive systems. The Honolulu native has started all nine games this season and is currently second on the team in shots on goal (13) and third in shooting percentage (.650). Although Tsuha has been on target this season with her shot selection, she has been unable to sneak the ball past opposing goalies. Her lone goal of the season came during the 5-0 Occidental victory over Whittier three weeks ago. First-year teammates Kylie Takafuji and Julie Khil have picked up the slack, combining for six total goals, while upperclassmen Elissa Minimishin (senior) and Karina Garcia (junior) have combined for five goals and three assists. Tsuha and the rest of the women’s soccer squad will look to add to their win total tonight against Redlands at Patterson Field at 7 p.m.
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