Merkle Nets Game-Winner As Sagehens Escape Caltech

Merkle Nets Game-Winner As Sagehens Escape Caltech

Pasadena, Calif. - Freshman defender Jake Merkle (pictured) scored his first collegiate goal early in the second half to give the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team a 1-0 road win over Caltech on Wednesday afternoon. 

The win was the sixth in the last seven games for the Sagehens, who improve to 8-2-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the SCIAC at the midway point of the conference season. Caltech falls to 0-10 overall and 0-9 in the league. 

The Sagehens outshot Caltech 22-3 for the game, including 16-0 in the second half after an opening 45 minutes that was fairly evenly played, with Pomona-Pitzer holding just a 6-3 edge in shots and neither goalie having to make a save (although junior defender Mark Raftrey did hit the crossbar for the Sagehens).

However, the scoreless deadlock didn't last long in the second half, as Raftrey found Merkle with a cross 7:04 into the second stanza to give the Sagehens the 1-0 lead. Caltech goalie John David Feist had six saves in the second half to keep his team in striking distance, but the Sagehens were able to handle two second half corner kicks from the Beavers to prevent them from seeking out an equalizer.

Pomona-Pitzer has a week off after a busy stretch of games before resuming conference play next Wednesday with a 4 p.m. home game against Cal Lutheran.