Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Soccer team provided their biggest offensive output all season Wednesday night as they rolled past Caltech 4-0 at Memorial Stadium.
The Purple & Gold have now won two of their last three and jump-start their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) schedule with a win. They improve to 2-2, 1-0 SCIAC.
After putting up just one goal in the first half the Poets came out firing on all cylinders in the second combining for three straight, two of which came within seconds of each other. They got on the scoreboard early in the 14th minute of the first half drawing a corner. Erik Dimas (Pomona, Calif.) took the ensuing kick and found the head of Hayden Barnouw (Seattle, WA) in the box giving WC the early 1-0 lead.
The defensive unit stood tough all game limiting the Beavers to just four shots, with only one coming in the first half. Sophomore Teddy Nickerson (Seattle, WA) played all 90:00 minutes between the posts and was untested as he posted the shutout.
The insurance came in the second half. Head Coach Shea Harwell put in two subs in the 69th minute and they provided an impact with Dimas and Ethan Fletcher (Fort Collins, CO) both adding tallies. Matteo Loi (Kirkland, WA) took a strike from on top of the box, which was saved by Caltech goalie Richard Shim. The deflection went right to Dimas who finished moving the score to 2-0.
But the Purple & Gold weren't done there as Fletcher got into the mix :30 seconds later intercepting a bad pass from Shim to one of his defenders on the backline finishing for his first goal of his career. The final connection came with four minutes to play in the game from senior Devin De Leon-Dowd (Santa Fe, NM) who converted a free-kick left post that put the game out of reach.
Whittier outshot Caltech 19-4 and added eight corner kicks. Loi took six shots with two being on frame, RayRay Roberson (Albuquerque, NM) added three and Dimas, Fletcher, and Matt Urata-Espinosa (San Jose, Calif.) each with two.
"It's always big to get a win in SCIAC, especially the home opener," Harwell explained. "We have had about half of our players out with the flu this week and that meant players had to step-up and take on a larger role. They really stepped up in the second half and it's great when a team can come together and collectively share that responsibility."
Whittier returns to the road for their last three match-ups in September. They begin with the University of Redlands this Saturday, September 21 beginning at 4:00pm.