Sagehens peck away Leos' defense

Posted Oct. 27, 2006

Sergio Sandoval

From a sideline throw in, La Verne’s freshman defender P.J. Diaz chests the ball to keep it away from Pomona-Pitzer’s senior middle forward Sam Farina-Henry in the first half of the game Saturday at ULV. Farina-Henry assisted the first goal of the game giving the Sagehens the lead with 3:28 remaining before halftime. The Leopards would not leave the half without scratching out a point for themselves to tie the game. Despite the clawing of the Leopards, the Sagehens were still able to score one more goal to defeat the Leopards 2-1.

The La Verne men’s soccer team’s season is coming to an end and with only two games remaining, the Leopards are currently 7-10 overall and 5-7 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

With a 3-1 loss to conference leading Redlands on Wednesday, the Leopards are now tied for fifth in the conference standings.

On Saturday, the Leopards took on Pomona-Pitzer.

The Leopards had a great chance to take the lead early when senior midfielder Daniel Aguirre hit the bottom side of the crossbar.

Instead of the ball deflecting down and in, the ball went down and out keeping the game tied at zero.

Another close attempt would come just minutes later as freshman defender P.J. Diaz sent a ball across the front of the goal. It sailed just out of the reach of fellow freshman Ramon Escobedo.

Pitzer would get the first goal of the game when they got a throw near the La Verne goal.

After deflecting off a teammate’s head, sophomore forward Robert LaManna buried the ball in the back of the net to give the Sagehens the 1-0 lead.

La Verne would answer back right before halftime.

After the Leopards received a free kick from the corner, junior midfielder Ruben Trujillo sent a ball that would be headed in by junior midfielder Nathaniel Smith to tie the game at 1-1.

La Verne had a number of quality scoring chances after the Pomona goal.

With multiple free kick opportunities in their offensive zone the ball just couldn’t find the net for the Leopards, but they out shot the Sagehens 27-11.

Pomona would take the lead 65 minutes into the game when freshman Andrew Stamm put a shot on goal.

The ball deflected off a La Verne defender and past the arms of goalkeeper Cody Black. The goal would prove to be the difference Pomona needed, defeating La Verne 2-1.

“We played well,” sophomore defender Rudy Martinez said. “We just couldn’t get the ball in the net.”

The Leopards hosted Caltech on Oct. 18 and came out with the victory.

After taking the early lead on, Aguirre’s goal 16 minutes into the game, the Leopards kept the 1-0 lead at halftime.

After Caltech scored to tie the game, the Leopards would go on to score six unanswered goals.

Senior midfielder Gilad Hoffman would score what proved to be the game winner with a little more than 20 minutes left in the game.

Aguirre would finish the game with two goals as Hoffman, junior defender Andrew Tillenkooh, junior Cody Black, freshman midfielder Ricardo Mendoza and Trujillo all added goals of their own.

The Leopards outshot Caltech 42-3 en route to the victory.

“The Caltech game was a good example of our struggle to score goals this year,” head coach Crescencio Gonzalez said. “We didn’t come alive until the second half.”

The Leopards will travel to play Occidental tomorrow before returning home to host Cal Lutheran for their final game of the season on Nov. 1.

Jason Jarvis can be reached at

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