PASADENA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2014) – Sophomore Pedro Ojeda (Wellington, Fla. / Kings Academy) sent his off his Caltech men's soccer senior teammates with a moment to remember as he scored a brilliant goal in a 4-1 loss to defending SCIAC champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday afternoon.
The Stags rode a pair of early goals to the 4-1 victory, ending their season at 9-7-1 overall and 8-7-1 in the SCIAC while the Beavers close the year at 0-18-1 (0-15-1).
The Stags' opening strike in the seventh minute came almost as a surprise, as did the second just five minutes later. The first came on a deflection as sophomore John David Feist (Dallas, Texas / Jesuit College Prep) dove to cut out a low cross and Michael Crowley put away the rebound, while the second was a back-door header on a throw-in which bounced across the box. The Caltech defense tightened up at that point, but CMS added two more goals in the 29th and 40th minutes to take a 4-0 lead into halftime.
It was a tale of two halves as the Beavers came out a completely different team in their final half of the season. Caltech went toe-to-toe with the Stags' aggressive play and soon found a fair run of possession.
Ojeda soon gave the Beavers, fans and alumni something to celebrate in the 58th minute. After ripping a shot to force a save late in the first half, the midfielder broke into the passing lane to intercept a short goal kick, beat a defender as he cut across the top of the box and sent a beautiful curling shot past the keeper for his first strike of the year.
The goal put a renewed fight in the Beavers, and a second yellow card for Sam Meyers just five minutes later put Caltech a man up with just under 30 minutes remaining. The Beavers pushed steadily upfield and had several chances come up just short. Junior Teo Wilkening (Bowie, Md. / Elen) climbed over a defender to connect with a perfect cross at the back post in the 71st minute, but his header went just wide. Barely four minutes later, Wilkening had another golden opportunity, but this time his unmarked header ricocheted off the crossbar and the follow-up by sophomore Evren Gokcen (Gahanna, Ohio / Gahanna Lincoln) was just palmed away by the goalkeeper. Caltech earned a number of additional opportunities on corners and more conventional buildups, but the final score would remain the same as the Beavers held the defending SCIAC champions scoreless over the entire second half.
The Beavers end the season having made vast improvements over the 2013 campaign. Caltech took its first point in SCIAC play in nearly three years with a 1-1 tie at Chapman University, scored one more goal and allowed over a full goal per game less than last year.