PASADENA (Sept. 7, 2019) – Led by a pair of goals off the foot of freshman midfielder Sam Klauer (Knoxville, Tenn. / Christian Academy), the Caltech men's soccer team bagged its first win of the season over Providence Christian College on Saturday afternoon.
Klauer became the second Caltech player to notch a multi-goal game in 2019 after junior forward Rohan Mirchandani (Pleasanton, Calif. / Foothill) accomplished the feat earlier in the week. Both of the freshman's strikes ended up being insurance goals, as the Beavers hung four unanswered on the Sea Beggars after falling into a 1-0 hole to begin the game.
The men's soccer team overcame the early adversity thanks to the poise shown by its veteran players. Two minutes after the visitors got on the board, senior midfielder Theo Yang (Columbia, Md. / Long Reach) struck a beautiful free kick from about 30 yards out to knot the game at one goal apiece eight minutes in. Sophomore midfielder Samir Johnson (Portland, Ore. / Jesuit) scored his first goal of the season just 15 minutes later. The reigning SCIAC Newcomer of the Year finished a solid run up the middle initiated by some nice one-touch passing from Michigan-born defenders JD Walker (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Grand Blanc) and Josh Finnerty (Walled Lake, Mich. / Detroit Catholic Central).
Klauer's first goal came with just seven minutes to go in the first half. The freshman, who took all of the Beavers' corner kicks in Saturday's contest, successfully curled the ball in front of the opposing net but with no player on either team able to touch it, the ball rolled over the line to give the rookie his first career goal. Just two games into the season, Caltech has found a number of ways to score goals and can now claim direct braces on penalty kicks, free kicks and corner kicks. Klauer finished his second goal on a similar run to Johnson's in the first half. The midfielder took off down the right side and delivered the Beavers' final goal of the game with 10 minutes to go in the second half. Both Mirchandani and Yang picked up assists on the finish.
After surrendering the early goal to the visiting team, the Caltech defense held strong over the game's final 83 minutes. Junior Gianfranco de Castro (Weston, Fla. / Cypress Bay) got the win between the pipes and made a trio of nice saves in his goalkeeping debut.
Head Coach Phil Murray and the Beavers will look to bring the momentum into their Pacific Northwest road trip, set to begin on Friday, Sept. 13 at Willamette University (7 p.m. PT).