ORANGE, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2019) – Caltech men's soccer weathered a potent Chapman University attack to reach overtime on the road Saturday, but ultimately succumbed despite the impressive defensive showing.
Making his mid-season debut, baseball star sophomore Max Popken (Westport, Conn. / Staples) showcased his enviable athleticism as a consistent presence between the posts. He was called upon as soon as two minutes into play with an eight-save effort that proved just enough for classmate Samir Johnson (Portland, Ore. / Jesuit) to erase a first-half deficit in the 59th minute. Unfortunately, after another solid six minutes into overtime, Chapman snuck its only shot of the extra period into the back of the net for the home victory.
Sophomore Velissarios Christodolou (Athens, Greece / Athens Coll.) hit the woodwork in the 29th minute to notch Caltech's best chance to that point in the game, and the Beavers pressed hard to get the go-ahead score following Johnson's strike in the second half. Junior Rohan Mirchandani (Pleasanton, Calif. / Foothill) flicked a ball toward goal only minutes later, but directed it right into the goalkeeper's hands. Senior Theo Yang (Columbia, Md. / Long Reach) would register the visitors' other on-target effort a mere five minutes after that, but also could only push the ball low to the center of the goal for a simple enough save.
The Beavers defended well in facing twice as many shots as they could muster, but could only put three of their own 12 on frame at the offensive end. The Panthers' physicality may have been a significant factor in quelling the Caltech attack, however, as Chapman was whistled for a whopping 25 fouls yet escaped without being shown even a single yellow card.
Head Coach Phil Murray and the Beavers next will challenge Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Claremont on Wednesday, Oct. 16.