LOS ANGELES, Calif. — On the first four shots they allowed, the Occidental College men's soccer team gave up four goals, losing to Whittier College 4-0 on Wednesday in the team's last home game this season at Lower Field.
The Poets' (8-8, 8-5) incredible efficiency lasted nearly the entire match until they finally missed one of their five shots in the second half.
Defensively, it's not the ratio you want, but allowing just five opportunities in 90 minutes is not bad soccer. What was though, according to Occidental coach Rod Lafaurie, was Oxy's lack of execution and maturity.
"Today was a microcosm of our season," Lafaurie said. "We were okay at times, but a few lapses in focus and concentration and we give up a few goals. Making a handful of crucial mistakes cost us today like it has throughout the year."
The Tigers (4-13, 4-9) had six shots to Whittier's five, with a handful of decent opportunities that were blocked by Poet defenders.
The last home game means seniors Andrew Larkin (Los Angeles, CA), Will Moseley (Seattle, WA), Nitzan Sherman (Holon, Israel) and James Kornfield (Brentwood, CA) have played their last match in Eagle Rock.
"I would like to thank them for their four years of service to the Occidental men's soccer program," Lafaurie said. "They've set a good example for some of our younger players and they will be remembered fondly."
It's an unfortunate way to end a career, but the disappointing loss will quickly be clouded by four years of memories.
"It's always very emotional, your last home game and your friends and family are here to watch you," said Moseley, one of the team's captains. "I couldn't be happier with the group of guys I'm graduating with."
Sherman, made his second start in six games played this season. He's considered one of the better students at Occidental, completing his last year of undergraduate work while simultaneously taking courses at Cal Tech and Stanford.
Kornfield, who leads the Tigers this year with six assists, has been a key component for Oxy on set pieces, setting up his teammates.
Larkin and Moseley have played their last home soccer game, but are not done competing at the intercollegiate level. Moseley will shift his focus to track and Larkin to golf where they are both key members of their respective teams in the spring.
Oxy finishes the season on Saturday at Cal Lutheran University at 1 p.m.