Sports in Brief – Week of Sep 17

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Author: Ryan Whalen

Cross Country
The Occidental men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off the season with the UC Irvine Invite on Sept. 7. Despite the field containing Division I and top junior collegiate runners, both squads placed well in the individual results. Junior transfer John Guzman Aguilar was the front runner on the men’s side, placing eighth overall with a time of 26:05.2 minutes in the 8k. The Tigers also received strong races from first-years Harrison Luf, Aaron Sugimoto and Miles Anderson, all of whom finished in the top 35 in their first ever collegiate races. On the women’s side, Mel Devoney (first-year) led the black and orange with a 12th place mark of 19:07.5 minutes in her first 5k at the college level. Veteran runner Jenna Wong (senior) was on the heels of Devoney, finishing with a time of 19:16.6 minutes, good for 18th place. The Tigers followed up on their season opener with the UC Riverside Invitational last Saturday. Charles De Anda (first-year) had the best Occidental time, placing 35th with a time of 27:05.0 minutes. Sophomore Tommy Warfel and senior Ryan Kammerman each shaved more than 15 seconds off their UC Irvine invite finishes. In a race where all of the women improved their race times, Lila Singer-Berk (senior) pushed past illness and posted a time of 20:25.2 minutes. Both units travel to the Roy Griak Invite in Falcon Heights, Minn. on Sept. 28.

Football (0-1 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
The Occidental football team opened the season with a road trip up north to Forest Grove, Ore., where they tried to avenge last season’s 27-6 loss to Pacific University. The Tigers started off fast, accumulating a 17-7 lead after the first quarter. However, the defense was unable to contain the quick-hitting Boxer offense, and the Tigers were dealt a 67-30 loss in new head coach Doug Semones’ first game at the helm of the black and orange. The squad hosts Austin College in its home opener on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Men’s Soccer (1-5 overall, 0-3 SCIAC)
After a dominating 4-0 win over UC Santa Cruz on Aug. 30, the Occidental men’s soccer team has been unable to recapture that success. The black and orange has lost five consecutive games, including contests against three SCIAC opponents. A stagnant offense has plagued the Tigers, and they have mustered one goal or fewer in each loss. The men will try to get back into the win column on Saturday at CMS at 1 p.m.

Women’s Soccer (1-1-1 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
Three games into the season, the Occidental women’s soccer team has recorded every result possible with one win, one loss and one tie. After losing their season opener on Aug. 31 to San Diego Christian 2-1, the Tigers went on to play back-to-back double overtime games. In the first bonus-time contest on Sept. 2, the black and orange was unable to break away from Soka College, stalemating in a 2-2 tie. The team was finally able to capture its first victory of the season against Pacific Lutheran last Saturday, defeating the Knights 2-1. The women take to the pitch again tonight, hosting Whittier on Patterson Field at 7 p.m.

Men’s Water Polo (0-4 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s water polo team has gotten off to a rough start this season, dropping its first four contests of the young season. The Tigers are having difficulty on both the offensive and defensive sides of the pool and have been outscored 64-25. The black and orange will look to end its losing steak this weekend at the Lancer Invitational. The Tigers’ first game of the tournament is against Cal Lutheran on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Men’s Fall Golf
The Occidental men’s golf team will start the season early this year and compete in the Cal State Intercollegiate Tournament at Diamond Valley Country Club this Sunday through Tuesday. The team’s roster has just one upperclassman with the eight other roster spots comprised of three sophomores and four first-years. The young Tigers will have a chance to show their potential and mental toughness in a tournament that is expected to provide them with plenty of information to work on over the rest of the off season in preparation for their first regular season match in February. The black and orange will look for a veteran presence in the lone junior Ari Rieger as well as Jeremy Klein (sophomore), both of whom were frequent scorers for last year’s squad.

John Guzman Aguilar
Junior cross country runner John Guzman Aguilar is one of the top competitors for the Occidental men’s cross country team. At the UC Irvine Invitational on Sept. 7, Guzman was able to secure eighth place overall with a time of 26:05.2 minutes, the best individual finish on either the men’s or women’s side for the black and orange. Despite a field comprised of several Division I and top junior college runners, Guzman’s mark was the best for any Division III athlete, with only one Division I competitor besting the Tiger star. Guzman, a junior college transfer himself, spent time at Riverside Community College before coming to Occidental this season. The speedster sat out of the UC Riverside Intivational as the core Tiger runners focus their training toward the Roy Griak Invitational, taking place on Sept. 28 in Falcon Heights, Minn.

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