Men's soccer off to best start in 16 years after 2-0 win

Mauricio Alfonso (photo by Chris Donlon)
Mauricio Alfonso (photo by Chris Donlon)

ORANGE, Calif. – It's been 16 years since the Chapman University men's soccer team opened the season winning its first four matches. The Panthers did that on Friday night, defeating visiting Pomona-Pitzer Colleges 2-0 at Wilson Field and improving to 4-0 this year. It's Chapman's best start ever under head coach Eddie Carrillo.

The Panthers posted their third consecutive shutout and got a pair of second half goals from junior F Mauricio Alfonso to highlight the victory.

It was a tale of two halves for Chapman and Pomona-Pitzer (1-2). The Panthers were out-shot in the first half 7-3 and did not look like the same team that defeated Occidental 5-0 just two days earlier.

In the second half, the Panthers were much more aggressive on offense, taking 10 shots and creating numerous scoring opportunities. Chapman finally broke through in the 62nd minute with Alfonso taking a pass from sophomore F Nick Echeverry just to the left of goal and slicing the left-footer just inside the near post for a 1-0 lead.

Seventeen minutes later, Alfonso made a play rarely seen in soccer by scoring directly off a corner kick, bending it high and around the defense and finding the back of the goal. It was his fifth goal of the year and already the junior's second straight multi-goal game.

Senior GK Jimmy Adranly (3-0) made three saves to record his first shutout of the season and Chapman's third in a row – all coming at home. The Panthers have not allowed a goal in the past 310 minutes of play and have yet to allow a goal at Wilson Field in 2011. Chapman is 8-1-2 in its past 11 home matches dating back to last season.

Chapman went 5-0 to open the 1995 season and went on to a West Region championship and Division III Final Four appearance that same year. The last time the Panthers went unbeaten this late in the season was 2002 when Chapman began the year 3-0-2.

by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director