CMC75 Moments: 1974 Men's Soccer Rallies for Playoff Win over Sagehens
As part of the buildup to the 75th Anniversary celebration for Claremont McKenna College (visit CMC's 75th Anniversary Countdown Page to learn more), we are reliving many of the great moments from CMS athletic department history over the 75-day countdown from April 17 to July 1. If you were a part of this great moment and would like to add to the memories, or if you would like to submit your memories of your own favorite CMS Athletics moment, fill out the form on our main 75th Anniversary page.
Great Moments from 75 Years of Athletics
1974 Men's Soccer: Stags 3, Pomona-Pitzer 2 (NAIA District 3 Semifinals)
The 1974 Claremont-Mudd men's soccer team had some feathers in its cap already in the 1974 season as it embarked on its postseason with a bid to the NAIA District 3 Tournament. The Stags had a 12-2-2 regular season and a 10-1-1 mark in the SCIAC, earning the league championship. It was the program's fourth SCIAC crown, but the first since winning the first three from 1968-70, the program's first three seasons of existence.
The one thing that the 1974 team was missing as it began its postseason, though, was a win over rival Pomona-Pitzer. The Sagehens accounted for the Stags' one loss and one tie in the regular season, with the loss coming in the finale after Claremont-Mudd had clinched the title, but it still left a bad taste after spoiling a potential undefeated league season for the Stags.
Claremont-Mudd got another chance to earn that final check mark on its list, though, along with a little revenge, and came through with a 3-2 win over the Sagehens in the NAIA District Tournament Semifinals. The victory marked a program-record 13th win for the Stags, coming in front of a huge home crowd that came out to see the two neighbors face each other for a chance to advance to the district championship.
In the postseason awards department, David Goldstein, Robert Poaster, Ed Campbell, Roberto Munoz, and Robert Lamb earned first-team All-SCIAC honors and John Pritzlaff and Dave Doss were named to the second team. Poaster would go on to be selected in the North American Soccer League (NASL) Draft the following year by the San Diego Jaws, while Goldstein was selected the following year. Munoz and Pritzlaff are members of the CMS Hall of Fame, along with Head Coach Steve Davis.
My recollections of the 1974 soccer season are truly special. The Claremont-Mudd Stags and Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens were very balanced in talent. Who would win came down to stamina and determination. That day the two teams were ready to do battle and put it all on the line. It was about pride. It was about bragging rights. Our competitiveness stemmed not just from being opponents, but from being next door neighbors. My sister was a freshman at Pomona that year and was very conflicted as to whether to cheer for her brother or her school's team!
I remember the crowd of spectators surrounding Parents Field shouting and cheering. The noise was so loud that one could hardly hear the referee's whistle! The Sagehens scored one goal and then a second. At first it seemed like our worst nightmare. At halftime, Coach Steve Davis reminded us that the game was not over, and we had another 45 minutes to turn things around. Coach Davis also reminded us that we were as good if not a better team, to think of the second half as a new game and to focus on giving our best to the game.
The second half started. I could sense a new determination on our part that led to our ability to control the tempo of the game. As play progressed Curtis Skene got a pass down the left line. He struck the ball with his left foot as if to cross it across the Sagehens goal but the ball had so much spin that it curved into the goal, surprising the Sagehens' goalkeeper. The score was now 2-1.
We kept at it. Another pass down the left line, Curtis crossed the ball, and Conrad Creasey headed the ball into the net. The score was tied 2-2! We were now confident that winning was within reach. We could see and feel that the Sagehens were losing confidence. We pressured on and in the last five minutes of the game, Conrad got a pass down the right line. He crossed the ball across the Sagehen goal, and Bobby Poaster headed it into the net! The final score was a 3-2 Stags win.
The excitement and pride we felt was incomparable to anything I've felt before. I had won championships in high school but this win was different. It was special. The CMC/Mudd student bodies, professors, and family members present made us all feel special. We belonged pridefully not only to an institution but it felt like a family as well. Many of us lingered on Parents Field savoring the excitement of our victory and looked forward to our next gathering, our next battle.
1974 Men's Soccer Roster
Head Coach: Stephen T. Davis
Assistant Coach: Scott Chapman
David Allison (Fullback, CMC)
Orlando Aponte (Fullback, CMC)
John Arnstein (Fullback, CMC)
Vikram Bath (Fullback, CMC)
Thadd Blizzard (Halfback, CMC)
Bob Burke (Halfback, CMC)
Adrian Burson (Fullback, CMC)
Jerry Buzetta (Fullback, CMC)
Ed Campbell (Fullback, HMC)
Noe Chavez (Halfback, CMC)
Sheppard Clarke (Halfback, CMC)
Chris Cordua (Halfback, CMC)
Conrad Creasey (Forward, CMC)
Robert Dewey (Forward, CMC)
Dave Doss (Fullback, CMC)
Randall Douglas (Halfback, CMC)
Frank Festini (Fullback, HMC)
David Goldstein (Fullback, CMC)
Bryan Hussey (Halfback, CMC)
Scott Korsvik (Forward, CMC)
Robert Lamb (Goalie, CMC)
Seungho Lee (Forward, CMC)
Dirk McDermott (Fullback, HMC)
Chuck McGee (Forward, CMC)
Mark McIntyre (Forward, CMC)
Roberto Munoz (Fullback, CMC)
Robert Poaster (Halfback, CMC)
John Pritzlaff (Forward, CMC)
Paul Shafer (Goalie, CMC)
Curtis Skene (Forward, CMC)
Alfredo Skinner-Klee (Forward, CMC)
Dave Stark (Forward, CMC)
Toyu Yazaki (Halfback, CMC)