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Rafael Otero celebrates his go-ahead goal (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Rafael Otero celebrates his go-ahead goal (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Men's Soccer Explodes in Second Half for 4-1 Win over Caltech

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Caltech men's soccer team scored in the final minute of the first half against the run of play to take a 1-0 lead into the break, but Rafael Otero had two goals and an assist in the second half to propel CMS to a 4-1 win over the Beavers on Saturday night at Pritzlaff Field.

With the win, CMS moves to 5-2-3 overall and 3-2-2 in the SCIAC, while Caltech falls to 5-4-2 overall and 2-4-1 in conference. 

Ishaan Mantripragada scored with 55 seconds left in the first half on a long ball played by Etienne Casanova. CMS goalie Kevin Box came sprinting out of the penalty area, but Mantipragada got there first and one-touched it past him to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead after a half in which they were outshot 10-3.

The Stags swung the momentum in the second half, though, once they found the equalizer. That tying goal came when John Laidlaw played a cross from the right side of the penalty area and James Gomez found some space at the top of the six-yard box to head it in and tie the score at the 56:53 mark. 

Just six minutes later, the Stags had the lead after Otero dribbled through the middle of the Caltech defense and let loose a shot from 25 yards out that went into the lower-left corner off the fingertips of Beaver goalkeeper Ethan Hamel. 

With just over 20 minutes left, Caltech had the double-whammy of a red card called against them for a hand ball in the box and a penalty kick, as Nico DelVillar's shot was deflected by a Beaver defender after Hamel made two diving saves in quick succession. Otero buried his shot from the spot to make it a 3-1 game. 

Just 1:40 later, Otero worked a perfect give-and-go with John Laidlaw, with Laidlaw able to bury the finish from 10 yards out to make it a 4-1 final score. 

CMS finished with a 24-7 edge in shots and a 9-2 edge in corner kicks. Box had three saves in goal to get the win for the Stags.

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to meet SCIAC-leading Occidental for a 7 p.m. contest.