LOS ANGELES — Alessandro Carotenuto (Scottsdale, Ariz.) scored a penalty kick in the 21st minute and the Occidental College men's soccer team controlled the game for most of the first 45 minutes.
But Claremont-Mudd-Scripps picked up the intensity in the second, scoring three goals to break a 1-1 halftime tie and beat the Tigers (5-6, 4-6 SCIAC) 4-1 on Wednesday.
"We played really well in the first half, but we didn't sustain it for 90 minutes," Occidental College coach Rod Lafaurie said.
Carotenuto's PK came after a handful of Tigers went down in the box. The referee blew the whistle and pointed to the dot. Then Carotenuto buried his second goal of the season, tying teammate Reid Sakamoto (Honolulu) as Oxy's point leader this season with five.
Oxy only enjoyed the lead for 6 minutes though. Harrison Doyle evened the game at one with a penalty kick of his own in the 27th minute.
In the second half, CMS' Sam Meyers, David Taylor and Rodrigo Bravo-Benitez all found the net to put the game out of reach.
CMS (9-4-1, 8-3 SCIAC) won the 50/50 balls and was more aggressive in the second half with more effort and execution, according to Lafaurie.
"Claremont just raised the tempo and the energy level and our guys kind of stayed where they were. They realized they were at home," Lafaurie said. Games are 90 minutes. They're not 80, they're 88 like we found out against Redlands and they're not 45 like we found out against Claremont."
The loss and, where it puts the Tigers in the SCIAC standings is not encouraging, considering the handful of very well-played games Oxy has strung together against good teams this season. But the Tigers, currently in a tie for sixth, have played two of the conference's top three teams twice and have four of their remaining six games at home.
Oxy faces Whittier College at Jack Kemp Stadium on Saturday night, the team that currently occupies the fourth and final SCIAC playoff spot. The Tigers are trailing the Poets (6-8, 6-4 SCIAC) by six points in the SCIAC standings.