Charlie Raymond is the tallest player on the men’s soccer team. At 6’5, he weighs 170 pounds and has three inches on the next closest players in height. Normally, when players are surrounded by their teammates, they get swarmed in a huddle and can barely be seen – but not Raymond.
On Oct. 11, the sophomore midfielder stuck out, and not just for his height. While he is most often used as in a defensive role, taking up space and helping Chapman shift between offense and defense, Raymond bombed up the field late in the game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
With less than seven minutes left to go and the score tied at 1-1, junior forward Kai Howe found Raymond in a pocket of space on the left side of the goal. Raymond settled the ball at his feet and struck it firmly, not only putting away a game-winner for Chapman, but scoring his first-ever goal for the team.
“I haven’t had many of those in my lifetime,” Raymond said. “It was kind of a shocking goal.”
“He blacked out for about 30 seconds,” said senior goalkeeper Sean Augustine.
Raymond laughed before explaining the brief moment he had to decide how to celebrate.
“No one was really celebrating, so I was like, ‘Well I guess I have to run to the bench and celebrate with everyone else,’” Raymond said. “I don’t know.”
Raymond’s goal was more than just a milestone for him. The goal gave Chapman (7-2-1 in conference) a win against the second-to-last placed team in the conference, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2-7-1 in conference), which leaves Chapman in second place.
Head coach Eddie Carrillo said the team played well, despite some organizational problems. Due to the 8,000-acre Canyon Fire 2 in Anaheim Hills, the team had not played together on a soccer field since its last game Oct. 7, a 2-0 away win against the California Institute of Technology (0-10 in-conference).
Because the university closed most of its facilities for two days, the team was unable to practice Oct. 9 and had to practice indoors in the Hutton Sports Center Oct. 10. Carrillo, who lives in Anaheim Hills, said he had to evacuate his house.
“We went back home last night,” Carrillo said. “We’re right there. Across the street and two doors down, the fire burned their backyard, so we were close. We were OK. The firemen did a great job to stop everything.”
Carrillo said the lack of a normal preparation was difficult for the team, especially with starting sophomore center back Jarod Matteoni out due to a red card he received Oct. 7.
“We knocked the ball in the gym a little bit (Oct. 10),” Carrillo said. “We just got some touches on the ball. It was tough because we knew we had Jarod (Matteoni) out with a red card and we didn’t get a chance to work on anything with him being out.”
Augustine said the team was aware its opponents were able to practice normally.
“I don’t think it impacted us too much, but it was in the back of our head that, ‘These guys (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) had two practices and we didn’t,’” Augustine said. “That might have played a factor a little bit during the game.”
Despite conceding a goal with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, Raymond said Chapman immediately refocused.
“They scored on us and our thought was, ‘We’re going to get one back and we’re going to win the game,’” Raymond said.
Less than three minutes later, Raymond did just that, giving Chapman the 2-1 lead it needed to see out the win.
Chapman has four games left in the regular season. Its next game will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Whittier College. Moving forward, Carrillo said Chapman is solely focused on itself.
“We look (at the standings), but it’s a lot easier when you’re ahead of everybody except for (the University of) Redlands,” Carrillo said. “If you win, then you control your own destiny.”