Willamette University played Caltech this Friday, Sep. 13 at Sparks Field. WU shut out Caltech 3-0, bringing Willamette’s overall record to 3-0-2 this season.
Right off the bat, WU played an aggressive offense, with two shot attempts coming within the first 10 minutes of play. This pattern continued until 12:10 when junior Omar Dominguez Pascacio scored the first goal with a header and first-year Edwin Ortiz assisted with a corner kick. A corner kick is a free kick for the offensive team from the corner of the field after the defensive team kicks it out of bounds.
At 53:11, sophomore Tam Proctor scored for WU with a shot within three yards of the goal, bringing the score to 2-0. He was assisted by junior Max Berner-Hays and junior Mack van der Velde.
At 61:27, a WU player made a powerful pass, only to have it blocked by the referee’s lower abdomen. After the laughter subsided, the bleachers erupted in applause for the ref’s speedy recovery. What could have been a possible shot attempt for WU turned into a situational comedy gag and fun for all the spectators present.
Throughout most of the game, the ball was kept on Caltech’s side of the field. WU also had far more shot attempts than Caltech, ending the game with 22-4 overall shots on goal. At 23:39, senior Nicholas Ballenger made an impressive shot which was called offsides and shot a crossbar shot at 48:00. A crossbar shot is a near-perfect shot that hits off the post of the goal, resulting in no points. Sophomore Yushiro Shiomi also played well with an excellent fast break at 50:30 and a subsequent failed shot attempt. By the end of the game, Ballenger and Shiomi each had five shot attempts.
“It doesn’t seem like Willamette is switching the play very often, but they’re doing really well pushing up to the second half of the field. They’re creating a really strong offense,” sophomore Reed Vogt said at 46:20.
Late in the game, a WU player collided with a Caltech player, resulting in a minor injury and a few seconds on the ground. At one point, an anonymous spectator commented, “He needs some milk!” after a particularly powerful collision.
Sophomore Josh Schneider scored the final goal of the game at 71:06, assisted by first-year Abdul Ali, with a low kick which rolled on the ground right past Caltech’s defense and into the lower left corner of the goal. It looked like Caltech’s goalie, Richard Shim, expected it to miss as he stood and watched it roll into the goal.
In the last five minutes, Caltech made a shot attempt which was blocked by the WU goalie, senior Mason Kelliher, making it his second and final save of the game to preserve the shutout.
The Willamette men’s soccer team will next play Whitman College on Sep. 21 at 2:30 pm and Whitworth University on Sep. 22 at 12:00 pm. Both games are happening on Sparks Field.