Men’s soccer competed in its first two Northwest Conference (NWC) games of the 2019 season this past weekend against Whitman College and Whitworth University. The Bearcats entered the weekend with no losses on their record and a two-game win streak.
Willamette University dominated Whitman on Saturday, Sept. 22, outscoring the Blues 4-1 in the home victory. Sophomore Josh Schneider started the scoring in the sixth minute, giving the Bearcats an early lead. Sophomore Yushiro Shiomi crossed the ball to the middle of the field, where Schneider was waiting. Schneider sent the ball into the top right corner of the goal from a few feet inside the 18-yard box. The 18-yard box is known as the penalty area, extending 18 yards around the goal in a box shape.
Whitman’s Adam Joss answered with a goal in the 23rd minute to tie the game at one apiece, but junior Max Berner-Hays, one of Willamette’s leading scorers from the 2018 season, scored a goal to reclaim the lead. Sophomore Ryan Sato took a free-kick from 30 yards out, and Berner-Hays used his head to send the ball into the top of the goal, to give the Bearcats a 2-1 lead.
In the second half, Shiomi and Sato, after recording assists on the first two WU goals, scored goals of their own. Sato scored in the 52nd minute after receiving a cross pass from Shiomi and striking the ball into the lower right corner of the goal. Shiomi scored in the 67th minute after receiving a cross pass from first-year Edwin Ortiz and heading the ball into the net.
In the team’s second game of the weekend, Whitworth squeezed out a 4-3 win in overtime. Senior Nicholas Ballenger scored all three goals for WU, the first hat trick of his Willamette career. A hat trick is when one player scores three goals in one game.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead just 15 minutes into the game. Scott Penner of Whitworth scored the first goal with an assist from Zanskar Blair. Blair scored the second goal in the 15th minute to increase the Pirates’ lead, but Ballenger answered back with two goals of his own before the end of the first half. The first goal was scored on an assist from junior Carter McCleary, and Ballenger tied the game up at 2-2 just two minutes before halftime.
The second half went scoreless for the first 17 minutes, when Whitworth’s Chase Reidt scored to break the tie. Fortunately for Willamette, Ballenger scored again to tie the game up in the 76th minute on a penalty kick. A penalty kick is awarded to a player that is fouled inside the 18-yard box. The kick is taken against the goalkeeper for the opposing team 12 yards away from the goal.
The 3-3 tie at the end of regulation forced the overtime period. Whitworth took the first shot on goal about one minute into the overtime period. On the second shot on goal, in the 93rd minute, Reidt scored to win the match for the Pirates.
After the weekend of play, Willamette’s record moved to 4-1-2 overall and 1-1 in the NWC. Whitworth improved to 3-4-1 overall and 1-1 in the NWC. The Bearcats will take on Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 12 p.m. (PDT).