Four Bearcats scored a goal to shut out Howard Payne University on Saturday, Aug. 31, on Trinity University’s field in San Antonio, TX. The victory marked Willamette University’s men’s soccer team’s first win of the 2019 season. On Sunday, Sept. 1, Willamette tied with Trinity University, 1-1. Both WU and Trinity are 1-0-1 this season.
Against Howard Payne University, Junior Carter McCleary started the scoring with a goal at 29:48. Sophomore Yushiro Shiomi passed the ball to junior Mack Van Der Velde by the left post. Van Der Velde passed the ball to McCleary, who took the shot at the penalty shot mark and sent it into the upper-center area of the net. Strong defense from both sides closed out the first half, allowing WU to take their 1-0 lead into the break.
WU padded their lead early in the second half. The Bearcats raised their score to 2-0 at 47:36 on a goal that came from senior Nicholas Ballenger. Shiomi registered his second assist of the day with a cross over from the left side to the end line. Ballenger then headed the ball into the net from four yards out. The lead grew to 3-0 after Ballenger passed the ball to Shiomi, who tapped the ball into the left post at 69:45. First-year Ryan Sato completed the scoring with an impressive 33-yard long-shot for a goal at 81:46.
10 minutes into the game against Trinity, a lightning warning paused play for 50 minutes. After the delay, Ballenger scored the first goal of the game at 27:11, only seconds after the Bearcats stopped Trinity from scoring in the penalty area. Junior Max Berner-Hays tackled the ball and sent it flying 30 yards upfield. Sophomore Tam Proctor received the pass and quickly passed it to Ballenger. Ballenger dribbled until he was a few yards past the midfield stripe and then took a chip shot over Trinity goalie, Blake Lieberman. Lieberman was too far forward to prevent the goal. The Tigers quickly regrouped and struck back at WU on a penalty kick at 53:39.
Neither team scored a goal in either of the two 10-minute overtime periods. The Bearcats had more shots on goal than Trinity in overtime, achieving a 3-2 edge in the first overtime and a 5-2 margin in the second. The game finished three hours and nine minutes after it started due, to the overtime period and thunder delays. The Bearcats will be returning to WU’s Sparks Field to take on Corban University on Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.