Bearcats Outshoot Puget Sound 9-1 in Second Half, but Loggers Hang On, 1-0

Julian Hanlon-Austin (Sr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS)
Julian Hanlon-Austin (Sr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

TACOMA, Wash. -- With about six minutes remaining in the first half, the University of Puget Sound took a 1-0 lead over Willamette University in a Northwest Conference men's soccer game on Sunday, Oct. 16. The Bearcats put up a strong battle in the second half, and outshot the Loggers 9-1 in the final 45 minutes, but Puget Sound held on for the win.

The Loggers upped their season record to 8-3-2, including 5-2-2 (17 points) in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 7-5-0 overall, 5-4-0 (15 points) in the NWC.

Josh Sonico scored the game's only goal at 38:59. The play began with a corner kick taken by Vincent Von Luehrte. The ball went to Sonico, who shot low and toward the far post. The Loggers outshot WU 7-3 in the first half.

Puget Sound took the first shot of the second half at 53:17 on an effort by Benjamin Whitham that was blocked by the defense. Willamette earned the final nine shots of the game, starting with a shot by Fabian Guerrero (Sr., M, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) at 56:44 that was blocked following a corner kick.

A little over two minutes later, Diego Ochoa (So., F, Coronado, CA/Coronado HS) of Willamette sent a shot on net that was saved by Puget Sound goalkeeper Jacob Palmer. The rebound shot by Brendan McGonigle (Fr., D, Seattle, WA/O'Dea HS) was blocked.

The Bearcats achieved a corner kick at 76:05 that was taken by Quinn Mello-Bastida (Jr., M, San Jose, CA/Valley Christian HS/U. of Portland). He crossed the ball to Ethan Tait (Sr., F, Turlock, CA/Turlock HS), whose shot was blocked by the defense.

Willamette ended the game with a flurry of activity in the final 10 minutes. Alan Hernandez (Jr., M, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) took a shot at 82:29 that was blocked. Hernandez also took a corner kick at 85:34, but it did not lead to a shot.

At 87:42, Jack Elton (Sr., D, Corte Madera, CA/Redwood HS) put a shot on goal that Palmer saved. The ball went out for a corner kick, which resulted in a header by McGonigle that went wide of the goal. At 88:42, Julian Hanlon-Austin (Sr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) also provided a header that went wide. With only a few seconds remaining, Elton took a corner kick, but Pacific prevented a shot.

Hanlon-Austin led the Bearcats with three shots during the game. Whitham topped Pacific with three shots, including one shot on goal.

Palmer registered three saves on his way to the shutout. WU goalie Josh Fuentes (Sr., GK, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) made four saves.

Willamette finished with a 12-8 advantage in total shots, while Pacific claimed a 5-3 edge in shots on goal. WU held a slim 8-7 lead in corner kicks, but earned a 7-2 margin in the second half.

The Bearcats will host George Fox University at Sparks Field on Saturday, Oct. 212. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT). Earlier this year, Willamette defeated GFU, 3-2, in Newberg, Oregon. McGonigle scored the winning goal with 11:42 left.