By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore -- Willamette University trailed 3-1 with just over 25 minutes left, but the Bearcats rallied to force overtime and went on to take a 3-3 tie against George Fox University on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Sparks Field. Alan Hernandez (Jr., M, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) converted a penalty kick at 75:26 to cut the margin to 3-2, and Julian Hanlon-Austin (Sr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) put in the tying goal at 87:07.
The Bearcats outshot the Bruins 32-23 overall, and held a 10-3 edge in shots during the two 10-minute overtime periods. After 110 minutes, Willamette ended the day with a 7-5-1 overall record and a 5-4-1 mark (16 points) in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats are part of a three-way tie for fourth place in the NWC, just one point out of third and two points out of second.
George Fox moved to 1-11-3 on the season. The Bruins are 1-7-2 (5 points) in the NWC.
Willamette opened the scoring at 7:19 on a goal by Christopher Barnes (Sr., M, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS) assisted by Hernandez on a corner kick. Barnes headed the ball into the upper left corner of the net from four yards out.
The Bruins tied the game at 1-1 when Dennis Zapata scored on a 5-yard shot into the bottom left corner of the goal at 23:47. Moise Manon earned an assist on the play.
GFU moved in front at 39:41 on a goal by Sean Owens, who headed the ball past the goal line from four yards away. Victor Garcia was credited with an assist.
Willamette goalkeeper Josh Fuentes (Sr., GK, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) kept the Bearcats within a single goal by saving a shot from Liam Clancy at 42:55. GFU led 2-1 at halftime, with WU owning a 12-8 advantage in shots and the Bruins holding a 4-3 edge in shots on goal.
The Bearcats had two shots in the first two minutes of the second half -- one each by Liam Main (Jr., D, San Francisco, CA/Marin Academy) and Ethan Tait (Sr., F, Turlock, CA/Turlock HS). Tait's shot was saved by GFU goalie Andrew Phillis.
Main and Tait started a second half that featured 22 shots between the two teams, followed by a total of 13 shots in overtime.
George Fox took a 3-1 lead at 64:48 when Manon shot from six yards and sent the ball into the upper right corner. He was assisted by Daniel Alonzo.
The Bruins gained momentum from the goal and outshot the Bearcats 5-2 over the next 10:17 of action, including two shots that were saved by Fuentes and one that was kept out of the goal by a Willamette defender.
GFU's momentum disappeared when Phillis was called for a foul in the penalty box. Hernandez stepped up for the Bearcats and converted the resulting penalty kick.
Both teams continued to press for a goal, as the Bruins looked for an insurance score and the Bearcats battled to tie the game.
Hanlon-Austin provided WU with the equalizer with 2:53 left in regulation on a header to the upper right corner of the goal. Jack Elton (Sr., D, Corte Madera, CA/Redwood HS) assisted on the play.
All five shots in the first overtime were taken by Willamette. Two of the shots forced saves by Phillis. He saved a shot by Hanlon-Austin at 91:52 and stopped a shot by Wallin with one second left in the period at 99:59. In between, Hanlon-Austin hit the crossbar at 95:00.
Willamette claimed a 5-3 margin in shots during the second overtime, as the Bearcats and the Bruins worked to earn a full three points from the game.
Diego Ochoa (So., F, Coronado, CA/Coronado HS) of WU almost scored shortly after the kickoff, but Phillis stopped his shot at 100:15. Phillis also registered a save on a shot by Hernandez at 104:37. GFU took a pair of high-quality shots as well, including one by Hector Jimenez that missed just over the crossbar at 102:20.
For the game, Ochoa led all players with seven total shots. Owens and Alonzo each took five shots for GFU. Phillis recorded nine saves, while Fuentes accumulated seven saves. There were 19 fouls called on each team. Nine yellow cards were issued -- five on GFU -- but no one received a second yellow or a red card.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Sunday, Oct. 23 against Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).