Corban Rallies for 3-2 Win over Willamette in Exhibition Game for Bearcats

Mason Kelliher (So., F, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College)
Mason Kelliher (So., F, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Corban University scored three unanswered goals in the second half to rally past Willamette University, 3-2, in an exhibition game for the Bearcats and the season opener for the Warriors, on Sunday, Aug. 20 at Sparks Field. Corban, which competes in the NAIA, is 1-0 on the season.

Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, started different lineups in each half with only defender PJ Gibson (Jr., F, Carmel, IN/Carmel HS) starting both halves. The Bearcats will play two more exhibition games before opening the regular season at Pomona-Pitzer on Friday, Sept. 1 in Claremont, California.

The Bearcats scored the only goal of the first half at 19:50 after Mason Kelliher (So., F, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) was sent through the last line of defense on a pass from Marco Gonzalez (Jr., F, Independence, OR/Central HS). Kelliher shot from 22 yards past an on-rushing Jordan Farr, who played all 90 minutes in goal for Corban. Carter McCleary (Fr., M, Port Hadlock, WA/Chimacum HS) of Willamette began the play with a pass to Gonzalez.

Corban outshot the Bearcats 13-3 in the first half, including a 6-1 advantage in shots on goal. WU starting goalkeeper Quinn Nottage (Sr., GK, Portland, OR/Franklin HS) helped the Bearcats maintain their 1-0 lead at the break by registering six saves in the opening 45 minutes.

Willamette extended its lead to 2-0 at 57:56 when Miky Alonso-Rodriguez (Fr., F, Madara, OR/Redmond Proficiency Academy) claimed a loose ball in the Corban penalty area and shot into the net.

Alonso-Rodriguez's goal was similar to a missed opportunity by the Warriors less than a minute earlier, when a loose ball led to a shot by Nic Farr that was blocked off the goal line at 57:20 by WU player Jack Moothart (Fr., M, Portland, OR/West Linn HS).

The Warriors tied the game with two goals in just over a minute. At 59:28, Jesse Martin hit a soft header from 12 yards out that goalie Matthew Twyman (So., San Diego, CA/San Diego HS of Int'l Studies) went up to catch. The ball went off Twyman's gloves and into the goal. Rolando Velazquez of Corban scored the tying goal at 60:38.

Velazquez received the ball just outside the left post on a crossing pass from Christian Silva. Velazquez shot from five yards, sending the ball back across the goal and into the right side-netting.

Liam Main (Sr., D, San Francisco, CA/Marin Academy) of Willamette missed wide left at 66:23 after the Bearcats were able to spring him into the box.

Corban moved in front, 3-2, at 82:41, as Timur Zhividze scored on a 15-yard shot from the right side into the lower left corner. Velazquez earned an assist on the play.

The Warriors, who used only two bench players during the game, outshot the Bearcats 24-8 overall and 11-5 in shots on goal. Zhividze led all players with nine shots, while Velazquez topped all players with four shots on target. Alonso-Rodriguez led Willamette with three total shots and two shots on goal.

Up next for the Bearcats is an exhibition game at Concordia University (Ore.) on Friday, Aug. 25. Game time in Portland, Oregon, is set for 5 p.m. WU will close out the exhibition season by hosting Evergreen State College on Monday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. on Sparks Field.