Evergreen State Edges Bearcats, 1-0, in WU's last Exhibition before Season Opener

Nicholas Ballenger (So., F, Salem, OR/West Salem  HS)
Nicholas Ballenger (So., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Killian Burris scored a goal with just under 18 minutes left, sending Evergreen State College past Willamette University, 1-0, in the final exhibition game on the Bearcats' preseason schedule. The game counted as a regular season contest for Evergreen State, which improved to 1-0-1 on the season.

Willamette will open the regular season at Pomona-Pitzer on Friday, Sept. 1 in Claremont, California. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. (PDT).

Burris scored at 72:17 on a 30-yard shot from the right side that he blasted high toward the middle of the goal. The ball grazed the outstretched hands of Willamette goalie Quinn Nottage (Sr., GK, Portland, OR/Franklin HS) near the crossbar before falling just over the goal line. The play began with a free kick taken by Martin Ramirez from about 35 yards out in the center of the field.

The Geoducks outshot the Bearcats, 14-8, including a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal. Nicholas Ballenger (So., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS) took three of Willamette shots, including two on goal. He forced ESC goalie Ben Stevenson to make a quality save on a point-blank header at the 20:05 mark. Then at 70:57, with the score still 0-0, he took a powerful shot from 17 yards that was cleared by a defender before it reached the net. Ballenger blasted another strong shot a bit later, but the play was ruled offside and the shot was saved by Stevenson.

Matt Alcala (Jr./So., M, Whittier, CA/La Serna HS) of Willamette registered a shot on goal with 23 seconds left in the game, but Stevenson easily recorded a save to preserve the shutout. Stevenson finished with two saves for the Geoducks.

Marco Gonzalez-Yanez (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Central Catholic HS/U. of Portland) and Nottage split time in the nets for the Bearcats. Gonzalez-Yanez played the first 45 minutes and earned four saves, while Nottage was in goal throughout the second half and also recorded four saves. Three of Nottage's saves were excellent on strong shots by the Geoducks.

Angel Trejo-Delgado led Evergreen State's offense with four total shots and three shots on goal. Burris took three shots during the game.

A total of 13 players subbed into the game for the Bearcats, as Willamette took advantage of the exhibition match-up to provide game experience for many of its newest members. Even so, Max Berner-Hays (Fr., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) and Quinn Mello-Bastida (Sr., M, San Jose, CA/Valley Christian HS/U. of Portland) each played 90 minutes. Evergreen State used just two players from its bench.