By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
NEWBERG, Ore. -- Max Berner-Hays (Fr., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) scored two goals to lead Willamette University to a 2-0 shutout win over George Fox University on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Austin Sports Complex. Berner-Hays scored once in each half, as Willamette upped its record to 8-4-2 overall and to 7-1-2 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats lead the NWC with 23 points. George Fox fell to 4-12 overall, 2-8 in the NWC.
In addition to scoring both goals, Berner-Hays contributed to the Willamette's defensive efforts, as the Bearcats achieved their sixth shutout of the season. Willamette limited George Fox to seven total shots and just one shot on goal. The Bearcats took 12 shots overall and placed five shots on target.
"The team played some very good soccer," Willamette Head Coach Lloyd Fobi said. "It was nice to see a great week of practice translate into a solid outing. I'm proud of how this young team shows maturity."
Quinn Mello-Bastida (Sr., M, San Jose, CA/Valley Christian HS/U. of Portland) took the first shot for WU at 14:11, but missed high. The first shot on goal went to GFU's Sean Owens, who forced a save by WU goalkeeper Marco Gonzalez-Yanez at 18:40. Berner-Hays missed twice for Willamette on headers just seven seconds apart at 22:38 and 22:45. Alan Hernandez (Sr., F, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) shot at 24:10 only to have goalie Andrew Phillis earn a save for the Bruins.
Berner-Hays found the net at 33:57 on a shot from the left side after taking a pass from Mason Kelliher (So., F, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College). Willamette took the 1-0 lead into the halftime break, but the Bearcats almost increased their lead when Marco Gonzalez (Jr., F, Independence, OR/Central HS) shot twice in the 41st minute. Phillis saved the first shot and a defender blocked the second attempt.
GFU battled to tie the score in the second half and outshot the Bearcats 4-2 in the first 25 minutes of the period, but all four shots by the Bruins were high.
A free kick for the Bearcats led to the second goal for Berner-Hays at 72:21, as Willamette gained greater control of the game. Joe Plaster (Jr., D, San Diego, CA/University City HS) took the restart and sent the ball toward Berner-Hays, who headed it into the net. It was the fourth goal of the season for Berner-Hays.
Phillis ended the game with three saves for the Bruins. Gonzalez-Yanez had one save. He split the shutout with Quinn Nottage (Sr., GK, Portland, OR/Franklin HS), who played the final 9:22. George Fox committed 14 fouls, while WU was called for seven infractions. Neither team received a yellow card or red card during the game.
Willamette returns to Salem, Oregon, for a home game against Pacific University on Sunday, Oct. 22. Game time is set for 12 p.m. (PDT). It will be Senior Day for the Bearcats, who will close out the regular season with three consecutive road contests.