By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
TACOMA, Wash. -- Willamette University and University of Puget Sound battled for nearly two complete halves of their Northwest Conference men's soccer game on Sunday, Oct. 29 with the score at 0-0. Sean Hamel of Puget Sound broke the scoreless tie by scoring with just 4:55 remaining in the second half, as he sent the Loggers to a 1-0 victory over the Bearcats.
Puget Sound upped its record to 9-6-1 this fall, including 7-5-1 (22 points) in the NWC. Willamette fell to 9-6-2 overall and to 8-3-2 (26 points) in the NWC. The Bearcats slipped to second in the NWC standings with one game remaining. Pacific Lutheran University defeated Linfield College, 4-1, on Sunday in Tacoma, Washington, to grab sole possession of first place at 9-2-2 (29 points).
Willamette and PLU will both close out the season on Saturday, Nov. 4. Willamette will play at Linfield at 12 p.m. (PDT). Pacific Lutheran will play at Puget Sound, also at 12 p.m.
"We were very good versus Puget Sound," Willamette Head Coach Lloyd Fobi said. "We played some of our best soccer of the season. I'm so proud of this group. We are learning that life is not fair. It's the best lesson these young men can learn this early in their lives."
Hamel's goal for the Loggers on Sunday was his first goal of the season. He scored after receiving a cross from Sam Gonzalez, who recorded an assist on the play.
The Bearcats pressed into Puget Sound's half of the field for the next two to three minutes, but couldn't find a tying goal. Willamette earned a corner kick with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Quinn Mello-Bastida (Sr., M, San Jose, CA/Valley Christian HS/U. of Portland) took the corner kick, which led to a shot by Alan Hernandez (Sr., F, Tigard, OR/Tigard HS) that was blocked by a defender.
Puget Sound outshot the Bearcats 12-7 in total attempts and 8-3 in shots on goal. Fourteen of the 19 total shots were in the second half. The Loggers grabbed a 4-3 edge in corner kicks, but the Bearcats held a 2-0 lead in corner kicks taken in the second half.
Willamette goalkeeper Marco Gonzalez-Yanez (Jr., GK, Portland, OR/Central Catholic HS/U. of Portland) earned seven saves for the Bearcats to keep the games scoreless until Hamel's tie-breaking goal. Puget Sound goalie Wren Norwood registered three saves.
Hamel and Stefan Jensen tied for the game high with three total shots. Mack van der Velde (Fr., M, Voorhut, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) and Maxwell McKee (Jr., M, Coronado, CA/Coronado HS) each took two shots for WU. Two shots by Hamel and both of van der Velde's shots were on goal.