By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Mack van der Velde (So., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) scored 5:43 into the first sudden-death overtime to give Willamette University a 1-0 victory over Whitman College in a Northwest Conference men's soccer game on Saturday, Oct. 13. The win advanced the Bearcats to 11-1-1 on the season, as they remained undefeated in the NWC at 8-0-0. Whitman fell to 6-6-0, including 5-3-0 in the NWC.
The goal by van der Velde was his first of the season. Although Willamette took a total of six shots during the game, the winning shot by van der Velde was the Bearcats' only shot registered on goal. Whitman took eight shots and placed three of the shots on goal, but did not earn a shot in overtime.
"I'm very proud of the group," Willamette Head Coach Lloyd Fobi commented. "The second half of league play is always a new challenge. We need to keep finding ways to solve our challenges, and today we did."
Nicholas Ballenger (Jr., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS) of Willamette created a shot at 6:02, but it was blocked by a defender. A bit later, a shot by Ballenger was blocked at 10:26. A shot by Maxwell McKee (Sr., M, Coronado, CA/Coronado HS) went wide right at 11:38, and a shot by Miky Alonso-Rodriguez (So., M, Madras, OR/Redmond Proficiency Academy) was high at 14:15.
Less than 30 seconds after the shot by Alonso-Rodriguez, Peter Stephens of Whitman headed a shot toward the goal, but Mason Kelliher (Jr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) registered the game's first save. Kelliher added another save at 32:26 on a shot by Austin Betschart.
Each team took four shots in the first half, but the Blues gained a 4-1 edge in shots over the second 45 minutes. Even so, Kelliher had to make only one save in the second half, as he stopped a shot by Jacob Barsher at 61:30. Willamette's only shot of the second half was by Yuki Onishi (So., M, Yokohama, Japan/Yamanashi Gakuin) at 88:41.
The goal by van der Velde at 95:43 was scored after the ball bounced of goalkeeper Matt Reich. With the goal, van der Velde became the 12th Willamette player to score a goal this season. The Bearcat have outscored their opponents 29-11. Kelliher recorded his fifth solo shutout of the season.
Willamette will take on Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
With the Bearcats and the Blues competing in the first
of a possible two 10-minute, sudden-death overtime
periods, Mack van der Velde found the back of the net
to give Willamette a 1-0 win over Whitman. His goal
at 95:43 provided the Bearcats with their third straight
one-goal victory and their fifth one-goal win of the season.