By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Two men's soccer rivals with plenty of talent -- Willamette University and Whitworth University -- met on the Whitworth Soccer Field in a Northwest Conference game on Sunday, Oct. 14. The Bearcats and the Pirates played to a 1-1 tie in two overtimes. Both teams showed their skills, with the Bearcats gaining momentum as the game progressed. The competition also featured many one-on-one battles, leading to 37 fouls and seven yellow cards.
With the tie, Willamette's record moved to 11-1-2 on the season and to 8-0-1 (25 points) in the NWC. The Bearcats, who are ranked #3 in the West Region of NCAA Division III by the United Soccer Coaches, lead the NWC standings by four points. Pacific Lutheran University holds second place at 7-2-0 (21 points). The tie changed Whitworth's record to 4-8-3 overall, 3-4-2 in the NWC.
"There was a great feeling to this game today," Willamette Head Coach Lloyd Fobi said. "I felt we had more in the tank and really started playing well in the second half and created some great chances. It was unfortunate the clock ran out."
Whitworth scored first on a penalty kick by Kyle Cacoyannis at 35:57 following a handball in the penalty area. Willamette tied the game just over a minute later on a goal by Max Berner-Hays (So., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) at 37:03. Berner-Hays leads the NWC with eight goals and 20 total points on the season. Jack Moothart (So., M, West Linn/West Linn HS) earned an assist on the play, which began with a free kick sent into the Whitworth box. Berner-Hays headed the ball past Jesus Nunez, who was in goal for the Pirates.
Neither team scored during the rest of the first half, all of the second half and the two 10-minute overtime periods. Whitworth held a 17-11 edge in total shots and an 8-6 margin in shots on goal. The Pirates outshot the Bearcats 8-2 in the first half, but each team recorded a total of nine shots in the second half and the two overtimes.
Anthony Richard-Bassett (So., GK, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) played all 110 minutes for Willamette and recorded seven saves. He provided four saves in the first half. Nunez also played the entire game and contributed five saves for the Pirates.
Jose Bautista almost gave Whitworth an early lead when his header hit the crossbar just 1:39 after the game started. Thirteen seconds later, a shot by Ethan Kem forced Richard-Bassett to make a save. Bautista put a header on target at 3:33, but Richard-Bassett registered his second save. Nicholas Ballenger (Jr., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS) took Willamettte's first shot at 8:13, causing Nunez to record a save.
After preventing Whitworth from holding a halftime lead, the Bearcats gained strength in the second half, especially as the game reached the closing minutes of regulation. Ballenger missed high on a shot at 80:29. Josh Schneider (Fr., F, Washoughal, WA/Camas HS) took a shot that required a save by Nunez at 82:16.
Richard-Bassett made a save on a Whitworth shot by Aaron Yanagi at 85:00. A shot for the Pirates by Britton Clifford was blocked by the Willamette defense at 87:44. Berner-Hays earned a header with just 17 seconds on the clock, but Nunez responded with a save and the game moved to overtime.
Miky Alonso-Rodriguez (So., M, Madras, OR/Redmond Proficiency Academy) and Mack van der Velde (So., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) had back-to-back shots for Willamette blocked by the Pirates just over two minutes into overtime. A bit later, Ryan Sato (Fr., F, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) of Willamette kicked a short-angle shot from the left side that went barely wide left as Nunez guarded the near post. Ty Cardinale of Whitworth took a shot that was saved by Richard-Bassett at 99:58.
In the second overtime, Josh Schneider (Fr., F, Washoughal, WA/Camas HS) missed wide left for Willamette at 103:01 on a shot from 12 yards. At 105:48, Zanskar Blair of Whitworth was open eight yards out and halfway toward the right edge of the box when his strike went wide right without challenging Richard-Bassett. Omar Dominguez Pascasio (So., M/D, Madras, OR/Madras HS) took a shot for the Bearcats at 108:27 that was saved by Nunez.
Willamette will host Pacific University at Sparks Field on Saturday, Oct. 20. Game time is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Goalkeeper Anthony Richard-Bassett had not played in a game
for the Bearcats since playing the first 30 minutes in Willamette's
4-0 win at Pacific University on Sept. 23. Even so, he was ready
on Sunday to take on the Pirates three weeks later. Whitworth
earned three shots in the first 3:33 of the game, with one shot
hitting the crossbar and Richard-Bassett saving the other two.
He went on to register a total of seven saves.