By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Yuta Suga (So., M, Urawa, Japan/RKU) of Willamette University scored on a penalty kick at 56:07, breaking a scoreless tie and helping the Bearcats defeat Multnomah University, 1-0, on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at Sparks Field. The exhibition game for the Bearcats was the first match played at the newly renovated field. The game was the regular season opener for Multnomah, which fell to 0-1.
Willamette competes in NCAA Division III and the Northwest Conference. Multnomah is a member of the NAIA and the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
The Bearcats outshot the Lions 21-7 overall and held a 7-2 advantage in shots on goal. WU earned all four of the game's corner kicks.
In the first half, Willamette outshot Multnomah, 9-4, with the Bearcats holding a 5-2 edge in shots on target. Willamette narrowly missed scoring when a shot by Yuki Onishi hit the crossbar at 23:24. Just 46 seconds later Max Berner-Hays (So., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) took a shot that was cleared by defender Jose De La Torre.
Willamette also forced MU goalkeeper Manuel Guillermo to make four saves before the intermission. The game was scoreless after 45 minutes.
The first 11 minutes of the second half featured four yellow cards -- two on each team. The only shot early in the half was taken by Quinn Mello-Bastida (Sr., M, San Jose, CA/Valley Christian HS/U. of Portland) of Willamette at 48:31, but the ball went wide right.
As the clock reached 56:07, Victor Lujan of Multnomah received his second yellow card of the half when he brought down a Willamette player in the penalty area. The play resulted in a red card issued to Lujan and a penalty kick for the Bearcats. Suga took the penalty shot and scored past Guillermo to give Willamette a 1-0 lead.
Willamette blasted 12 shots during the final 45 minutes, including 10 after the Bearcats took the lead. A header by Shotaro Fukami (So., D, Ebina, Japan/Asahi) almost doubled WU's score at 66:37, but hit the crossbar.
Despite playing a man short for nearly 34 minutes, the Lions were able to threaten in their attacking third several times. Even so, Willamette's defense prevented Multnomah from registering a shot in the second half.
Guillermo recorded a total of five saves for Multnomah. WU goalies Mason Kelliher (Jr., F, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) and Anthony Richard-Bassett (GK, So., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) shared the shutout. Kelliher was credited with two saves in the first 56:07, while Richard-Bassett did not need to make a save in the final 33:33.
For Willamette, Ryan Sato (M, Fr., Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) took three shots -- all on target. Berner-Hays, Mello-Bastida and Onishi each connected for three shots with one shot on goal. Berner-Hays also led Willamette's stingy defensive effort.
The Bearcats will host the Willamette Alumni on Sunday, Aug. 26 at Sparks Field. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (PDT).