Defenses Shine as Crosstown Rivals Willamette and Corban Battle to 0-0 Tie

Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA), right, and Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College), left
Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA), right, and Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College), left

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University and crosstown rival Corban University battled in men's soccer on Friday, Sept. 6 at Sparks Field on the Willamette campus. Both teams excelled on defense, as the Bearcats and Warriors found few clear shots at either goal. After 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, both teams remained undefeated with a 0-0 tie. Willamette advanced its record to 1-0-2. Corban improved to 1-0-1.

In consecutive games, the Bearcats have tied Trinity University (Texas), ranked #9 in the NCAA Division III Preseason Poll, and Corban, ranked #16 in the NAIA Preseason Poll. WU and Trinity tied at 1-1 after two overtimes on Sunday, Sept. 1.

On Friday, Corban and Willamette each took nine total shots, with the Warriors earning a 3-2 edge in shots on goal. When players created a good chance to score, the opposing goalkeeper was up to the task or the shot narrowly missed the goal. Ultimately, lots of great defending edged out two powerful offenses, resulting in the scoreless draw.

Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA) topped the WU offensive chart with three total shots, including one of Willamette's two shots on goal. The other shot on target was taken by Patrick Charlton (Sr., F, Port Towsend, WA/Port Towsend HS).

The best shot for the Bearcats may have been a header by Max Berner-Hays (Jr., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) at 87:13 following a corner kick. Berner-Hays met the ball with plenty of power and sent his header downward and away from Corban goalie Nic Farr, but the ball went less than two feet wide of the left post.

Earlier in the second half at 73:01, Corban's Nate Sherwood had the best attempt for the Warriors. His shot from just inside the top right edge of the penalty area forced Kelliher to reach up and deflect the ball. Kelliher was on the center of the goal line, but was able to push the ball to his right, far enough to send it past the far post.

Willamette played well throughout the lineup, but starting defenders Berner-Hays, Shiomi, Mack van der Velde (Jr., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) and Omar Dominguez Pascasio (Jr., D, Madras, OR/Madras HS) stood out in the defensive battle. Shiomi and van der Velde also moved forward into the attack on numerous occasions. Berner-Hays and Dominguez Pascasiio helepd out on offensive restarts.

Midfielders Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS), Carter McCleary (Jr., F, Port Hadlock, WA/Chimacum HS) and Edwin Ortiz (Fy., M, Salem, OR/North Salem HS) created lots of problems for Corban. All three provided significant speed and skill, which drew many fouls by the Warriors. For Corban, Sherwood, Hakeem Smith and Camilo Avendao forced the Bearcats into fouls.

By the end of the game, Willamette held a 24-19 edge in total fouls, but the Warriors received five of the game's eight yellow cards. Although some of the fouls were deliberate, often stopping a sudden attack or a counter-attack, few were severe in nature, and none of the players for either team committed a red card offense.

The goalkeepers combined for five saves. Farr recorded two saves for Corban. Kelliher made three saves for the Bearcats.

Willamette will play at home again in less than 24 hours, as the Bearcats are set to host Northwest Christian University on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. (PDT). After taking on the Beacons, Willamette will not play again until Friday, Sept. 13, when the Bearcats will face California Institute of Technology at Sparks Field, with kickoff schedule for 7 p.m.