By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University sophomore midfielder Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) scored on a 19-yard free kick at 15:03, and earned an assist on a similar free kick less than four minutes into the second half, as he helped lead the Bearcat to a 3-0 shutout win against Northwest Christian University on Saturday, Sept. 7. The victory at Sparks Field improved the Bearcats to 2-0-2 on the season. NCU, playing its season openr, fell to 0-1.
Max Berner-Hays (Jr., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) and Carter McCleary (Jr., F, Port Hadlock, WA/Chimacum HS) each scored a goal for the Bearcats. Josh Schneider (So., F, Washoughal, WA/Camas HS) and Pierce Gallaway (Fy., M, Carmel, CA/Carmel HS) were each credited with an assist, as they combined to set up the third goal, which was scored by McCleary at 57:55. Earlier, Berner-Hays scored WU's second goal at 48:47.
Sato opened the scoring with a tremendous free kick from just outside the penalty area. His shot from the left side curled into the upper right corner of the goal. The Bearcats remained in front 1-0 at the break, but doubled their lead soon after the start of the second half.
The play began with another free kick by Sato from just outside the top left corner of the box. This time his kick was from about 23 yards out after Mack van der Velde (Jr., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) was fouled. Sato sent the ball toward the middle of the six-yard box, where Berner-Hays connected on a diving header from four-yards.
Less than 10 minutes later, McCleary's goal gave the Bearcats a 3-0 edge. Gallaway was about 25 yards out and a bit to the right side when he passed the ball forward to Schneider, who took control just about 17 yards out near the right side of the penalty area. Schneider kicked the ball straight across the top of the box, and McCleary lifted a shot into the upper left corner of the net.
Willamette goalies Anthony Richard-Bassett (Jr., GK, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) split the 90 minutes to share the shutout. Richard-Bassett provided two saves in the first half. Kelliher did not register a save in the second half, as the Bearcats allowed only three total shots and no shots on goal in the final 45 minutes.
"I am really pleased with our result today. It was a game of two halves, and we started pretty slow after our short turn-around from the previous day's match. We were happy to be up 1-0 at the half, but wanted to be better in the second half, and the group responded and finished strong."
— Willamette Head Coach Jared Rust
The Bearcats ended the game with an 18-8 edge in total shots and recorded a 9-2 lead in shots on goal. Julian Hernandez, who played all 90 minutes in goal for the Beacons, responded with six saves for NCU. One of the saves by Hernandez was on a strong shot that Gallaway kicked low from 25 yards only a couple minutes before McCleary scored WU's third goal.
Willamette returns to action on Friday, Sept. 13 against California Institute of Technology in the third game of a five-game homestand. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University sophomore midfielder Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) scored on a 22-yard free kick at 15:03, and earned an assist on a similar free kick less than four minutes into the second half, as he helped lead the Bearcat to a 3-0 shutout win against Northwest Christian University on Saturday, Sept. 7. The victory at Sparks Field improved the Bearcats to 2-0-2 on the season. NCU, playing its season openr, fell to 0-1.