Bearcats Defeat Linfield, 2-1, as Schneider Scores with 17 Seconds Left

The Willamette University Bearcats celebrate a goal.
The Willamette University Bearcats celebrate a goal.

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, Ore. -- Josh Schneider (So., F, Washoughal, WA/Camas HS) scored a goal for Willamette University with 17 seconds remaining in the second half to send the Bearcats to a 2-1 victory over archrival Linfield College, in a Northwest Conference men's soccer game on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Sparks Field. Schneider's goal, assisted by Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA), brought a sudden change to a game that appeared headed toward overtime. The win moved Willamette to 7-2-3 on the season, including a 4-2-1 record in the NWC. Linfield fell to 4-8-1 overall, 2-4-1 in the NWC.

"The boys played hard for each other and created many good opportunities. I was really pleased with how they stayed true to who we are as a team, and trusted the process to deliver a second goal. They were rewarded with that commitment to one another."
— Willamette Head Coach Jared Rush

Linfield scored first, just 2:43 into the game, when a flip throw-in by Ronan Krutzikowsky became a line drive that was headed into the net by Makai Shriner. Willamette scored the tying goal about 25 minutes later at 27:27 on a shot by Mack van der Velde (Jr., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) following a corner kick by Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS).

The opening goal occurred quickly, as the throw-in by Krutzikowsky zoomed through the air as if shot on a rope. Shriner was able to use his head to redirect the line-drive throw from the top of the six-yard box into the goal.

Willamette's tying goal involved Sato's fifth assist of the season. He took the corner kick and found van der Velde for a free header five yard out near the center of the goal. It was van der Velde's second goal of the season.

Neither team scored again until Schneider's goal as the game neared a full 90 minutes.

On the winning play, Shiomi stole the ball about 15 yards onto Willamette's defensive side of midfield near the bleacher seating. He quickly went forward and passed the ball from 25 yard out on the left side. The low cross was about to bounce for a second time when Schneider barely beat Linfield goalkeeper Cameron Perron to the ball near the penalty spot. Schneider shot with his right foot into the left part of the goal.

Willamette almost scored about two minutes earlier at 87:37 on a shot from point-blank range just outside the right post, but Perron made a save as the ball went toward the upper corner. Kelliher saved a shot by Linfeld's Malachi Stalberg at 88:38.

Each team took a total of 17 shots, but Willamette earned a 10-6 margin in shots on goal. WU also claimed an 8-5 edge in corner kicks. Perron finished with eight saves for the Wildcats, while Kelliher achieved five saves for the Bearcats.

The next game for Willamette is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19 at Sparks Field, where the Bearcats will battle Pacific Lutheran University. The Bearcats and the Lues played to a 1-1 tie in two overtimes on Oct. 6 in Tacoma, Washington.