By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A goal by Patrick Charlton (Sr., F, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) at 22:12 was enough for Willamette University on Sunday, Nov. 3, as the Bearcats maintained the lead for a 1-0 victory over Northwest Conference rival Whitman College in a men's soccer game. Willamette improved to 11-4-3 on the season and to 8-4-1 in the NWC. Whitman slipped to 13-6-0 overall, 10-3-0 in the NWC.
The Blues remain in second place in the conference with 30 points in the standings. Pacific Lutheran University leads the NWC at 10-1-2 (32 points). Willamette is third in the NWC with 25 points.
Charlton scored the game's only goal following a pass from Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS). Sato received the ball near the top of the 18-yard box, and quickly passed to Charlton who was about eight yards out near the center of the goal. Charlton had space to turn and then take a low shot that eluded Whitman goalie Owen Davis-Bower.
Sato, who received an assist on the play, is Willamette's top scorer with 19 points. He entered the game tied with Nicholas Ballenger (Sr., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS/Oregon State Univ.) for the team goal-scoring lead with six goals, and he is now tied with Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA) for the team lead with seven assists.
"It was a fantastic performance from the team today. We had many players out of position because we had a couple of players out for the match, but the team was committed to working for each other and go the job done. I'm really proud of all the guys!"
— Willamette Head Coach Jared Rust
Whitman outshot Willamette 7-4 during the game, but the Bearcats earned a 3-2 edge in shots on goal. Three of Willamette's total shots were during the first half. Prior to Charlton's goal, the Bearcats created a shot for Sato at 12:31 and an opportunity for Ballenger at 14:42. Sato's shot was saved by Davis-Bower. Ballenger's attempt went wide.
The only shot of the first half for Whitman was the first shot of the game, an effort by Peter Stephens that was saved by WU goalkeeper Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) at 7:46.
Kelliher did not have to make another save on his way to recording his seventh solo shutout of the season. He has earned 12 solo shutouts in his career. Davis-Bower finished with two saves for the Blues, including a stop at 66:50 on a shot by Shiomi.
Although Whitman's four shots in the second half did not require saves from Kelliher, a shot at 71:38 by Oscar Harding forced a defender to clear the ball from just inside the 6-yard box. The clearance prevented the ball from reaching the goal and also kept a nearby Whitman attacker from following up with a second shot.
The game featured 26 fouls and four yellow cards. Whitman was called for 15 fouls, compared to 11 fouls on Willamette. Each team received two yellow cards
Willamette will take on archrival Linfield College on Saturday, Nov. 9 in McMinnville, Oregon, in the final regular season game. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. (PST).