by Craig Russell | Staff Writer
The Whitworth men’s soccer team went 1-1 this weekend; Saturday they lost to Williamette 3-1, and Sunday they turned it around and finished 3-1 against Linfield.
Saturday’s game started off with both teams on high energy. Ten minutes into the game Jonah Snyder, ‘18, found an opening in Willamette’s defence, got a shot off from the middle, but barely missed left. After this, Williamette came back with their own attempt to penetrate the middle, but Jesus Nunez, ‘20, Whitworth keeper, snatched their high pass out of the air, and lobbed it downfield for the Pirates offence to try and make a play.
At the 23rd minute mark, Willamette’s Hijiri Iijima caught Nunez off guard. Iijima stole a pass from Nunez and was able to make a lob shot over him before he could run back to the goal. Whitworth stayed in the game, but couldn’t find the net before the close of the half.
Willamette then had two more goals within ten minutes of the start of the second half. Whitworth stayed strong, putting up shot attempts. It wasn’t until ten minutes remained that Moi Diaz, ‘18, found the back of the net, and saved the pirates from a shutout. Snyder found Diaz though the defence, and Diaz was able to get control of the ball and meg the keeper.
The game ended with Whitworth at 16 shots, with only four on goal. Willamette had nine shots, seven of which were on goal.
Sunday’s game went much differently for the pirates. Deposit an early goal for Linfield, the Pirates were able to recover and come out on top.
Linfield’s first and only goal was made by Ryan Kister. Kister made it downfield past Blake Hepler, ‘20, who lost his footing, and was able to make a goal over Nunez’s head.
This didn’t stop Whitworth as they fought against going 0-2 another weekend. Eric Espinoza, ‘18, was able to make a goal halfway into the first, assisted by Diaz. The game stayed tied until the half.
The second half Whitworth was able to take the lead thanks to two goals from Diaz.
Whitworth head coach, Morgan Cathey, stated that despite the “flukey” goals in each game, he was proud of how his players responded. He said, comparing the two games, the second game the players were “free, confident and assertive,” and that they were more able to move and trust one another.
Next week the pirates are away facing the Whitman Blues Saturday at 2 pm.