Men’s soccer splits the weekend after slow start Saturday

by Kara Need | Sports Editor

The Pirates split the weekend losing to Pacific 2-3 last Saturday and then bounced back to beat George Fox 4-0 on Sunday afternoon.

Despite a rough start by both teams with little clean possession play on either side, the Pirates found the back of the net in the 23rd when Eric Espinoza, ‘18, made space out wide on the left to find a cross into Kyle Cacoyannis, ‘18. Cacoyannis found the ball with his head and placed it in the back of the net past the keeper.

Although predicted to place fifth in the NWC this season, Pacific fought hard against the defending conference champions and took advantage of the Pirate’s slower pace in the first half to put them on the heels. Just ten minutes after Cacoyannis’ goal, the Boxer’s James Curro took advantage of a mistake by the Pirates back line and touched the ball around Whitworth keeper Jesus Nunez, ‘20, to finish on the open net.

In the second half, Pacific forward Matt Kimball scored two consecutive goals to up the score to 3-1. Kimball’s first goal came in the 56th minute from an assist from his teammate Diego Lopes. He quickly tallied a second goal in the 59th minute with an unassisted goal slotted on the ground past Nunez.

Late in the second half, the Pirates found more of their rhythm and mounted a number of attacks on the Boxer defense. The Pirates found the back of the net in the 74th minute. Jonah Snyder, ‘18, was fouled in the box while trying to receive a cross from Micah Weller, ‘18. A penalty kick was called and Snyder stepped up and easily slotted it past Pacific’s keeper.

The Pirates continued to generate opportunities late in the game but were unable to match Pacific’s score. Moi Diaz, ‘18, created space on the left side, generating crosses and other opportunities on goal, including a cross that found Haas on the back side with six minutes left; Haas’ header flew just wide.

At the end of the game, Whitworth had 15 shots while Pacific tallied 11.

On Sunday, the Pirates came out strong to best the George Fox Bruins with Drew Williams, ‘19,  tallying two goals to propel the Pirates to a 4-0 win.

In contrast to Saturday, the Pirates started out quickly with strong possession and goal scoring opportunities against the Bruins’ disorganized back line. Snyder hit a shot off the crossbar in the 2nd minute and an attempt in the 10th minute found the back of the net but was called offsides.

The Pirates found the back of the net in the 13th minute when Austin Cassity, ‘18, slipped the ball into Williams who easily placed the ball past the keeper. Just four minutes later Weller scored with a long shot out from the left side. In the 26th minute the Pirates tallied yet another goal when Snyder beat the defender on the right wing and slipped it to Williams with his back to the goal. Williams tipped it to freshman Ethan Kem, who scored for the first goal of his career.

Williams finished his second goal and the fourth goal of the match just one minute after Kem when a cross came in and Williams finished it with a bicycle kick.

Despite a few more frantic moments to finish the half, the Pirates held on through the rest of the game to finish the Bruins 4-0.

The Pirates travel to Tacoma next weekend to take on Pacific Lutheran on Saturday and University of Puget Sound on Sunday. Both games are at 12 p.m.