by Josiah VanWingerden
The men’s soccer team made two shutouts during family weekend with victories over the George Fox Bruins, 6-0 on Saturday and the Pacific University Boxers, 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates now hold first place in the Northwest Conference and gained national attention for their success, with a fourth overall ranking in for the season. Whitworth gained national attention for their success.
The Pirates dominated early in Saturday’s game against George Fox, with senior forward Karl Muelheims scoring three goals within an 11-minute span in the first half. This would be Muelheims’ first of two hat tricks of the weekend.
The Pirates’ 6 goal total against George Fox was their second highest score of the season, as they held a key advantage on possession, firing off 26 shots to the Bruins 8.
Additionally, the Pirates outshot the Bruins on goal 10-2, which helped the Pirates take control, as most of the game was played on the Bruins’ half of the field.
“George Fox was the only team we haven’t beaten so far,” senior defender Spencer Wolfe said. “So there’s a little extra motivation to be really prepared, really motivated, both physically and mentally to stay engaged the whole time.”
The Pirates’ midfielders also contributed goals, as junior Johnny Thayer, sophomore Eric Espinoza and freshman Tanner Stepp each scored to finish the team win for the Pirates.
Their momentum translated into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Pacific Boxers, as the Pirates got off to a fast-paced start, as Muelheims scored the first goal in the second minute of the game.
Rain was a big factor in the game. The Pirates were forced to play in wet conditions, but they did so with success, outshooting the Boxers 20-5, including a 4-2 advantage on goal.
“I love wet conditions, Muelheims said. “The ball moves faster for us, and the faster the ball moves, the faster the other team has to run to get into the right defensive positions and I don’t think the second goal I had today would’ve gone through on a dry day.”
Moreover, the Pirates once again took advantage of possession and earned a 3-1 edge in corner kicks, completing their 10th shutout of the season, allowing only one goal by inter-conference opponents for the year so far.
“One of the greatest things I’ve learned about myself this year is to really keep it simple,” head coach Morgan Cathey said. “Our guys have really grown the last two years to know exactly what we want for them in the game.”
After this weekend’s performances, Muelheims leads the Northwest Conference in goals, with 15. The Pirates men’s soccer program now ranks fourth overall in Division III Athletics.
The team travels to Western Washington for two key match-ups: Saturday at Pacific Lutheran, before facing the University of Puget Sound on Sunday.
Contact Josiah VanWingerden at firstname.lastname@example.org