by McKinley Powers
The men’s soccer team came off the field with a 2-0 win over the Whitman Missionaries on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Pirates (10-0-1) continue to lead the Northwest Conference and are ranked third in the most recent national Division III polls.
The Pirates came out eager to continue their successful season. The defense was able to maintain a strong and consistent line of stops as they worked to lead the Pirates to their eighth consecutive shutout of the season. The Pirates’ attacking players were able to make the opportunities created by the defense count by capitalizing with two goals.
“Our guys made it difficult for them to create the overall chance to score,” head coach Morgan Cathey said. “It was a great performance top to bottom for our guys.”
Senior forward Karl Muelheims gave the Pirates an early lead by scoring within the first 10 minutes of the first half. Muelheims fought through several defenders in the box before scoring from five-yards out into the lower left corner of the goal. This marks Muelheims’ ninth goal of the season, leading the conference.
“With a solid defense it allows for the forwards to be more free and create chances and get into advanced positions,” Muelheims said.
The Pirates finished out the half with 10 shots on goal and three saves by junior goalkeeper Timmy Costa.
“Starting at the back, our defense is very new this year for the most part,” Cathey said. “Besides Timmy, all of the players have just started playing at those positions this year. To have all of the players new to the system and new to each other, we are very proud on how we have handled every situation.”
The Pirates started the second half strong and determined to maintain their lead. Junior forward Rylan Berriman scored 10 minutes into the half, putting the Pirates’ lead to 2-0 over the Missionaries. Berriman received the ball from the midfield and took a shot from the right side, resulting in a goal. Whitworth then finished the game with an additional six shots on goal.
“We played well today and got the win,” Berriman said. “Our focus on being excellent is really evident. We can’t wait to get some revenge on George Fox next Saturday.”
After playing the Bruins earlier this season, the Pirates tied 1-1 after two overtimes. This is the only mark on their season that Whitworth hasn’t come out with a win.
“We have hit the halfway point in conference games so now we go back and play all these teams again,” Cathey said. “Throughout this next round we are really working on being in the NCAA tournament and in order to do that we have to win the conference. We are in front right now and we just have to stay there. We want to make a big impact in the tournament this year.”
The Pirates will continue to play at home as they take on the George Fox Bruins next Saturday, Oct. 17.
Contact McKinley Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org