Filip Timotija | Staff Writer
Whitworth men’s soccer snapped a two-game losing streak by recording two conference wins this past weekend. The Pirates won 2-1 against Willamette on Saturday, Sept. 18 and 6-1 against Linfield the next day.
Both teams went scoreless in the first half on Saturday with Willamette controlling 65% of the possessions.
The Pirates came out aggressive in the second half with Beckett Arthur scoring inside the box for Whitworth after just two minutes of play. Not long after, Dominic Gusman scored the second goal for Whitworth after a precise pass from Victor Loyola.
Willamette’s Ardem Baronian was able to minimize Whitworth’s lead by scoring a goal after an assist from Sean Kim, but that was not enough to force a tie.
The game ended with Willamette up 15-12 in shots, and 9-6 in shots on goal.
The second game ended in a dominant Pirate victory. Andyn Maldonado was first to score for Whitworth after an accurate pass from Jonathan Guglielmetti. Dominic Gusman scored Whitworth’s second goal after a solo breakaway play in the 19th minute of the game. Gusman then secured another goal after a perfect delivery by Jacob Janzen, and the Pirates were up 3-0 after the first half.
Linfield scored their only goal in the 1st minute of the second half when Ronan Krutzikowsky was able to use a pass from Cesar Cruz Espindola to hit the target.
The Pirates kept pressuring Linfield’s defense, resulting in three more goals for Whitworth. Beckett Arthur scored in the 60th minute of the game after an assist from Dominic Gusman, who completed his hat-trick at the 68-minute mark by scoring another unassisted goal. Arthur put the finishing touch on the scoreboard, scoring his second goal of the match via penalty kick.
The Pirates finished the match with 20 total shots, 15 of which were on target. Linfield had 15 shots and 9 were on target.
Whitworth head coach Jeremy Payne was satisfied with the play of his team this weekend.
“It is one thing to get a result, to grind, to be gritty, but it’s another to have periods where you are playing well while doing it. That is something we will be chasing going forward,” Payne said.
Dominic Gusman was the highlight of the weekend, scoring five goals in two matches and showing tremendous improvement.
“He is a special player. I would say his growth [has come from] probably just having games under his belt and feeling more comfortable going into this season,” Payne said. “He was a freshman in the spring and now he has more games under him. The guys really support him and believe in him.”
Another standout over the weekend was freshman Beckett Arthur who scored three goals over the two matches.
“Another special player,” Payne said. “You can’t teach some of the things that he is able to do with just his athleticism and size, but he is not just big. He can really play, he has really good feet and he is going to get better. He is just scratching the surface of where he is at. We are really excited to have him here.”
Whitworth is heading to Tacoma next weekend to play another pair of conference games against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26, both at 2:30pm.