Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Men’s soccer prepped for first NWC weekend

Whitman men's soccer team celebrates after a victory last weekend against Colorado College, their first win of the season. Credit: Norman
Whitman men's soccer team celebrates after a victory last weekend against Colorado College, their first win of the season. Credit: Norman

After tying their first game of the year against Northwest University on Sept. 4 and losing to St. Martin’s five days later, the men’s soccer team was anxious to earn their first win of the season.

During a two-game road trip to Colorado this weekend, they got their victory: with flair.

After a hard-fought 2-0 loss on Friday to the seventh-ranked Redhawks of Montclair State, Whitman bounced back Saturday behind junior forward Chris Reid’s winning tally against Colorado College.

After trailing Colorado 1-0 for 57 minutes, senior forward Todd Wallenius scored with two minutes left in regulation to send the match into overtime.

Whitman Men's Soccer CompetesWith all the momentum on their side, it took Whitman only six minutes of the first overtime to score their golden goal. The strike, Reid’s first goal since transferring from Walla Walla Community College this fall, came after first-year Leland Matthaeus’ cross was cleared from Colorado’s penalty area. The clearance fell to Reid, whose long shot found the top right corner after deflecting off a Tigers’ defender.

According to junior defender Cooper Crosby, Reid’s goal was one of the highlights of the road trip.

“Chris just started sprinting down the field after he scored and then everybody caught up with him. We just had a big mob celebrating in front of their fans,” he said.

Despite the loss in their first match, the team feels confident that they can stand up to national powerhouses like Montclair. The Redhawks, who moved to 4-0 this season with their win against Whitman, lost only one game last year and will be strong contenders to win their fourth consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference title this season.

Whitman College Men's Soccer“We played well,” Whitman coach Mike Washington said of Friday’s match. “We showed we can play with the top teams in the country.”

With the loss of three key defenders from last year’s team, Washington has also opted to use a three-defender system instead of the traditional four. Crosby, a captain and the only returning defensive starter from 2008 anchors the center, while junior John Fleming and first-year Jed Jacobson guard the flanks.

Whitman’s next challenges come this weekend as they take on George Fox and Pacific University at home.

Fleming believes that the pre-season schedule has the team well-prepared heading into NWC play.

“Through the pre-season, we defintely started to find an attacking rhythm, and I think we are going to surprise some people,” he said. “George Fox and Pacific will be good teams for us to start off against. We can defend well against their direct attacking style.”

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