Weekend Recap: Whitman Men’s Soccer Sweeps Senior Weekend

Mitchell Smith

Facing the beginning of its final home stand of the season, the Whitman men’s soccer team dominated the second half of their game on Saturday, Nov. 2 at home against Linfield College, winning 4-1.

The Missionaries struck first after a back-and-forth first half. Sophomore Alex Barsher scored his 10th goal of the season in the 41st minute, heading in a cross delivered by sophomore Isaac Sappington.

After the first half, Whitman led both on the scoreboard and in possession, and was looking to cruise the rest of the game. That hope was put in jeopardy in the 68th minute, as the Domenico Del Prate finished a bouncing ball in the middle of the box to tie the game for Linfield.

Just before the equalizer was scored, both teams’ tents were blown over by swirling winds which continued to appear throughout the game. The wind affected the action on the field and the flight of balls in the air was routinely changed while dead leaves covered much of the field.

Possibly because of the uncontrollable elements and the difficulty each team had holding possession, the game turned ugly. In the end, the referee gave five yellow cards: two to Linfield and three to Whitman.

The Missionaries put the game away in the late stages of the second half, getting a goal from senior Jesse Mirman, his first this year, and two goals from sophomore Daniel Kim, bringing his season total to three. Kim also finished with an assist.

Sunday, Nov. 3 marked the final home game for the Whitman soccer-playing seniors. They finished in style, dominating the Willamette Bearcats in a 3-1 win.

Despite Whitman winning the possession battle early on, the Bearcats struck first in the 13th minute off a corner kick. Whitman equalized quickly, though, as Mirman struck a cross from Barsher into the back of the net, scoring his second goal in as many games and in the season.

The elements played a much smaller role in this game, allowing the players to handle the ball much better than they had the day before. Whitman’s offense constantly pressured the Bearcat defense, finishing the game with a total of 25 shots, 14 of which were on target. Willamette shot just nine times, putting five of those on target.

The Missionaries took the lead when Barsher scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season in the 58th minute, putting the ball in from close range.

First-year Sam Perkins scored the prettiest goal of the game in the 74th minute, driving a curling ball into the net from just outside the 18-yard box. It was his first goal of the year.

Whitman seniors Reid Shaw, Junpei Tsuji, Jack Morgan, Chris Perkins, Cooper Schumacher, Alex Baker, Forrest Epstein, Mirman, and assistant coach Daniel Khamanga were honored prior to the game.

The Missionaries will look to improve their 8-4-1 conference record next week in their final game this Saturday, Nov. 9 at Whitworth University.