Men’s Soccer Splits Weekend Games, Beats PLU in OT Thriller

Marah Alindogan

The Whitman Missionaries men’s soccer team (5-8-2, 4-4-1 NWC) had a big weekend at home as they faced Pacific Lutheran University (9-3-3, 4-3-2 NWC) and the University of Puget Sound (10-4, 8-1).

On Saturday, Oct. 19, the Missionaries played Pacific Lutheran University Lutes in a double overtime thriller, winning 1-0. Unable to score during regulation time, it took the Missionaries until the last second of the second overtime to score the winning goal.

The game was tight the whole way through. With every Lute attack, the Missionaries responded with intensity on offense and defense. With the game seemingly ending in a tie, senior midfielder Junpei Tsuji scored the lone goal from 15 yards out with an assist from Reid Shaw, a senior defender. The crowd and team erupted with joy as the goal sealed the victory for the Missionaries. It was a team effort as both the Missionary offense and defense proved very active in the game. The Missionaries had an impressive 27 shot attempts to Pacific Lutheran’s seven. Junior goalkeeper Niko Contos was credited with the shutout after an impressive performance, including one save.

The next day, the Missionaries faced the University of Puget Sound Loggers, who sit atop the standings in the Northwest Conference. After a spectacular performance the day before, the Missionaries were unable to keep their momentum as they lost to the Loggers 2-0.

Both Logger goals came in the first half, one in the 22nd minute and the other in 42nd minute. The first goal was scored due to a defensive breakdown as one of the Loggers was able to dribble past the defense and score. After a series of unfortunate deflections, the second goal was scored unexpectedly as junior goalkeeper Stuart Ellsworth was unable to react fast enough.
Overall, the game was tight on both ends as the Missionaries were able to put up nine shot attempts in comparison to the Loggers 11.

Next weekend, Oct. 26 to 27, the Missionaries travel to Oregon to play George Fox University and Pacific University.