By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Pacific University took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick by Keola Norton at 32:42, and the Boxers maintained their slim lead for the rest of the game, to defeat Willamette University in Northwest Conference men's soccer action at Hanson Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 23. The Boxers improved to 8-5-3 overall and to 6-2-3 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 7-6-1 overall, with a 5-5-1 record in the NWC.
The game featured 25 total shots with Pacific holding a 14-11 edge, but each team managed only three shots on goal. Pacific goalkeeper Leyton Thommasen and WU goalie Josh Fuentes (Sr., GK, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) each finished with two saves.
Willamette's Ethan Tait (Sr., F, Turlock, CA/Turlock HS) forced the first save of the game when his shot at 21:16 was stopped by Thomassen. The next shot on target was Norton's penalty kick following a foul against the Bearcats in the penalty area.
Fuentes garnered a save at 35:37 on another shot by Norton. Thomassen earned a save at 43:26 on a shot by Fabian Guerrero (Sr., M, Salem, OR/South Salem HS).
WU claimed a narrow 8-7 advantage in shots over the final 45 minutes, but each team had only one shot that required a save. With just under nine minutes remaining, Matt Kimball of Pacific placed a shot toward the net that was saved by Fuentes. Austin Arnold (Jr./So., M, Portland, OR/Grant HS) of Willamette earned the final shot of the game at 87:48, but his accurate strike was cleared by a defender.
Kimball led all players with four total shots. Guerrero recorded three shots for the Bearcats. Pacific finished with a 4-2 lead in corner kicks.
Willamette is 3-5 on the road with nine goals scored, but the Bearcats have been defeated 1-0 in each of their last three road games. For the season, WU has scored 18 goals in 14 games, while allowing opponents just 16 goals.
The Bearcats will play two NWC games at home next weekend. Willamette will take on Whitman College on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m., before battling Whitworth University on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m.