By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University and Whitman College each scored one goal in the first eight minutes, and then neither team scored again until Diego Ochoa (So., F, Coronado, CA/Coronado HS) sent the Bearcats in front on a 16-yard shot with 8:17 remaining in the game. The Bearcats protected the lead the rest of the way for a 2-1 victory.
Willamette advanced its record to 8-6-1 on the season, 6-5-1 (19 points) in the Northwest Conference. Whitman fell to 8-6-4 overall, 4-4-4 (16 points) in the NWC.
The Bearcats and Whitman began the day tied for fifth place in the NWC. Willamette is now tied for fourth place with Pacific Lutheran University (6-5-1, 19 points), just one point behind University of Puget Sound (6-4-2, 20 points), which holds third place. Whitman slipped to sixth place, but is only three points behind the Bearcats and PLU.
Jack Elton (Sr., D, Corte Madera, CA/Redwood HS) opened the scoring for Willamette just 6:16 into the game. He scored directly from a corner kick that remained close to the ground. The ball was deflected at the near post by Whitman goalkeeper Jack Filipponi and went into the net. It was Elton's second goal of the season.
David Chavarin scored for Whitman just 1:08 later at 7:24. He scored on a shot from 23 yards that went into the upper left portion of the goal over the outstretched arms of WU starting goalie Quinn Nottage (Jr., GK, Portland, OR/Franklin HS).
Willamette held a 4-3 lead in total shots at halftime, including a 3-2 edge in shot on goal. Despite the low shot total, the teams combined for 10 corner kicks during the half, with five corners earned by each team.
In the second half, Willamette claimed a 7-6 margin in shots, as each team placed three shots on target. Both teams had a couple of quality shots before Ochoa scored the winning goal.
For WU, Quinn Mello-Bastida (Jr., M, San Jose, CA/Valley Christian HS/U. of Portland) forced a save by Filipponi at 52:50. Julian Hanlon-Austin (Sr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) headed the ball at 73:44, but his shot went wide left. Filipppoi earned his fourth save of the game at 79:44.
Mason Kelliher (Fr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) played in goal for the Bearcats in the second half. He contributed three saves, as he stopped a shot by Luca Barsher at 47:55, as well as shots by Austin Betschart at 66:20 and by Barsher again at 73:33.
The Bearcats earned an 11-9 advantage in total shots for the game (6-5 in shots on goal). Each team accumulated seven corner kicks and both teams were called for 13 fouls.
Willamette will host Whitworth University on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m. (PDT). The Pirates lead the NWC standings at 9-1-2 (29 points). Whitworth is 11-3-2 on the season.