By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Hikaru Ichigi (Jr., M, Kobe, Japan/Fujiigakuen Sangawa) of Willamette University has been named Northwest Conference Men's Soccer Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in the Bearcats' 3-2 overtime victory against archrival Linfield College on Saturday, Oct. 6 in McMinnville, Oregon. The win improved Willamette to 11-1-1 on the season, 7-0-0 in the NWC. The Bearcats entered the game ranked #3 in the West Region of NCAA Division III by the United Soccer Coaches.
Ichigi produced the winning goal against Linfield at 97:50 in the first sudden-death overtime. He slotted the ball under goalkeeper Cameron Perron from six-yards into the left side of the goal. He took four shots during the game, including two shots on goal. This year, Ichigi has scored three goals and all three have been game-winners. The goal against Linfield was his first game-winner that broke a tie.
Earlier in the season, he scored at 36:51 for a 2-0 lead in what proved to be a 2-1 win over George Fox University on Sept. 22. On day later on Sept. 23, he earned the Bearcats' first goal just 2:12 into the game in a 4-0 win against Pacific University.
The Bearcats, who lead the NWC with 21 points in the standings, will play two road games this weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 13, Willamette will battle Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, at 2:30 p.m. The Bearcats will take on Whitworth University on Sunday, Oct. 14 in Spokane, Washington, also at 2:30 p.m.