Bearcats Defeat Bruins 1-0 in Men's Soccer to Reach 9-3-3 Record, 6-3-1 in NWC

Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College)
Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

NEWBERG, Ore. -- Willamette University downed George Fox University, 1-0, in a Northwest Conference men's soccer game at the Austin Sports Complex on Saturday, Oct. 26, as the Bearcats improved to 9-3-3 overall, 6-3-1 in the conference. George Fox fell to 4-10-2 overall, 1-8-1 in the NWC. The Bearcats outshot the Bruins 18-8 overall and 7-4 in shots on goal, but the only score went to Willamette on an own goal by a GFU player with 8:02 left in the game.

Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) earned four saves to register the shutout for Willamette. Cole Benton made six saves for the Bruins.

This season, Kelliher has amassed six complete-game shutouts and one shared shutout, increasing his career totals to 11 solo shutouts and two shared shutouts. He owns a 0.86 goals against average this season and a 0.81 GAA for his career.

With Saturday's game tied at 0-0, the own goal occurred at 81:58 following a Willamette corner kick. The corner kick by Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) led to a scramble in front of the goal. GFU defender Diego Gil attempted to clear the ball, but it went into the goal. Neither team created a shot in the final eight minutes, although WU received a corner kick at 87:30.

Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA) of Willamette topped all players with five total shots, including three shots on goal. Sato tacked on three shots with two shots on goal.

Shiomi forced Benton into two saves in just over two minutes in the first half on shots at 20:23 and 21:42. In the second half, Benton saved a shot by Shiomi at 71:06 and then stopped a shot by Pierce Gallaway (Fy., M, Carmel, CA/Carmel HS) ten seconds later. Willamette created a total of eight shots between the 57:55 mark and the own goal scored by GFU about 25 minutes later.

The pressure by the Bearcats led to an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks, including a 5-2 margin in the second half. The game featured 21 fouls, with 10 on the Bearcats and 11 on the Bruins.

Willamette will play at Sparks Field on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Pacific University. Game time is set for 12 p.m. (PDT). It will be Senior Day for the Bearcats, who will honor seniors Nicholas Ballenger (Gr., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS/Oregon State Univ.), Omar Dominguez Pascasio (Jr., D, Madras, OR/Madras HS), Kelliher and Ruben Randall (Sr., D, Los Angeles, CA/ Cathedral HS) prior to the opening kickoff.