Men's Loss Caps Nightmarish Soccer Day for Whitman
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Hallloween is still three weeks away, but a nightmarish Saturday afternoon for the Whitman College soccer teams took a final horrifying turn when Whitworth scored twice in the final three minutes to snatch a 2-1 victory from the Missionary men at the Whitman Athletic Fields.
A few hours after the Whitman women surrendered two goals in the final six minutes to drop a 2-1 decision to Willamette, the Whitman men took a 1-0 lead into the final minutes of their game against Whitworth.
With the Pirates scrambling against the clock, a corner kick from the right corner popped out of a scrum in front of the Whitman goal before bouncing off the ground and crossbar.
Whitworth's Nic Shaw was in the right place at the right time, punching home the loose ball to even the score at 1-1 with 2:25 left to play.
With the game headed toward overtime, a Whitworth player went down on the far left side of the goalie box as ushered the ball toward the sideline. The Whitman player following behind him was whistled for a foul, giving the Pirates a penalty kick.
Cameron Bushey converted the PK with 1:45 left to play to hand Whitworth the 2-1 win.
It was Whitworth's NWC-leading fifth penalty kick of the season and second in two games. The only Whitworth score in its last game -- a 1-0 victory over Linfield -- came off a PK.
Satureday's victory makes the Pirates 6-1 in the Northwest Conference and 8-2-1 on the season. The tough-to-swallow loss left Whitman with records of 4-3 in conference and 4-5-2 overall.
Whitman coach Mike Washington was livid at what he called the referee's poor judgement call that led to the penalty kick.
"The player was moving directly away from the goal and no one was stopping him from where he was headed," Washington said.
"Our player has to follow behind him to keep him from turning and trying to score.
"There may or may not have been minor contact. There is no way that one play should decide the game at the end. It shouldn't overshadow how well both sides played, but that's what we're left with."
Following a scoreless first half in which Whitman outshot the Pirates 7-3, junior Leland Matthaeus put the Missionaries on the scoreboard 20 minutes into the second stanza.
Sophomore Riley Hernandez triggered the quick transitional scoring play, picking off a Pirate pass near midfield and feeding the ball to senior Brian Percival on the left side.
Percival hurried the ball up field before sending it to Matthaeus in the top left corner of the box. Matthaeus turned and took a look before chipping a perfect lob over the keeper into the far corner of the net.
A few minutes later, sophomore Cooper Schumacher got his head on a crossing pass, but Pirate keeper Brian Sherpe deflected it wide of the goal.
Whitman kept up the pressure when freshman Joe Virden ran a ball up the left side and lofted another shot over the keeper that landed on top of the netting.
With 18 minutes left to play, Whitworth's Taylor Willi knocked a Bushey corner kick off the post, and with less than 10 minutes remaining, one of Willi's shots clipped the crossbar.
Whitman sophomore Chris Perkins came ever so close to making it 2-0 with less than seven minutes left on the clock, racing across the front of the goal to redirect a cross that Sherpe managed to punch over the crossbar at the last second.
Whitman finished with a 17-10 edge in shots. Virden led the way, coming off the bench to make four attempts. Matthaeus and Schumacher took three shots apiece while junior Jed Jacobson added two shots.
Willi set the pace for the Pirates with three shots. JT Meyer took two.
"We did a good job defensively," Washington said.
Whitman plans a final non-conference game when it hosts Trinity Lutheran (Everett, Wash.) at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Missionaries then return to NWC action next weekend with 2:30 p.m. games at Puget Sound on Saturday and Pacific Lutheran on Sunday.
Whitworth is also in Tacoma next weekend, playing Pacific Lutheran on Saturday and Puget Sound on Sunday.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org