Bearcat's Second Half Rally Falls Short as They Fall 3-2 to George Fox

NEWBERG, OR — Exploding for three goals in the game’s first 32 minutes, the George Fox University Bruins needed every one of them to hold off the hard-charging Willamette University Bearcats 3-2 in a Northwest Conference men's soccer contest Sunday afternoon at Morse Field.

Down 3-0 at halftime, the Bearcats finally broke through at 55:18 as Reid Bennion scored his second goal of the season off a touch pass from Kyle Gouveia.

Willamette narrowed the lead to 3-2 at 72:33 when A.J. Nash notched his first goal, a well-placed header off a corner kick from Pat Wettach.

The Bearcats made a withering assault on the net in the final 17 minutes in an effort to knot the score, getting off 10 of their 18 second-half shots in that stretch and 5 of their 15 total corner kicks. But Bruin goalie keeper Kyle Putnam was equal to the task, recording 5 of his 10 saves in that time period.

The Bruins goals all came in the first half. In the 6th minute, Ryan MacKenzie sent a high kick down the middle of the field and Craig Laughland out-raced two defenders to the ball, then drilled a shot past Willamette keeper Dane Meier for the score, his first of the season.

At 13:12, the Bruins’ Jon Maroni sent a sharp pass along the left baseline to the front of the net, where Jason Kintner flicked the ball into the left corner for his initial goal.

George Fox’s final goal came at 31:06. Max Sorensen sent a corner kick into the middle, where Meier knocked it out of the box. The Bruins’ Brian Zaro corralled the loose ball, and drilled a hooking shot into the left back for his second goal of the year.

Dane Meier had 9 saves for Willamette as the Bruins finished with 18 shots (12 on goal) to 25 (13 on goal) for the Bearcats.

George Fox improved to 2-6-2 overall and nailed down its first conference win to go to 1-3-1. Willamette slipped to 1-6-2 overall and 1-4 in the league.

The Bearcats host Pacific University Saturday at 2:30 p.