NASH SCORES GAME-WINNER AS BEARCATS BEAT PACIFIC 3-2

FOREST GROVE - Senior A.J. Nash's goal with just under 10 minutes left sent Pacific to the off-season with a loss, as Willamette downed the Boxers 3-2 in Northwest Conference men's soccer action Saturday at Tom Reynolds Field.

Senior Steve Smith added a goal and an assist for the Bearcats.

Nash (pictured left) hit the game-winner from five yards out on the left side, gathering up Steve Smith's assist for the score.

The win lifts the Bearcats to 6-11-2 overall, 6-8-0 NWC. Pacific finishes the season at 7-11-0, 5-9-0 NWC. The Boxers took the loss despite outshooting the Bearcats 14-12 and holding a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Mark Madeira opened scoring in the 16th minute, putting the Boxers up 1-0 on a shot from eight yards out fed to him by Matt McDonough.

Freshman Michael Rodrigues tied it in the 31st minute, hitting on a 30-yard direct kick.

Smith gave Willamette the lead when he connected off of a direct free kick by Reid Bennion.

Senior Elliott Hirai tied the match in the 56th minute with his first goal of the season, hitting from 40 yards out on an unassisted strike.

Pacific starting goalkeeper Chris Caswell (Fr., Pearl City, Hawaii) had three saves in 45 minutes of action. Jory Shene (So., Molalla, Ore.), who played the second half, took the loss while making two saves.

Willamette goalkeeper Dane Meier finished with five saves.

AJ Nash

AJ Nash