2005 FALL BEARCATS SPORTS WEEKLY UPDATE A Weekly Review of Bearcat Athletic News

FOOTBALL: BEARCATS WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT; NOW FACE TOP-RANKED LINFIELD

The Willamette University football team won its fifth straight game this past Saturday, defeating Northwest Conference foe Whitworth 40-34 in overtime. It was the fourth straight game for the Bearcats that has been decided in either overtime or in the games final minute of play.

Saturday’s win over Whitworth sets up a show-down for first place in the conference Saturday with Linfield. The Wildcats, who are 7-0 on the season and ranked No. 1 nationally, are the defending national champions.

Against the Pirates, Willamette rallied from 11 down with six minutes to play on a 23-yard touchdown pass from QB Cameron Walton (SR, Arroyo Grande, Calif.) to Jarvis Tanquary (SO, Eugene, Ore.) and a 21-yard field goal by Matt Bicocca (SO, San Andreas, Calif.) with just three seconds remaining.

In overtime, Whitworth had the ball first, but Pirates QB Joel Clark was intercepted by Bearcats DB Tyler Gill (SO, Fresno, Calif.) at the goal line, giving Willamette the chance for another come-from-behind win.

On the Bearcats second play n overtime, senior RB Quentin Brock (SR, Fresno, Calif.) rambled 20 yards for the game winning touchdown.

Willamette played from behind the whole game, and it looked as if Whitworth was going to come away with the victory when Willamette was facing a fourth down and five with six minutes remaining. But Walton hit WR Michael Plank (JR, Stockton, Calif.) for eight yards and a first down to keep the Bearcats alive. On the next play, Walton found Tanquary on a corner route for a 23-yard touchdown. Brock ran the ball in for the two-point conversion to make it 34-31.

Willamette’s defense forced Whitworth to go three and out, and got the ball back on their own 37-yard line with 1:59 to go.

Walton rushed for 36 yards and also found Plank for a 10-yard gain to get the Bearcats to the Whitworth 2-yard line. After a penalty, and with time running out, Bicocca kicked a 21-yard field goal with three seconds to play to send the game into overtime.

Gill was named NWC Defensive Player of the Week for his play. In addition to his interception in overtime, he also forced a second half fumble that led to a Bearcats touchdown.

For the game, Willamette had 414 yards to total offense to 409 for Whitworth. The Bearcats gained 271 yards rushing and 143 yards through the air.

The Pirates balanced attack had 211 yards passing and 198 yards on the ground.

Brock, who was named honorable mention NWC Offensive Player of the Week, led Willamette with 144 yards in 25 carries with two touchdowns. Ryan Hernandez (JR, Portland, Ore.) added 73 yards in eight carries and caught two passes good for another 37 yards. He had one rushing and one receiving touchdown.

Walton was 13-23 with one interception and two touchdowns to go along with 61 yards rushing in ten carries. Plank caught seven passes for 58 yards, including the key fourth down reception.
Defensive lineman Mike Reeves (FR, Corvallis, Ore.) led Willamette with 10 tackles, while linebackers Devin O’Rourke (SO, Eatonville, Wash.) and Megdy Khoury (SR, Elko, Nev.) added eight stops apiece.

Junior cornerback Wesley Randall (Los Angeles, Calif.) earned honorable mention NWC Special Teams Player of the Week for returning a blocked Whitworth PAT for two-point defensive conversion.
Willamette, now 5-3 overall and 3-0 NWC, hosts Linfield Saturday at McCulloch Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

WOMEN'S SOCCER: BEARCATS FINISH SECOND IN NWC; MISS OUT ON NCAA PLAYOFF BERTH

The Willamette women’s soccer team did all it could do over the weekend to finish in second place in the Northwest Conference, but it wasn’t enough to extend the Bearcats year into the postseason.

Willamette picked up a 2-1 win over Pacific on Friday, and then tied Pacific Lutheran 0-0 on Saturday in Tacoma to secure second place in the conference.

Against the visiting Boxers on Friday, Laura Uhlmansiek (JR, Woodinville, Wash.) had the game-winning goal and an assist, and defender Sam Post (FR, Philomath, Ore.) added a second half goal to give Willamette the 2
-1 conference victory.

The Boxers took an early lead in the 12th minute off a Lindsay Vondrachek goal, and the score remained 1-0 at intermission.

Pacific’s lead would be short-lived, though, as the Bearcats struck quickly in the second half when Post tied the game in the 46th minute. Uhlmansiek crossed the ball through the box where Post trapped it and fired it past Boxer goalie Shannon Tillman.

Uhlmansiek scored the game-winner later in the second half when her shot from 35 yards curled past Tillman for the game-winner. Brenna Hindman (SR, Boulder, Colo.) got credit for the assist.

The Bearcats out-shot Pacific 12-7, including 10-5 in the second half. Bearcat goalies Kari Woody (JR, Boise, Ida.) had five saves for Willamette.
Saturday’s game at PLU went into double overtime, but neither team was able to score and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Both games between the two schools ended in a tie.

Willamette closes out its season at 11-6-3 overall, 9-4-3 NWC. The Bearcats had hoped to be selected for an at-large bid because this years NCAA Division III National Championship tournament had been expanded by twelve teams.

The Bearcats will return 17 players from this season’s squad, and only lose two seniors, Hindman, and April Kyrkos (Woodinville, Wash.).

MEN'S SOCCER: BEARCATS SPLIT PAIR OF NWC GAMES TO CLOSE OUT SEASON

The Willamette men’s soccer team split a pair of Northwest Conference games last week, picking up a 2-0 win over Pacific on Friday, and losing 9-0 to Linfield on Saturday.

The first goal Friday against Pacific came courtesy of Sam Hodder on a cross from Ryan Powers (SO, Newberg, Ore.). It was Hodder’s first collegiate goal. Later in the game, Mike Rodrigues (SO, Beaverton, Ore.) added an insurance goal when he broke away from the Boxer’s defense and drove a low shot past Pacific goalie Jory Shene. Senior Reid Bennion got the assist.

Senior goalie Dane Meier (Reno, Nev.), playing in his last home game, recorded four saves for the shutout victory. Willamette out-shot Pacific 19-5, including 11-0 in the first half
With the loss at Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, the Bearcats finished the season 5-13 overall and 3-11 in NWC play.

Willamette will return 18 players from the 2005 squad, and only lose four seniors (Meier, Donald Bressler, Bennion and Daniel Park).


WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: BEARCATS FINISH SEASON WITH TWO NWC LOSSES

The Willamette women’s volleyball team seasons came to a disappointing end this weekend after they dropped a pair of Northwest Conference matches, losing 3-0 to both Whitworth and Whitman.

Friday night against league-leading Whitworth, the Bearcats were led by the play of Jessica Durham (FR, Medford, Ore.), Roni Schneider (SR, Keizer, Ore.), and Jessica Drumm (SO, Salem, Ore.). Durham finished with 14 kills and 11 digs, Schneider had 22 digs, and Drumm had 31 assists and 11 digs. Mary Butler (FR, Robbins, Calif.) added nine kills.

On Saturday against Whitman, Durham had 11 kills and Schneider had 27 digs to finish the season as the NWC leader in digs. She also finished 10th in the nation.

The Bearcats were picked to finish third in the pre-season NWC coaches poll, but finished the season in last place in the conference at 1-15. They were 1-19 overall on the year.

Schneider was a bright spot all year for the Bearcats, and she was honored for her play yesterday by being named second-team All-NWC.

Willamette will return 15 players next season after losing just two seniors (Schneider and Kristin Kutara). Of those 15 players, all were either freshmen or sophomores this season (9 freshman, 6 sophomores).