Bearcats Lose to 20th-Ranked Puget Sound, 3-0

TACOMA, WASH. -- The Willamette University defense held the University of Puget Sound, ranked 20th in NCAA Division III, scoreless for almost the entire first half, but the Loggers scored two minutes before halftime and four minutes into the second half, on their way to a 3-0 victory over the Bearcats, Oct. 21 in Tacoma, Wash. The Northwest Conference win upped Puget Sounds’ overall record to 10-1-2, while the Loggers also improved to 7-1-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-13-1 on the season, including 0-9-1 in the NWC.

The Loggers achieved a 10-2 edge in shots in the first half, but didn’t put one in the net until the 43:00 mark. Scott Blanchet scored the goals, as UPS took a 1-0 halftime lead. The margin reached 2-0 at 49:00, when Alex Lehecka headed in a cross for the Loggers. Lehecka was assisted by Blanchet and by Mark Conrad.

UPS maintained its two-goal lead until Byron Conforti scored for the Loggers at 71:00. Kevin Fagan earned an assist on the play.

The Loggers registered 24 shots during the game and allowed just three shots to Willamette. UPS held a 12-1 edge in shots on goal and an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks. Nick Forbes (So., F, Carbondale, CO/CRMS) took the Bearcats’ only shot on goal.

WU goalkeeper Mark Bennett (Fr., Salt Lake City, UT/West HS) was credited with eight saves during the contest. He has made 91 saves this season. For UPS, goalie Pete Van Sant earned one save while recording the shutout.

Willamette started a three-game road swing at UPS. The Bearcats will complete the trio of road contests with games at George Fox University on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. (PDT) and at Linfield College on Saturday, Oct. 28 at
1:30 p.m. (PDT).