Whitman Rallies from 1-0 Deficit to Defeat Bearcats, 3-1

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior midfielder Paul Slavik (Portland, OR/Grant HS) scored his second goal in as many games to give Willamette University a 1-0 lead at the 30:31 mark, but Jason Shon of visiting Whitman College scored with 31 seconds left in the first half and with 15:01 remaining in the game, as the Missionaries defeated the Bearcats, 3-1, on Sunday, Oct. 15. The Northwest Conference win at Sparks Field improved Whitman to 4-4-2 overall, 3-4-2 in conference play. Willamette fell to 1-12-1 overall, 0-8-1 in the NWC.

Slavik also gave Willamette a 1-0 lead in the first half against Whitworth College on Saturday, Oct. 14. In that game, Whitworth answered with two goals later in the first half on its way to a 2-1 victory over the Bearcats.

On Sunday Slavik’s goal was assisted by Austin Buell (Jr., F, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS). WU maintained the lead until Shon scored his first goal at 44:29 to complete a corner kick. The pass on the corner kick was flicked on to Shon, who scored for the first time this season. Stephen Phillips and Kevin Sigley received assists on the play.

Shon added another goal at 75:59 on an assist from Brett Rawson. Like the first goal, Shon’s second netter was the result of a set play, with Rawson starting the action on a free kick after a foul was called against Willamette.

Shortly after Whitman took a 2-1 lead, the Bearcats were reduced to 10 players on the field, when Ryan Ward (Sr., D, Salem, OR/McKay HS) received a red card at 76:42 for charging through an attacking player in the penalty area. A penalty kick resulted. Yuen converted the kick for Whitman.

Less than one minute later, Slavik received a red card at 77:12, and the Bearcats were reduced to nine players in action. Whitman, with a two-man advantage, outshot Willamette 2-1 the rest of the game, as the Missionaries finished the contest with a 19-11 lead in total shots. The Missionaries also held a 9-6 margin in shots on goal.

Mark Bennett (Fr., GK, Salt Lake City UT/West HS) of Willamette contributed six saves in the loss. He now has 83 saves on the season and is averaging just under six saves per game. For Whitman, starting goalie James Millikan recorded four saves in 45 minutes, while reserve goalie Brett Axelrod made one save while guarding the WC net in the second half.

Willamette earned a 5-4 edge in corner kicks. The Bearcats also were called for 19 fouls, while the Missionaries were whistled for 16 fouls.

The Bearcats’ next game is on Friday, Oct. 21 at the University of Puget Sound, starting at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) in Tacoma, Washington. Due to their red cards, Ryan Ward and Slavik will have to sit out the UPS game.

Friday’s encounter will begin a string of three consecutive NWC road games for the Bearcats. Willamette is set to continue the road trip at George Fox University on Tuesday, Oct. 24 and at Linfield College on Saturday, Oct. 28. WU’s final home game of the season will be played on Friday, Nov. 3 against Pacific Lutheran University.