Bearcats Miss Early Opportunities in Loss to Whitman

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University outshot Whitman College 10-7 in the first half, but the Bearcats missed on several quality scoring chances and Whitman took a 1-0 lead at the half. The Missionaries added two goals in the second half and outshot the Bearcats 8-2 over the final 45 minutes. The 3-0 win improved Whitman to 6-3 on the season, including 3-1 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette dropped to 2-5-1 overall and to 0-4 in the NWC.

The Bearcats, bolstered by strong play from Trevor Jones (Sr., MF, Portland, OR/Grant HS), Casey Dineen (So., MF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS), Michael Rodrigues (Sr., MF, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) and Greg Beasley (Fr., F, Camas, WA/Camas HS), created a few excellent chances to take a 1-0 lead. After Whitman controlled the first 15 minutes, the Bearcats gradually progresses into the attack.

WU took six shots between 22 minutes of elapsed time and the 32-minute mark. Jones, Dineen and Beasley each recorded a shot during the offensive surge. Beasley's shot was on its way toward the goal when it was blocked by a defender near the goal line. Rodrigues was near the left post and took a follow shot from about five yards out, but sent the ball over the net at 31:58.

Less than a minute later, Stephen Phillips scored the game's first goal for Whitman at 32:36 on a counter-attack. His shot from 18 yards went into the left side of the goal. Jesus Reyes received an assist after providing the through pass that sent Phillips toward the goal.

The Bearcats managed only two shots in the second half, both requiring routine saves. Whitman's starting goalie, Brett Axelrod, saved a shot by Thomas Cloutier (Sr., F, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) at 59:00. WC's backup goalie, Nick McDonald, recorded a save on a header by Dineen at 88:06.

Whitman took a 2-0 lead when Andy Huntington shot the ball into the net from 35 yards out at 53:28. Huntington chipped the ball over WU starting goalkeeper Scott Klein (Fr., Coeur d'Alene, ID/Lake City HS), who was about 10 yards upfield on the play.

The game's final goal was scored by Greg Phillips at 79:17. His shot from 15 yards deflected off a Willamette defender on its way to the net.

Axelrod played 83:41 in goal for Whitman and recorded the win. He also earned two saves, with McDonald adding one save in 6:19 of playing time. For Willamette, Klein registered four saves and allowed two goals in 65:10, while Mark Bennett (So., GK, Salt Lake City, UT/West HS) earned one save and gave up one goal in 24:50.

The Missionaries outshot Willamette, 15-12 and held an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal. Whitman also achieved two corner kicks, while the Bearcats did not earn a corner kick during the match.

Willamette will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 22, when the Bearcats play at Linfield College. Game time in McMinnville, Ore., is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Whitman College 3, Willamette University 0 - Box Score