Pacific Defeats Bearcats 4-1, after Building 2-0 Halftime Lead

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University began its men's soccer game against Pacific University on Sunday, Oct. 7, with plenty of solid defending and crisp passing, but the Bearcats couldn't score during the game's first 30 minutes, and the Pacific offense eventually connected, as the Boxers claimed a 4-1 victory at Sparks Field. Pacific, which upset #5-ranked University of Puget Sound, 2-1 in two overtimes, on Saturday, improved to 5-3-2 overall, 3-2-2 in the NWC, after defeating Willamette. The Bearcats fell to 2-9-1 overall, 0-7 in the NWC.

The Bearcats matched the Boxers for effort and offensive attacked in the first 30 minutes. WU's best chance to score was a shot by Trevor Jones (Sr., MF, Portland, OR/Grant HS) that was saved by Pacific goalkeeper Chris Grasso near the right post. Pacific held a 9-3 lead in shots after 30 minutes, but just a 2-1 lead in shots on goal.

Pacific took a 1-0 lead at 34:28, on a goal by Travis Birrell, who beat a defender near the top of the penalty area and shot the ball to the left side of the goal. Brandon Porter added the Boxers' second goal just over five minutes later at 39:50 on a header from five yards.

Porter's goal followed a header by Danny Williams of Pacific as Williams battled WU goalie Mark Bennett (So., Salt Lake City, UT/West HS) for possession. Bennett was able to deflect the header almost as soon as it was played by Williams, but the ball went to Porter, who followed with the scoring header.

The Boxers owned a 16-3 edge in total shots at halftime. Although WU outshot Pacific, 7-5, in the second half, the Boxers were able to extend the lead to 4-0 before the Bearcats hit the net.

Kizamu Tsutakawa took advantage of a misplayed clearing pass by the WU defense to score from 15 yards for Pacific's third goal at 52:39. Avery Neal followed with a 22-yard shot into the top of the goal at 66:44. Williams was credited with his second assist of the game on the score by Neal.

WU broke onto the scoreboard at 76:50, when a Pacific player tripped a Willamette attacker in the penalty area. Casey Dineen (So., MF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) converted the penalty kick, sending the ball into the left corner, as goalie Chris Caswell, who replaced Grasso in the 67th minute, dove to Dineen's right.

Pacific finished with a 21-10 edge in total shots, including a 13-5 advantage in shots on goal. Tsutakawa of Pacific and Dineen of Willamette led their respective teams with three shots on goal apiece.

The Boxers achieved a 7-3 edge in corner kicks and were called for three offside violations. Willamette was called offside once. The Bearcats committed 16 fouls, while eight fouls were whistled against Pacific.

Bennett registered eight saves for Willamette, before giving way to Scott Klein (Fr., GK, Coeur d'Alene, ID/Lake City HS) for the final 21:10. Klein was not credited with any saves. For Pacific, Grasso earned two saves and Caswell provided two saves.

Willamette will host George Fox University in a Northwest Conference game on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Pacific University 4
Willamette University 1
Casey Dineen converted a penalty kick for Willamette against Pacific.

Casey Dineen converted a penalty kick for Willamette against Pacific.