Bearcat Sports Weekly #11

Football (4-6, 3-3 NWC)

Last Week’s Result:
Pacific Lutheran Edges Willamette, 17-10

Pacific Lutheran University built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, then held off Willamette University for a 17-10 win on Saturday, Nov. 10, in a Northwest Conference game at McCulloch Stadium. PLU improved to 7-2 overall, 4-2 in the NWC. Willamette ended its season at 4-6 overall, 3-3 in the NWC.

The Bearcats scored their only touchdown on a 54-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Whitcomb (So., Oak View, CA/Nordhoff HS/College of the Canyons) to running back C.J. Washington (Sr., Spokane, WA/Shadle Park HS) with 9:51 remaining in the second quarter. WU trailed 14-7 at halftime.

For PLU, Chase Reed scored on a 7-yard run with 3:25 left in the first period and Greg Ford reached the end zone on a 91-yard pass from Brett Gordon on the final play of the opening period. The lengthy touchdown pass to Ford began as a 25-yard pass over the middle. A WU defender was unable to make the tackle as Ford caught the ball and the PLU receiver outraced two more defenders down the field. Neal Chalmers kicked both extra points.

Neither team scored during the third quarter. The first point on the scoreboard in the second half were recorded when Chalmers kicked a 40-yard field goal, his longest of the season, for PLU with 13:44 left in the game.

Willamette’s final three points were earned by Matt Bicocca (Sr., PK, San Andreas, CA/Calaveras HS), on a 19-yard field goal with 9:46 to go in the fourth quarter. The Bearcats drove 57 yards on nine plays, including a 20-yard run by Whitcomb, but faced 4th-and-2 at the PLU 2-yard line prior to the field goal.

Willamette finished with 289 yards on offense, while PLU accumulated 284 yards. WU had the ball for 32:21, while PLU was in possession for 27:33.

The Bearcats rushed for 189 yards on 53 carries. Whitcomb, despite losing 46 yards in sacks, finished with 128 rushing yards on 29 carries. Washington gained 29 yards on eight carries and caught two passes for 63 yards.

The game was the final contest for 22 seniors on the Willamette roster, who were honored during pregame introductions. Many of the seniors were freshmen on WU’s 2004 team that qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

This year, the Bearcats defeated arch rival Linfield College, 33-32, when the Wildcats were ranked #12 in NCAA Division III. WU’s 4-6 record included five losses by nine points or less. One of the close contests was a 20-17 overtime loss to NWC champion Whitworth University on Oct. 27.

Bearcat Notes:

• Six Willamette University football players have been named First Team All-Northwest Conference for the 2007 season, as selected by the NWC head coaches. An additional four Bearcats received Second Team All-NWC honors and seven WU players were chosen for Honorable Mention.

Willamette’s First Team selections were senior offensive tackle Brandon Bennett (San Marcos, CA/La Costa Canyon HS), senior place-kicker Matt Bicocca (San Andreas, CA/Calaveras HS) and senior punter Clinton Moran (Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley HS) on offense and senior inside linebacker Taylor Hermes (Keizer, OR/McNary HS/Southern Oregon University), senior defensive tackle Mitchell MacCready (Manteca, CA/Manteca HS) and senior inside linebacker Phil Sweet (Albany, OR/West Albany HS) on defense.

Players from Willamette chosen for the Second Team Offense were sophomore center Scott Hirschberger (Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) and senior running back C.J. Washington (Spokane, WA/Shadle Park HS). Bearcats named to the Second Team Defense were senior free safety Ben Fennimore (Salem, OR/McKay HS) and sophomore defensive end Cory Lowe (Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS).

Honorable Mention selections from Willamette’s offense were senior tight end Tony Davis (Boise, ID/Mountain View HS) and sophomore quarterback Ryan Whitcomb (Oak View, CA/Nordhoff HS/College of the Canyons). Willamette defensive players named to the Honorable Mention list were junior cornerback Ryan Bettencourt (Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS), junior defensive end Marcus Ford (Marina, CA/Seaside HS/Monterey JC), senior rover Tyler Gill (Fresno, CA/Herbert Hoover HS), senior defensive tackle Matt Gomez (Petaluma, CA/Casa Grande HS) and senior defensive tackle Chris Mulitalo (San Leandro, CA/Arroyo HS).

Volleyball (4-22, 0-16 NWC)

Lindstrom Chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC

Willamette University volleyball player Kelley Lindstrom (Jr., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) has been named Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference for the 2007 season as selected by the NWC head coaches. Lindstrom led Willamette with 319 kills and 3.16 kills per game this fall. Overall, a total of 19 players were chosen for the All-NWC team, with seven players on the First Team, six players on the Second Team and six players receiving Honorable Mention.

Lindstrom played in all 26 matches and in 101 of 102 games for the Bearcats this season. She recorded career highs for kills and kills per game and also set personal bests for hitting percentage at .199 and for total attacks at 849. She earned 10 or more kills 18 times during the season, including a career-high 24 kills against Linfield College
on Oct. 10.

“She was the most consistent hitter on our team,” Head Coach Tricia Wright said. “Kelley was an awesome leader on and off the court all season long.”

Lindstrom also provided Willamette with 108 digs (1.07 avg.) and 31 total blocks (0.31 avg.) during the season. She concluded the year with career totals of 711 kills, 258 digs and 71 total blocks. She has averaged 2.95 kills per game during her three years with the Bearcats. She has played in 71 of 72 matches since the start of her freshman season in 2005.

This year, Lindstrom registered 10 or more kills in 13 consecutive matches between Sept. 21 and Oct. 26. She attained a career-high hitting percentage of .500 on Oct. 23 at Cascade College, as she pounded out 10 kills and just two attacking errors on 16 total attacks. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Whitworth Invitational, held Sept. 7-8 in Spokane, Wash.

Women’s Soccer (8-9-2, 7-7-2 NWC)

Miller Named First Team All-Northwest Conference
Rogel Chosen for Second Team; Gano, Priest Earn Hon. Mention

Junior forward Lauren Miller (Portland, OR/Grant HS / Northwestern State, La.) of Willamette University has been named First Team All-Northwest Conference for the 2007 season, as chosen by the NWC head coaches. Miller led the Bearcats in scoring with 11 goals and two assists for 24 total points during the season.

Kelsey Rogel (Jr., D/F, Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep) was named Second Team All-NWC, while Kelli Gano (Fr., GK, Portland, OR/Cleveland HS) and Kelsey Priest (Jr., D/MF, Portland, OR/Beaverton HS) were chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC. Overall, a total of 45 athletes received All-NWC honors, with 12 players named to the First Team, 12 players selected for the Second Team and 21 players earning Honorable Mention status.

Miller, who transferred to Willamette from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., provided nearly half of the Bearcats’ offense this season, as she scored 11 of the team’s 24 goals. She finished the year strong, hitting the nets five times in Willamette’s last five games, including a three-goal hat trick against Lewis & Clark College in a 3-0 win on Oct. 23. It was WU’s first hat trick since Oct. 23, 2004, when Brenna Hindman tallied three goals against Whitworth University.

During her two seasons at Northwestern State, Miller scored a total of 13 goals and three assists, including eight goals and two assists in 2005. Her career totals at Willamette and NSU are 24 goals and five assists for 53 total points.

Rogel was named to the All-Northwest Conference Team as a defender for the third year in a row. She was named Second Team All-NWC as a freshman and was First Team All-NWC as a sophomore.

This year, Rogel earned Second Team All-NWC honors despite moving to forward midway through the season. She concluded the year with three goals and five assists for 11 total points, as she trailed only Miller on WU’s scoring chart. Rogel scored two game-winning goals, while taking 36 shots and placing 17 shots on goal. She has played in 57 games in three seasons with the Bearcats.

Gano provided the ‘Cats with outstanding efforts in goal. She ended the year with a 0.89 goals against average and a .870 save percentage, as she gave up just 14 goals 1,416 minutes played. She registered a total of 94 saves and achieved six shutouts. Willamette was 4-0-2 in her shutout performances.

Gano earned an overall record of 6-7-2 and was 6-4-1 in her last 11 decisions. She accumulated a season-high 11 saves twice during the season, in a 0-0 tie with George Fox University on Oct. 11 and a 3-1 win at Pacific University on Nov. 2. She played in all 19 games, including 13 starts.

Priest changed positions partway through the season, as she moved from midfielder to forward. For the season, she played in 15 games and helped the Bearcats achieve a 1.18 team goals against average. She also provided one assist. She now has three goals and five assists during her career. She has played in 56 games as a Bearcat. Priest was chosen Second Team All-NWC in 2005.

The Bearcats completed the 2007 season with an overall record of 8-9-2, including 7-7-2 in the NWC (5th place). Willamette started the season 1-4-1, but attained a 7-5-1 record the rest of the way.

Men’s & Women’s Cross Country (Men Ranked #7, Women Ranked #6)

Last Week’s Result:
Bearcats Win NCAA West Regional Titles, Will Compete at National Championships

Willamette University won the women’s and men’s team titles, and Sarah Zerzan (Sr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) claimed her third consecutive individual championship, at the NCAA Division III Cross Country West Regional at McIver State Park in Estacada, Ore., on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Willamette women achieved first place with a score of 43 and the Bearcat men won with a score of 50.

It was the sixth consecutive West Regional title for the Willamette men’s team and the fifth straight West Regional championship for the WU women’s team. The Willamette’s women’s cross country teams is ranked #6 in NCAA Division III and the Bearcat men’s cross country team is ranked #7.

Zerzan won the women’s 6-kilometer race with a time of 20:51.65 and was followed by Maddie Coffman (Jr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) in second place at 21:40.85. Ian Batch (Sr., Eagle, ID/Capital HS) was the top finisher for the WU men’s team, as he took fifth place with a time of 25:04.65 over the 8-kilometer course.

In addition to taking first place with a score of 43 points, the Willamette women’s team also won by 43 points. The University of Puget Sound finished second in the women’s standings at 86, while Colorado College was third at 121, Whitman College took fourth at 133 and Lewis & Clark College was fifth at 169.

The times for Zerzan and Coffman were the top two times in NCAA Division III West Region meet history. The previous record was 21:44. Willamette’s third individual finisher in the women’s race was Jena Winger (Jr., Bonney Lake, WA/Sumner HS), who took ninth place with a time of 22:18.20.

Batch was one of three Willamette runners in the top 10. All seven of Willamette’s runners in the men’s race finished in the top 19. Following Batch for the Bearcats was Luca May (So., Portland, OR/Franklin HS), who placed seventh and registered a time of 25:28.10. Lucas Nebert (Sr., Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS) was less than a second behind May, as he finished eighth in 25:28.95.

Willamette’s team score of 50 was good for a 22-point victory in the men’s team standings. Occidental was second with a score of 72 and Colorado College was third at 86. Linfield College took fourth at 101, while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was fifth at 133.

The top 35 runners in each race earned All-West Region honors. All seven women’s runners for the Bearcats and all seven men’s runners from Willamette received All-West Region status.

By winning the Regional titles, Willamette earned automatic berths into the NCAA Division III National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. Two teams from each Regional gain automatic bids so the Puget Sound women’s team and the Occidental men’s team also were guaranteed berths into the National Championships.

Up Next for the Bearcats:
NCAA Division III National Championships in Northfield, Minn.

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the NCAA Division III National Championships at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The women’s 6-kilometer race is set for 11 a.m. (CST)/9 a.m. (PST). The men’s 8-kilometer race is scheduled to get underway at 12 a.m. (CST)/10 a.m. (PST). Last year, Sarah Zeran won the NCAA Women’s Individual Championship, while Willamette placed 20th in the women’s team standings and 27th in the men’s team standings.

Men’s and Women's Swimming (Men: 0-2, 0-2 NWC; Women: 0-2, 0-2 NWC)

Last Week’s Results:
Bearcats Did Not Compete Last Week

The Willamette University men’s and women’s swimming teams were inactive this past week. They will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Willamette Natatorium. The Bearcats will be hosting the men’s and women’s teams from Whitworth University in Northwest Conference action. Competition is set to start at 1 p.m. (PST).

Up Next for the Bearcats:
Willamette to Host Whitworth University

Willamette’s next swim meet is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Willamette Natatorium. The Bearcats will be hosting the men’s and women’s teams from Whitworth University in Northwest Conference action. Competition is set to start at 1 p.m. (PST).

Men's Basketball

Bearcats Begin 2007-08 season on Friday, Nov. 16 at Duane Wolfe Memorial Golden Rule Shootout

The Willamette University men’s basketball has been picked sixth in the Northwest Conference Preseason Poll for the 2007-08 season. Lewis & Clark College, which tied for the NWC regular season title last year and returns all five of its starters, was a unanimous pick for first place with 90 points. The University of Puget Sound ranked second in the poll with 71 points, followed by Whitworth University in third (61 pts.), Pacific University in fourth (47 pts.) and Pacific Lutheran University in fifth (45 pts.), followed by Willamette (38 pts.). Rounding out the Preseason Poll were George Fox University in seventh (25 pts.), Linfield College in eighth (23 pts.) and Whitman College in ninth (15 pts).

Last year, L&C tied Whitworth for the NWC regular season championship at 13-3. Willamette was 10-15 overall and 6-10 (6th place tie) in the NWC. The Bearcats return three starters in Michael Smith (Sr., Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS), Kyler McClary (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) and Ian Mansfield (Sr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Century HS). Smith averaged 11.1 points per game in 2006-07. McClary provided the Bearcats with 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while Mansfield averaged 9.5 points and
a team-high 7.2 rebounds per night.

The 2007-08 season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. (PST), when the Bearcats take on host College of Idaho (Albertson College) in the first round of the Duane Wolfe Memorial Golden Rule Shootout in Caldwell, Idaho. Willamette will play Eastern Oregon University in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. (PST).

Women's Basketball

Bearcats Open 2007-08 Season at Bon Appetit Tournament hosted by Lewis & Clark College

The 2007-08 season gets underway for the Willamette University women’s basketball team on Friday, Nov. 16, as the Bearcats face Menlo College in the opening round of the Bon Appetit Tournament, hosted by Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Game time against the Oaks is set for 4 p.m. (PST). Willamette will complete the tournament by taking on Haverford College (Pa.) in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. (PST).

Willamette has been picked to finish eighth in Northwest Conference, according to the NWC Preaseason Poll. George Fox University ranked first in the poll, with six first place votes and 84 points. The University of Puget Sound was second, as the Loggers received three first place votes and 75 points. Last year, George Fox and UPS tied for the NWC regular season title.

Following UPS in the Preseason Poll was Lewis & Clark in third place with 61 points. Whitworth University was fourth with 51 points, Linfield College held fifth place with 47 points and Whitman College ranked sixth with 39 points. Pacific Lutheran University was seventh with 28 points, while Willamette placed eighth with 17 points and Pacific University was ninth with 12 points.

Willamette ended the 2007-08 season with a 5-20 overall record, including 3-13 in the NWC (8th place). The Bearcats are led by seniors Laura Payne (G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS), Tracy Nygaard (F, Knappa, OR/Knappa HS) and Vic Swigart (G, Newport Beach, CA/Newport Harbor HS). Payne contributed 8.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in 2006-07. Nygaard averaged 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest. Swigart, who is a junior in eligibility, supplied Willamette with 1.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest last season.