Willamette Scores Twice in First Half in 2-0 Win over George Fox

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Erik Kaufman (Fr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) and Sam Hodder (Sr., MF/F, Albuquerque, NM/Sandia Prep) each scored a goal in the first half, leading Willamette University to a 2-0 victory over George Fox University, in Northwest Conference play on Saturday, Sept. 27. The Bearcats upped their record to 2-5 overall, 1-2 in the NWC. George Fox dropped to 1-5-3 overall, 0-1-2 in the NWC.

Willamette's win ended its string of 31 consecutive NWC games without a victory. The Bearcats lost their final NWC game of 2005, then went 0-13-1 in both 2006 and 2007, before falling to Whitman College and Whitworth University last weekend. Prior to Saturday, WU's last win in a conference match was a 2-0 triumph over Pacific University on Nov. 5, 2005.

The Bearcats have shown improved play and an ability to create more scoring opportunities this season. On Saturday, the improvement paid off early, when Kaufman scored his fifth goal of the season just 3:53 into the match. He was assisted by Casey Dineen (Jr., MF, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS).

Hodder provided WU's second goal at 37:49. It was his first goal of the season and was assisted by Ivan Gutierrez (Sr., MF, Stayton, OR/Cathedral Prep) and Pete Kline (So., MF, Cheyenne, WY/Cheyenne Central HS).

Willamette was outshot by GFU 18-9, but the Bearcats earned a 5-3 edge in shots on goal. The Bruins owned a 3-2 margin in shots on goal in the first half, but both of WU's shots on goal went into the net. George Fox held a 10-7 lead in overall shots at the break. In the second half, GFU achieved an 8-2 advantage in shots, but failed to put a shot on target.

Mark Bennett (Jr., GK, Salt Lake City, UT/West HS) of Willamette played all 90 minutes and made three saves to register the shutout. Danny Kamna of GFU also played 90 minutes in the nets. He achieved three saves.

Both teams had five corner kicks. Willamette earned four in the first half, while the Bruins attained three in the second half. Each team was called for 14 fouls.

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 4, when they host Pacific University. Game time at Sparks Field in Salem, Ore., is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 2, @ George Fox University 0
Erik Kaufman scored his fifth goal of the season in Willamette's win over George Fox.

Erik Kaufman scored his fifth goal of the season in Willamette's win over George Fox.

Mark Bennett picked up his first complete-game shutout of the season.

Mark Bennett picked up his first complete-game shutout of the season.